"Noruz" Iran Local Custom Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Iran Local Customs: 83 reviews and 106 photos

  The Haft Seen table
by TheWanderingCamel

On Friday, March 21, 2008, the precise moment of the Spring Equinox as it occurs in Tehran will be the moment of Noruz, the beginning of the great New Year holiday celebrated by all people whose history links them back through some three thousand years to the prophet, Zoroaster. Iranians, Uzbeks, Tajeks, Kazakhs, Azeris, Parsis and more all celebrate with family and friends but it is in Iran that the holidays is most loved and most celebrated with thirteen days of visiting, eating and partying that culminates on the thirteenth day (known as Sizdah Bedar ) with the whole country virtually taking to the outdoors for a day-long picnic.

An especially important part of the celebration is the Haft Seen table - set with seven special things - all beginning with "s" - Haft (seven) Seen ("s") - each one symbolic of life and the things we would wish for our loved ones in the year ahead -

Sabzeh - freshly sprouted greens, usually wheat, symbolizing rebirth
Seer - garlic, symbol of medicine and good health
Somaq - Sumac, the colour of sunrise when, with the rising of the sun, Good conquers evil
Serkeh - vinegar, symbolic of age and patience
Samanu - a sweet pudding made from the simplest ingredients - wheat germ, water and sugar. This symbolizes the transforming effect of learning.
Senjed - the sweet dry fruit of the lotus, the flower of love
Seeb - apples, symbolizing health and beauty

Among other things places on the table you'll always find Soubol, hyacinths, with their sweet strong perfume heralding the coming of spring , candles to represent the light of truth and a goldfish in a bowl, a symbol of all the living things on earth.

This is such a wonderfully inclusive holiday, celebrated by everyone no matter what their creed or class, in hope of a bright New Year, a time for rebirth and new beginnings. Let's all join in and wish everyone 'Noruz Mobarak" - Happy New Year! when the time rolls around next year.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated May 12, 2007
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 2 6
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 3

Have you been to Iran?

  Share Your Travels