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Haft sin-Haft Seen-Seven 'S's-Sofreh Haft Seen

Haft sin-Haft Seen-Seven 'S's-Sofreh Haft Seen

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:18 am

Name : Haft-Seen (Persian: هفت‌سین‎) or the seven 'S's

Description: A ceremonial table called Sofreh-e Haft Sin (cloth of seven dishes), name of each dish beginning with the Persian letter 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 cinn). 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:

Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth.
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.
Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty.
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.
Seer which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine.
Somaq sumac berries, represent the color of sunrise; with the appearance of the sun Good conquers Evil.
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):

a few coins placed on the sofreh represent prosperity and wealth;
a basket of painted eggs represents fertility;
a Seville orange floating in a bowl of water represents the earth floating in space;
a goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year-picas;
a flask of rose water known for its magical cleansing power, is also included on the tablecloth;
Nearby is a brazier for burning wild rue ,a sacred herb whose smoldering fumes ward off evil spirits;
A pot of flowering hyacinth or narcissus is also set on the sofreh;
A mirror which represents the images and reflections of Creation as we celebrate anew the ancient Persian traditions and beliefs that creation took place on the first day of spring.

On either side of the mirror are two candlesticks holding a flickering candle for each child in the family. The candles represent enlightenment and happiness.


http://www.ahuramazda.com/sofrehehaft_.htm


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Re: Haft sin-Haft Seen-Seven 'S's-Sofreh Haft Seen

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:22 am

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Re: Haft sin-Haft Seen-Seven 'S's-Sofreh Haft Seen

Postby Parvaneh » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:24 pm

Haft Sin or the seven 'S's is a major tradition of Norooz, the traditional Iranian new year. It is possible that Haft Sin was initially Haft Sini, or seven trays of essential symbols, which gradually was shortened to Haft Sin. The haft sin table includes seven items specifically starting with the letter S or Sin. The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals protecting them. Another interpretation is that Haft Sin represents the seven planets that rule human destiny and are responsible for the sacredness of the number seven. It was thought that if anybody would have access to all the seven – that implies that one attracts the blessing of all these seven planets – one would attain happiness.


While Haft Sin has evolved over time, but it has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sin table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Norooz visitations and is a reflection of their good taste. Possible and common Haft Sin items are:
Sabzeh - Wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing a few inches tall in a dish, symbolizing rebirth. In the ancient times, twenty-five days before New Year, 12 large cylindrical shaped containers made from raw brick were erected in the city center (one for each month). Different seeds were planted in each including wheat, barley, lentils and rice. On the sixth day of Farvardin, the new growths were pulled out and scattered around with music, songs and dancing. This was done to estimate the growth of various seeds for the new season and to know how good a crop they could expect in the coming year.
Samanoo - A sweet pudding made from wheat germ, symbolizing affluence and was assumed to enhance sexual powers. It is associated with Anahita and is traditionally prepared by women, especially those wanting children.
Senjed, the dried fruit of the oleaster tree, symbolizing love.
Sir – Garlic, symbolizing medicine. Garlic was used by the Iranians as medicine and a means of warding off demonic powers and bad omens.
Sib, apples, symbolizing beauty and health.
Somaq symbolizing the color of sunrise.
Serkeh – Vinegar, symbolizing age and patience, having originated as grapes and undergone many transformations. Wine was always present since it represented liquid gold and was used at all religious ceremonies, however, after the Arab conquest it has been replaced by vinegar as alcohol is banned in Islam.
Sonbol - The fragrant hyacinth flower, symbolizing the coming of spring. In ancient times they symbolized the two deities Khordad and Amurdad.
Sekkeh – Coins, symbolizing prosperity and wealth and in ancient times were associated with the deity Sharivar.

Other items on the table may include:
Traditional Iranian pastries such as baklava and also toot, noon-nokhodchi, dried nuts, berries and raisins. Iranians believed that by eating such sweets their life would be sweet and good in the coming year.
Lit candles for enlightenment and happiness and traditionally according to the number of the children in the household. Lit candles are a symbol of purifying fire.
A mirror. Mirrors were significant items in Zoroastrian symbolism, art and architecture and still are an integral part of most Iranian celebrations including marriage ceremonies.
Decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family and a universal symbol of fertility representing Mother Earth.
A bowl with goldfish for life and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving. The fish represent the mythical fish Kara Mahi, which swims in the mythical Vouruka Sea and wards off harmful creatures.
A bowl of water with an orange in it symbolizing the earth floating in space. Anahita is represented by rain water collected especially for this occasion and the fish are also normally placed in this water.
 Esfand, seeds of wild rue, often placed in a small incense burner and burned just after the turn of the year.
Rose water for its magical cleansing powers.
The national colors, for a patriotic touch.
A holy book.
The Shahnameh or Divan of Hafez.

