Haft-Sinn

A few days prior to the New Year, a special cover is spread on to the Persian carpet or on a table in every Persian household. This ceremonial table is called cloth of seven dishes, (each one beginning with the Persian letter Sinn). The number seven has been sacred in Iran since the ancient times, and the seven dishes stand for the seven angelic heralds of life-rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, patience, and beauty.

The symbolic dishes consist of:
  1. Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth.
  2. Samanu is a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding and represents the ultimate sophistication of Persian cooking.
  3. Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty.
  4. Senjed the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree, represents love. It has been said that when lotus tree is in full bloom, its fragrance and its fruit make people fall in love and become oblivious to all else.
  5. Seer which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine.
  6. Somaq sumac berries, represent the color of sunrise; with the appearance of the sun Good conquers Evil.
  7. Serkeh or vinegar, represents age and patience.
To reconfirm all hopes and wishes expressed by the traditional foods, other elements and symbols are also on the sofreh): With the help of fire and light, we hope for enlightenment and happine throughout the coming year.
Source: Batmangli, Najimeh , New Food of Life , Mage Publishers, Washington DC, 1996, pg. 384.

Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak ! (happy New Year)