Hello everyone. Happy new year. Yes “New Year”. Today is the beginning of the Persian New year and also the very first day of spring.

So I’d like to talk about this beautiful and rich custom

which is celebrated by the Iranian and many Farsi-speaking people all around the world,

and also across the Middle East and central Asian countries.

You may ask “what this is”. This is called the “Haft-Sin Table”,

one of the most important part of the Persian New year.

So stay with me to learn about this beautiful culture and custom.

Persian culture is one of the richest ones in the world and has influenced other cultures, too.

One of the most beautiful customs which has been celebrated for over 3000 years now is “Nowruz”.

“Nowruz” literally means “New Day” and is the start of the Iranian New Year,

celebrated on the very first day of spring, usually 20 or 21st of March.

It is not only celebrated by the Iranian but also by other Farsi-speaking countries

such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, etc.

For honoring such a great day, Iranian people follow many different customs and traditions.

Each of them has a special meaning and refers to one important aspect of the Persian culture.

Before the new year, the Iranian clean every corner of their houses,

they go shopping and buy new clothes, and during the holidays of Nowruz,

that is a period of 13 days, the family members and relatives get together and visit each other.

Usually the elderly or the older people of the family give money as gift to young ones and children.

But one of the most beautiful traditions of Nowruz is setting the “Haft-Sin Table”.

In fact, Haft-Sin means putting 7 symbolic objects together whose names start with letter “S” or /s/ sound in Farsi.

Other symbolic objects accompany these 7 objects.

In the past, people used to put all of these items on a designed fabric like a table cloth on the floor,

that is called “Sofreh”, but nowadays many people put them on the table so we call it “Haft-Sin Table”.

The items of “Haft-Sin” vary slightly in different parts of the country, but there are certain elements that define a “Haft-Sin Table”.

These elements are as follows:

The first one is called “Sabzeh”, usually wheat grass grown in a dish, and symbolizes rebirth and growth.

The second one is called “Samanu”, it is sweet pudding made from wheat germ, and is the symbol of birth, fertility, and power.

The third item is called “Senjed”, which is a sweet dry fruit, that is the symbol of love, affection, and kindness.

In the fourth place, we put “Serkeh” or vinegar; which is the symbol of purity, submission, and satisfaction.

Number five is called “Seeb”, the apple, which is the symbol of health and beauty.

The sixth item is called “Seer” or garlic, which symbolizes health and getting rid of bad spirit.

And the last item is “Somaq” or “Sumac” which symbolizes love, patience and another beginning.

Beside these items, we also put mirror for honesty,

We burn candles for light,

We put coins for prosperity,

And goldfish, which is the symbol of vitality,

And also a book, which could be either Qoran the holy book of Muslims,

or the holy book of other religions, or a poetry book,

which belongs to one of the most famous poets of Iran whose name was “Hafiz”.

And also we put nuts and sweets.

By the turning of the New Year, we hug and kiss each other and wish each other well

and give each other gifts and money.

And then we visit our relatives.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this program and you’ve learned about one of the most important traditions and customs of Iranian culture.

I wish you a great year ahead and all my wishes for you is having a year as white as milk, as soft as silk, as sweet as honey and full of money.

So join us and enjoy your year.