The history of the custom is obscure. There is a dubious and isolated reference to it in a Persian manuscript attributed to the Safavid period but otherwise it is rarely mentioned in the eyewitness accounts of the Norooz ceremonies by nineteenth-century travelers and historians. Only Heinrich Brugsch, who was in Tehran in 1860 and described the Norooz festival in some detail, claims that the Iranians greeted the national festival by planting in their gardens flowers with names beginning with the letter S. However, if one considers the Norooz spread as a whole and disregards the letter sin, its essential items perfectly afford reasonable explanation as the reflections of the pastoral and sedentary conditions of ancient Iranians and of their belief that the souls of the departed come down and partake of the table.


The real significance of seven may have been to represent the "Seven Eternal Laws", which embodies the Teachings of Zoroaster. It was a way of preserving and a reminder of the teachings of Zoroaster. Further evidence are the reliefs at Persepolis which depict seven people from each country carrying Norooz gifts, thus emphasizing the importance of seven

http://historicaliran.blogspot.com/2010 ... t-sin.html
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Growing Sabzeh, Green Shoots for the New Year-Nowruz- No Ruz

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:13 pm

Growing Sabzeh, Green Shoots for the New Year (Nowruz, No Ruz)

Growing sabzeh, green shoots (sprouts), is a major part of getting ready for No Ruz. It is a must to have it on the Haft sin spread and although growing it sounds easy it needs experience. The process normally starts 3 to 4 weeks before No Ruz, depending on how tall you want your sabzeh. Special lentils (Adass) and or whole-wheat seeds are sold at the Iranian stores and you should use these special ones, otherwise they won't work. Soak the seeds in water for two days and then put them on a shallow plate and cover it with a paper towel and place in a sunny location. Squirt water over the shoots several times a day, and again cover with the paper towel. They should not be either dry or soaked, just enough water to allow them sprouting. Once the sprouts appear remove the paper towel and let it grow. Women in the family normally grow sabzeh and several are made at the same time just in the case some rot and go moldy (which they often do). Some ladies have a reputation for having green thumbs and growing great sabzeh. They might be asked to grow some for friends and relatives. All Iranian stores sell the already grown ones and many people will simply buy them.

http://www.cultureofiran.com/growing_sabzeh.html


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Samanoo-wheat paste for Haft Sin

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:16 pm

Samanoo (wheat paste) for Haft Sin

Samanoo (wheat paste) for Haft Sin

Partition

This item is made for No Ruz spread and is one of the seven items used in Haft Sin. Most people buy it from stores in very small quantities, like a small cup just to place it on the spread. It is recommended to keep them refrigerated at least during the evening to keep it longer. Most people do not eat it, occasionally some make their own and will serve it as well. It is very complicated to make and takes several days. The wheat (seeds) used is very special and should be bought from Iranian stores otherwise it will not work.

Samanoo
Picture courtesy: Poerya & The Netherlands

Ingredients, 4 servings

wheat (germinating), 500 grams
wheat flour, 2 kg

Wash the wheat with cold water and then rinse it. Add cold water until there is 2-3 cm of water over the wheat. Leave for about two days; change the water after the first day. The wheat should begin to germinate. Rinse thoroughly.

Hold a thin piece of cloth under cold water until it is completely wet. Pour the wheat inside and wrap the cloth around it. Place it in a bowl and leave the bowl in a warm place. Once or twice a day, sprinkle a bit of cold water over the cloth to make it wet but not soggy.

When roots appear, spread all the wheat on a large plate, then spread the cloth over it and sprinkle with water. Continue sprinkling with water once or twice a day until silvery sprouts appear. The wheat paste should be made before the sprouts turn green.

Grind the wheat, add two glasses of cold water, and mix well. Filter out the excess water. Press the wheat hard, to squeeze out the extract. Add wheat extract to flour while mixing. The mix should become thin.

Place the mix over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mix starts boiling and thickens. Continue heating until water evaporates. Fry the mix without any oil or sugar for about 10-15 minutes.

http://www.cultureofiran.com/samanoo_for_haft_sin.html

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