What is on a Haft-Sin?
If you're learning about Nowruz (Persian New Year) you have likely heard of a Haft-Sin and may be wondering what is on a haft-sin and why. Keep reading to learn about each of the seven significant items, what each one symbolizes and what else you may find on a haft-sin.
What is a haft-sin? A haft-sin is a traditional table setting arranged for Nowruz. Haft means seven in Persian and therefore there are seven items. Sin (or seen) is the fifteenth letter of the Persian alphabet. Each of the seven items begins with this letter.
Nowruz sabzeh are sprouts and often front and center on a haft-sin. Leading up to Nowruz wheat berries or lentils are sprouted to represent growth or rebirth. They are displayed in various ways: on plates, dishes, in cups and sometimes are tied with a red ribbon.
An apple symbolizes beauty and health. An apple can be displayed on its own or as a bowl filled with apples. Sometimes decorative apples are used such as one made of blown glass.
Senjed are the dried fruit of a lotus tree and symbolizes love. Senjed can be purchased at a Persian grocery store leading up to Nowruz. They are small, tan and about the size of an olive.
Serkeh is vinegar and symbolizes age and patience.
Garlic symbolizes medicine.
Sumac is often displayed as a bowl of dried powder made from sumac berries and symbolizes the color of the sunrise.
Samanu is a fermented wheat pudding made for Nowruz that symbolizes affluence. It is time consuming and laborious to make so many often purchase it in a jar.
There are other additional items that are often found on a haft-sin that also hold significance:
Egg - symbolizes new life
Mirror - symbolizes self-reflection
Goldifish - symbolizes life
Hyacinth Flower - symbolizes spring's arrival
Candle - symbolizes enlightenment
Coins - symbolizes prosperity
A haft-sin is a popular Nowruz tradition and you can partake by making your own version at home. From simple to elaborate, a haft-sin can vary in how they are displayed but the most important aspect is gathering family around it to welcome Nowruz.