I finally set up my Haft Seen yesterday. I was waiting for the gold fish to hit the Persian stores.  My Haft Seens have been slightly different every year but not drastically different as I always use the same little clear bowls.  I always like to make a small Haft Seen, that’s my thing.

I was looking back at pictures from the past few years and I thought I would share some pictures.

2005-customNorouz 2005.  My, were my lentil sprouts out of control!!


Norouz 2006. This one came out pretty nicely. This is also the year that I decided to give up on getting gold fish because no matter what I did, they just died.

Norouz 2007. Didn’t have one as I was right in the middle of moving.


Norouz 2008. Do you see a pattern here with lentil sprouts? Yes, I love lentil sprouts!


Norouz 2009.  For the first time my Haft Seen has real eggs. My mom and sister colored the eggs for me as they were here last year for Norouz.  My mom and sister got all creative with the garlic. Also, gold fish make an appearance. We got those from the local Persian market free with our purchases.  I also switched to wheat sprouts!


Norouz 2010. This is this year! Real eggs , wheat sprouts and gold fish once again!! Unfortunately, I forgot to buy a red apple this year.

So what is Sofreh Haft Seen all about? Every single item symbolizes something.  Haft Seen in Farsi means  seven “S.”  The spread must have seven items that in Farsi begin with the letter “s,” specifically the letter “seen.”


The main items are:

1. Somagh (sumac) : symbolizes the color of sunrise
2. Serkeh (vinegar): symbolizes age and patience
3. Senjed (dried fruit from lotus tree): symbolizes love
4. Samanoo (sweet pudding): symbolizes affluence
5. Sabzeh (sprouts): symbolizes rebirth
6. Sib (apple): symbolizes health and beauty
7. Sir (garlic): symbolizes medicine

Additional items that begin with the letter “s” that are commonly seen on the Sofreh are:

Sekkeh (coin): symbolizes wealth and prosperity
Sonbol (hyacinth): a spring spring flower

Other items included are:

Mahi (fish): symbolizes life
Tokhmeh Morgh (egg): symbolizes fertility
Sham (candle): symbolizes enlightenment
Shirini (sweets): symbolizes spreading the sweetness
A book of poetry or prayer

The Persian New Year, Norouz coincides with the Spring Equinox.  I love this aspect of our culture because when the new year begins, it really feels like a beginning as the transition from winter into spring is seen in natures and felt in the air.  Norouz is very much so of a cultural celebration in Iran and has been celebrated for centuries. It is customary for families to gather around the Haft Seen at the moment of the Spring Equinox and celebrate the transition from winter into spring together.  The elders present family members with Eidee, which is a small monetary presents for Norouz.

Have you set up your Haft Seen yet?