Viewing posts tagged Persian New Year

Happy Persian New Year!

Happy Persian New Year everyone! 

This has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Seriously though, how fun is this holiday?? Two weeks of fun including jumping over fires (yes- that's actually a thing), setting up a haft-seen table, spring cleaning, cooking and eating, buying new clothes, coloring eggs, and picnicking are such a great way to start off the new year and beginning of Spring. 

I always prefer making new year resolutions during Nowruz instead of the New Year's in January. I'm lucky I have two New Years to celebrate, and a second chance at a do over in case I butcher my January goals and resolutions. 

This year my goals are short and sweet: 

Spend more time teaching the kids, creating fun learning experiences for them  

&

Losing that pregnancy weight!!!!!!!!!!

I even made some goals for hubby because I'm annoying like that:

MAKE MORE $$$$$$$$ (with my support of course) 

&

Lose that pregnancy weight also! Isn't it funny how hubbys gain weight during their wives pregnancies too? 

So sadly we won't be celebrating Nowruz this year. I'm either a go all out or do nothing at all kind of person, and with caring for a newborn along with two toddlers, something has to give. Any spare minute I have is spent sleeping. I forgot how much work a newborn is!!!

To all those celebrating this wonderful holiday, we wish you a happy healthy and prosperous new year! 

Persian New Year haft seen norooz sabzeh

Our Persian New Year (Norooz) 2016

Every year we celebrate the Persian New Year, or Norooz, on the first day of Spring. I have no idea what year it is in Iran, but celebrating 2016 again is good enough for me. 

We set up this table called the "haft seen" that translates to "7 S's". We put things on it that start with the letter S that symbolize the coming of Spring and all sorts of good stuff. 

This year we made 2 haft seens, a grown up one and a toddler-proof one so Valentino and Caspian could feel part of it and hopefully learn something. 

Norooz haft seen persian new year table spread

Happy Norooz to all our family and friends (we are so late on this....oops) We love you all and send you good wishes.

norooz haft seen persian new year table spread 

persian new year haft seen tablescape spring

persian new year table spread haft seen 7 S

family picture persian new year haft seen

norooz haft seen persian new year table spread

persian new year

Ringing in the New Year at Cafe Renaissance. I love this place. 

Also- check out what Valentino made.......

His very own sabzeh! He watered it every day too!

toddler haft seen children sabzeh

He also made his own eggs at school! Caspian was a bit too small to make anything for their haft seen, but maybe next year! 

toddler haft seen child

Valentino's sabzeh! Ok it was kind of a bust, but we love it anyway.

child sabzeh toddler norooz children

Instead of putting any religious book on our haft seen we opted for poetry books, like this tiny antique one we found in a book store in London. How cute is this? It's a story from the book of kings, or Shahnameh, by Ferdowsi. On the adult haft seen we put the poetry book Divan by Hafez. We named both kids's middle names after these two poets (Valentino's middle name is Hafez and Caspian's middle name is Ferdowsi). 

divan of hafez poetry norooz persian new year

Wishing everyone a happy healthy and wealthy New Year! 

Our Persian New Year

Happy Persian New Year! 

The Persian New Year marks the first day of Spring. Most all Persians put up a haft seen in their homes for the new year. A haft seen is a decorated table with items that symbolize the coming of Spring. It literally translates to "7 S's" Each S represents something different. The seven S's that we put on the table are:

Sabzeh: Wheat, lentil or barley sprouts that symbolize rebirth

Seeb: Apple, symbolizing beauty and health

Samanu: Sweet pudding made of wheat germ, symbolizing affluence

Senjed: Dried oleaster, symbolizing love

Seer: Garlic, symbolizing medicine 

Serkeh: Vinegar, symbolizing age and patience

Somaq: sumac fruit, symbolizing the color of sunrise

Other things we put on the table spread are:

Hyacinths: Symbolize the coming of Spring

Eggs: Symbolize fertility

Coins: Symbolize wealth

Mirror: Symbolize the sky and honesty

Candles: Symbolize enlightment 

Fish in a bowl of water: Symbolize life

Sweets: Symbolize sweetness

Holy Book: I always put up the Shahnameh or Divan-e-Hafez (Famous Iranian poetry books) as I don't believe in religion. 


Norooz Haft Seen Persian New Year table spread

I love how Salar's parents were here with us in spirit....and through the mirror.



