►As the spring's footsteps start tickling the ears, lilies, daffodils and narcissus wake up to bloom, the Iranians awaiting the spring, set up a colorful celebration to give it a red carpet welcome. Nowruz is the Persians' longest and most cherished festivity, on which all Iranians celebrate the New Year with the nature's resurrection from withered winter. It is deeply rooted in Zoroastrianism and counts as the oldest Iranian festival. Nowruz ancientness, variety, colorfulness, and rich symbolism mark it off from its peers in other nations and countries.
Number 'seven' has got a holy position in the Persian mythology. We are told of seven levels of earth and heaven, seven deities superior to others, seven constellations which controlled the fate of the mortals and even seven days in a week. Seven-S spread, in Persian called "Sofreye Haft Sin", is the inextricable component of all homes on Nowruz. Sofreh means spread or tablecloth and Haft Sin, seven-S. Zoroastrians of Iran used to decorate their Haft Sin in seven big trays each bearing seven kinds of foods. Each item has its own symbolism, which stems from the advent of the custom.
► Haft Sin's most outstanding item is "Sabzeh" (the green sprouts of wheat, barley or lentil) which symbolizes rebirth and usually is beatified with a strip of red ribbon, while an orange may be placed atop. A glittering red or yellow "Seeb"(apple) is the second and stands for beauty and good health. "Samanu", kind of a sweet pudding or custard, is the next article symbolizing affluence. The following item stands for love and is called "Senjed", fruit of the oleaster or lotus tree. The forth one is "Seer" (garlic) and is the representative of medicine on the spread. Then there exists sumac berries, "Somaq", which epitomizes the color of the sunrise. And as the last article "Serkeh"(vinegar) epitomizes patience and age.
Among all Persian ancient ceremonies, Nowruz with its different aspects in every region of the country has got no more real, fresher and deeper peer. Nowruz repeats and renews everything, generates and revives the nature and influences Iranian creative soul, emotion and thought.