Norouz, The Persian New Year

A Modern Norouz Haft Seen

“Norouz” literally means new day and is a Zoroastrian celebration that is over 3,500 years old and originated in the Middle East. Its basis, like many other ancient religions, is in nature, which of course includes many foods that serve a symbolic purpose. What I love most about celebrating Norouz is how my connection with food deepens far beyond food’s role as a form of sustenance. For example, major centre piece to the Norouz celebration is the “haft seen” (literally seven s’s), which is a spread of food, each of which has specific symbolic meaning. For example, values aspired to by human nature such as wealth (sekeh or coin); rebirth and growth (sabzeh or sprouts); patience (serkeh or vinegar); health (seeb or apple); the sun’s energy (somagh or sumac berries); love (senjed or lotus tree fruit); and medicine (seer or garlic) take the form of food. The haft seen is displayed for a thirteen day long celebration, a constant reminder that we are only as valuable as the natural world can support us. For thirteen days, families and friends visit each other, sharing meals together, where love is as synonymous as grandmother giving you another ladle of herbed rice.  What a way to usher in the spring!


About danirenouf

I have been a registered dietitian since 2003, and very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in industry, clinical nutrition, public health, and private practice. Currently, I am extremely excited about pursuing entrepreneurial ventures which start with my private consulting practice and branch out into the food and culinary industry. I am busy every day developing my own food products and recipes, adapting traditional cooking techniques and incorporating new and innovative ways to prepare nutritious, delicious food. I am passionate about everything food-related, and aspire to engage others in "getting to know their food" - not all of us are cooks, or need to be, but all of us need to eat.
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2 Responses to Norouz, The Persian New Year

  1. Nilou says:

    Happy Norouz! And what a lovely Haft Seen table!! Always love reading your entries. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Chahar Shambeh Souri: The Tuesday of Fire Before Norouz | Four Elements Nutrition

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