Ancient cultures particularly native American and Iranian, celebrate the spring equinox with customs that date back to thousands of years.
Last week before breaking for spring, we took a small peek at the traditional Iranian ‘Norooz’ with the spread of our own ‘Haft Seen’ (the seven seen’s or the letter S in farsi) a tabletop (sofreh) arrangement of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed at Norooz, (the Persian new year) which includes seven items all starting with the letter seen (س) in the Persian alphabet.
- Sabzeh (سبزه) – wheat, barley, – symbolizing rebirth (we used wheat and barely growing in our garden)
- Sombol – (hyacinth) – symbolizing first blooms of spring (we planted ours in the garden),
3. Senjed (سنجد) – dried oleaster Wild Olive/Jujube fruit – symbolizing love (we planted our first jujube tree last week though i used a
4. Seer – Garlic (wed planted some in the garden last fall)
- Somāq (سماق) – sumac fruit – symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
- Serkeh (سرکه) – vinegar – symbolizing old-age and patience (didnt have)
The following items, although Persian symbols, are not the main part of the traditional Haft-Seen.
- Divan-e Hafez, a Persian poetry book (we read from the children’s garden journals instead)
- painted eggs ( couple of plastic ones i was given for Easter by the class)
- coins as a symbol of wealth
- Iranian sweets ( is used pistachio brittle from TJs )
For good measure we panted a raspberry bush,
and while learning of ancient traditions enjoyed the full vigor of springs display after a quiet winter.