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On March 20th & 21st, many people across the globe celebrated the Persian New Year, or Naw-Rúz as I have grown up calling it.  This celebration falls on the date of the spring equinox each year.  There are multiple variations of the spelling, such as Nowruz, Norouz, Nauruz, Navroz. A very common tradition for Naw-Rúz is to arrange a table setting called Haft Sîn, which translates to the “Seven S’s.”


The seven s’s are:

  1. Sabzeh – sprouts (symbolizes rebirth)
  2. Samanoo – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ (symbolizes affluence)
  3. Somagh – sumac (represents the colour of sunrise)
  4. Serkeh – vinegar (symbolic of age and patience)
  5. Senjed – dried fruit from the oleander tree (represents love)
  6. Sib – apple (represents beauty)
  7. Sir – garlic (represents good health)


Some other items that are often added to this table setting are Sombol – Hyacinth (a sweet and fragrant flower), Sekeh – Coins (representing prosperity), and a goldfish in a glass bowl (symbolizing life).  There are multiple additions that people like to incorporate in their Haft Sîn, the items mentioned are what I grew up with.  Below are some examples of the Haft Sîn tradition.


For followers of the Bahá’í faith such as myself, this celebration marks the end of the 19 day fast.  We fast from sunrise to sunset during the Bahá’í month of Alá – Loftiness, in order to work towards our spiritual growth, detachment from worldly desires, and to face and accept the tests and difficulties that may come.

Overall, the celebration of Naw-Rùz is filled with joy, companionship, and the celebration of life, and I’m glad to have shared this insight with you.

fourth-year student at the University of Guelph, studying theatre and music
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