Norooz with Saha


The “haft-seen” table at Saha’s house
Photo by Saha Mousavi

Submission by Saha Mousavi 
Saha is now in Grade 8 at Magee Secondary School in Vancouver.
She wrote this story while she was
a Grade 6 student at Vancouver’s Lord Roberts School in 2013.

The word Norooz means “the new day” in the Persian language.
Norooz is the name of the important Iranian
or Persian New Year in the Persian calendar.
People of 13 other religions also celebrate this holiday.
The holiday goes on for 13 days.
People come to visit your home.
The kids get gifts for the New Year.


Haji Feerooz
“Haji Feerooz” announces Norooz,
just like Santa Claus.
He is the Zoroastrian’s fire keeper.
His face is painted black.
Black is an ancient Persian symbol of good luck.
He wears a red costume.
Haji Feerooz dances with a tambourine
and sings Norooz songs throughout the streets.

Haft-seen Table
The haft-seen table or the “Seven S’s”
is the most important part of Norooz.
Haft is the Persian word for the number seven.
And Seen is Persian for the letter “s”.
A special cloth is placed on a table.
Then the table is beautifully decorated
with many items for all to see.
Some traditional items which must be on the table are:
• Sabze: wheat, or sprouts that have grown
for several days. These symbolize renewal.
• Sib: apples. These symbolize beauty and health.
• Sekke: coins, which represent wealth.
• Samanu: a thick sweet paste that is served to the neighbors.
This also symbolizes abundant wealth, or affluence.
• Sombol: the hyacinth flower which symbolizes spring.
• Senjed: the dried fruit of the lotus tree which is a symbol for love.
• Somagh: the crushed spice of sumac berries, symbolizing sunrise.
Photo: Haft-seen table 3 Photo by Saha Mousavi

Other decorations
The names of some things on the haft-seen table
do not begin with “s”.
But they have to be there:
• Candles with a mirror to reflect the flames
• Coloured eggs to show the fertility of spring
• A bowl of goldfish to show life
• A “Qur’an”, the Muslim holy book, to show respect for God


“Haft-seen” table at Saha’s house (detail)
Photo by Saha Mousavi

The thirteenth day
The thirteenth day of Norooz is called “sizdeh bedar”.
This means “get rid of the thirteenth”.
On this day families or friends pack a special picnic,
and go to a park to enjoy food.
They also dance, and sing together.
Everybody brings their sprouts to throw in a nearby river or lake
to symbolize the return of the plants to nature.
On that day Norooz ends.
Adults return to their jobs
and kids return to their schools
after their two weeks of holidays.

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