Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy New Year!

Ade Nowrooz! Happy New Year!

Forsythia from my garden. They are the easiest of branches to force. Bring them in now and you'll have blooms in a few days.

A secular holiday, Persian New Year is celebrated on the first day of Spring. This is my Haft-Sinn table which should display haft (seven) items beginning with the Persian letter sinn, pronounced "seen". These seven are symbolic of Spring, renewal, rebirth, beauty and good luck.

Every table must have Sabzeh, green sprouts. This year I resorted to parsley. Seeb, apples, represent health and beauty. Somaq, a seasoning, (the dried red stuff in the blue bowl) represents the sunrise; or some interpret it as the triumph of good over evil. I like to think of it as the return of longer days. Somaq is actually an excellent substitute for salt. It has a slightly sour tang and is delicious sprinkled on rice.

Serkeh, vinegar, in the fish shaped dish represents patience and age. Our family traditionally has a bowl of two or three gold fish; they are quite pretty swimming in a lovely crystal bowl. This year, one family member vigorously decried the cruelty of flushing the fish after New Year's, hence the fish dish only. Garlic cloves, Seer in Persian, I'm not sure what it really means, maybe the healing powers of medicine.

the table cloth is a vintage Persian paisley. 

Our family always has vases and pots of Sanbol, hyacinth. My Sanbol are woefully late this year. They are the green things peaking through in the pot at the upper left. But the upside is they will be perfect for Easter. Now that's one of the true joys of life in a multi-cultured family. We celebrate many happy holidays, some of them twice!

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

p.s. excuse the picture quality, I used my phone while my camera is in for repair.


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