As the clock strikes the time of the Spring equinox, families gather round the haft seen in their best dressed clothes and eat sweets and give each other hugs and kisses. This year me and Salar were on a no-sugar-diet (gotta lose those pregnancy pounds) so we both put a mini cupcake in our mouths, chewed it, felt like we were in heaven for a few seconds, and then spat it out. #ihatedieting

Norooz Haft Seen persian new year table spread


Norooz haft seen persian new year table spread



For the new year I bought my babies matching suits. So they can be little gentleman.  I dressed them up and put them on my bed, where Valentino proceeded to sit on his little brother Caspian. 

matching baby suits brothers


That night we went outside our house, lit a sky lantern, and made wishes as it flew up up and away! I think this may totally be illegal. Valentino was fascinated by it, as were our neighbors.  

sky lantern chinese lantern

sky lantern chinese lantern

Later that night we all went to Cafe Renaissance for dinner with my parents and my sister. Caspian had to stay behind with a babysitter because he's still too little to go fine dining. We took Valentino with us, and he behaved like a perfect gentleman, all throughout the night! (I have my iphone youtube app to thank for that). Thank god for Peppa Pig. 

cafe renaissance vienna va

Chef Ocean made a special seafood tower for our special guest- Salar's brother. It looked delish....

cafe renaissance vienna va

Cafe renaissance vienna va

It was the perfect end to a perfect day....good food and family, complemented with some Darioush wine and my favorite Vouvray. We left a bit tipsy and feeling good about the New Year. 

The following day we had brunch with my parents, sister, and brother in law at our house.

We had the typical New Years eats: Fish and green herbed rice. Me and Salar are going through a no carb period for a while, so we just ate fish and this thing called kookoo sabzi...which I don't care for much but ate it anyway. 

One thing I love about Norooz is that it is celebrated by Iranians of all religions. It's not a religious holiday, but has roots from Zoroastrianism- Iran's pre-Islamic religion. Apparently back in the day they would include wine on the table as well, and would call haft seen "haft sheen" and fill the table with 7 "Sh's" including "sharab" which means wine. 

Last year I made a haft sheen (see pics below). I wanted it to be pre-islamic, and include wine. But then this year I researched it more and found out that the word sharab is actually an arabic word....so how can the haft sheen be pre-islamic? Confusing. So I went ahead and made a haft seen this year instead of haft sheen. Can you tell I have a thing against the islamic invasion of Iran?? Can we all please start saying "Doroud" instead of "Salam" which is an arabic word?? 

haft sheen norooz nowruz

haft sheen norooz nowruz

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, prosperous new year. xoxo

How to make a sabzeh for Norooz

The Persian New Year is here, and I've successfully made my sabzehs for the haft seen. If you're not Persian and have no idea what I'm talking about, sabzeh is this kind of grass we grow and put on a pretty table spread with a bunch of other things that symbolize the coming of Spring. The grass symbolizes rebirth.

So here goes!

I started the whole sabzeh making process 11 days before Norooz. This is what I did that worked for me:

Step 1:

I went to the Persian store and bought this:

Step 2:

I then soaked it all in lukewarm water for 2 days. I would change the water about three times a day. 

how to make a sabzeh norooz haft seen

Step 3:

I then chose things that I wanted my sabzehs to grow on- a plate, martini glass, little tiny plates, and mini cake stands. Because this was the first time I made a sabzeh, I thought I'd make a lot so that if one or two die I wouldn't be in trouble and left without a sabzeh. I took some paper towels, soaked them, put them on the plates and filled it with the sprouts. Then I wrapped them with the moist paper towels. Apparently it is really important to keep the sprouts moist at all times. Not soaking wet.....just moist. 

how to make a sabzeh haft seen norooz


how to make a sabzeh haft seen norooz 

how to make a sabzeh wheat sprouts haft seen


Step 4:

I kept them covered and moist at all times. I took a spray bottle and would spray the paper towels with water about 5 times a day. After 2 or 3 days I then removed the sprouts from their bundle of paper towels, cut around a dry paper towel so that it would fit in each of my plates, soaked it, and dumped the sprouts back on it. Then again I'd cover them with moist paper towels.



Step 5:

I continued to spray the paper towels and keep them moist. I would put them in sunlight for about two hours a day. Then they began to look like this:

Then two days later they looked like this:

Then they slowly turned into this:

Once they looked like this I took the paper towels that I placed on top of them off, and would just continue to spray them (you leave the paper towel on the bottom in place because the sprouts plant themselves on it.)

Day by day they would grow longer and longer. The eighth day looked like this:

This pic was taken on the 15th day:

I continued to spray them multiple times a day and keep them in sunlight. I felt good about them and was happy with the way they turned out. Making them wasn't as hard as I thought. I'll post some pics of our haft seen so you can see how they looked on the 11th day.