Haft Sin is a tabletop arrangement of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed at Norooz, the Iranian new year. The haft seen table includes seven items all starting with the letter seen (س) in the Persian alphabet.
Actually every item in Haft sin is a symbol from Regeneracy, Fertility, Abundance, Wealth, etc. The common items and their symbolic definitions are as follow:
- “Sib” (Apple): it is a very common item in almost every Iranian household Haft seen. Its main symbolic definition is “Health“, there is A privelant quote in Persian culture which says “If some one ate an apple in a day, he would never require a doctor! “
- “Sabze” (Grass): It’s also an inseparable item in Haft Seens, and its a symbol ofGreenery, Nature and Exhilaration. Also there are some who claim it is a symbol of Love too.
- “Senjed” (Sea-buckthorn): an inseparable item which symbolize the wisdom andRegeneracy. In traditional medications Senjed was utilized to invigorate the brain and memory, and so it is considered as wisdom symbol in Haft-Seen.
- “Serkeh” (Vinegar): an inseparable item, which symbolizes the Disinfection. Also some believes that it’s a symbol for Surrendering and Satisfaction. In Persian literature vinegar is used to analohize the stress, tear, etc, since some deduce from that its symbolization meaning.
- “ “: (or Samanak, Samalak in Tajik, Sumalak in Uzbec, etc.) is a sweat paste made from germinated wheat, which is especially prepared for Nowruz and it has a history in pre-Islamic persian empire. Actually it is a symbol for Power andBravery.
- “Somaq” (Sumac): Sumac is a symbol for Patience and Tolerance. Also as Sumac is a flavor it also supposes that it is symbol for a Life Stimulation.
- “Seer” (Garlic): Such as Sumac some people consider it as a stimulation symbol. Also some believe that it is Contentment symbol and not to invade others’ rights. And also in Zoroastrian literature it is a symbol for Disinfection.
There are also another stuff used in Haft-Seen such as “Sekkeh” (Coin) (symbol ofWealth), “Sonbol ” (Hyacinth), “Sabzi” (Vegetable), “Sepand” (Peganum harmala), “Sormeh” (Kohl), etc. which less used comparing to other mentioned stuff. There are also some items in Haft-Seen which do not start with “Seen”, but as a symbol or a decoration, they are also used in Haft-Seens, As follows:
- “Ayyeneh” (Mirror): It is a common “non-Seen” item in Haft-Seens and it is a symbol for Lighting.
- Goldfish, it is the symbol for also known as Fishes, which was relevant in traditional Persian calendar. Iranians put goldfishes in Haft-Seen to indicate that the new year starts from this month. Nowadays it is also a symbol for Victory,Exhilaration, Blessing, etc.
- Quran, or Poet Book, as Holy-books or respectful literature in Persian culture.
- “Sham’dan” (Candlesticks)
- Decorated Eggs
In Zoroastrian culture (Ancient Persian people religion) Shamdan (or Fire box) is a symbol of permanent Perspicuity and Warmth in household and usually they light candles, equal to the number of family children.