Happy Iranian New Year

1:27 pm EST today marks the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. The snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and birds are chirping. Or so I'm told - here in Waterloo, the temperature is still well below freezing. But the sun is shining a little brighter than it used to, and the days are getting a little bit longer each day.

Today is also the first day of the Iranian new year, which always starts on the first day of spring. This calendar is used in Iran and Afghanistan, where it is now year 1385.

On this day in Iran, the dining table is decorated with the haft seen (Seven S's), which get their name from the fact that their names all begin with the letter S. Among them are apple, vinegar, garlic, wheat sprouts, and sumach. Other decorations include colourful eggs, a mirror, candles, goldfish, coins, pictures of family and friends, and an important book (such as the poetry of Omar Khayyam). The family gathers around the table at the exact moment of spring (Sal Tahvil) to wish each other a happy new year.

As part of the new year celebration, children receive presents from Papa Norouz and from older relatives including their parents. They also revel in the singing and dancing in the streets by Haji Firouz. The next 13 days are a holiday period, consisting mostly of visiting friends and family.

Here are a couple of pictures from my parents' Norouz table, from 2004:


Out with the old, in with the new. Happy new year!


Deb said…
Boss #2 informed me at the end of the day that I needed to hurry up with his stuff because it was the Iranian New Year and he needed to leave.

I hurried. ;-)
Anonymous said…
Very nice blog. That table look great!. I also want to tell you that I had trouble with some of the links on your site. Nothing happens when I click on "Click here to display or hide the Table of Contents." or any of the links by your profile. I am using Mac OS X Safari so maybe that has something to do with.
Sassan Sanei said…
I checked the site on a couple of Macs running Safari yesterday and sure enough, the site doesn't look anything like the way it does on Internet Explorer (Windows). Which is unfortunate because I did all the coding by hand and thought I followed all the HTML/CSS standards correctly so that it renders properly on all browsers. I probably made a wrong assumption somewhere. I will check my template again and make adjustments, hopefully it will work soon. Thanks for letting me know!
Anonymous said…
No problem. The site works quite well for the most part so don't sweat it too much.

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