Haft-Seen

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Haft Seen traditional table of Nowruz
A "Haft Seen" setting in Tehran, Iran

Haft-Seen also spelled as Haft Sīn (Persian: هفت‌سین‎‎, the seven seen's) is a tabletop (sofreh) arrangement of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed at Nowruz, the Persian new year. The haft-seen table includes seven items all starting with the letter Seen (letter) (fa) (س) in the Persian alphabet.

The Haft-Seen items are:

  1. Sabzeh (سبزه) – wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth
  2. Samanu (سمنو) – sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing affluence
  3. Senjed (سنجد) – dried oleaster Wild Olive fruit – symbolizing love
  4. Seer (سیر) – garlic – symbolizing the medicine and health
  5. Seeb (سیب) – apple – symbolizing beauty
  6. Somāq (سماق) – sumac fruit – symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  7. Serkeh (سرکه) – vinegar – symbolizing old-age and patience

The following items may also appear on the Haft-Seen table as ornaments or for the sake of completeness. Although some of these items are Persian symbols, they are not the main part of the traditional Haft-Seen.

  • Divan-e Hafez, a Persian poetry book
  • a mirror
  • a goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year-picas (Goldfish is originally a symbol Chinese new year)
  • a low brazier full of fire
  • a lamp
  • sprays of cypress or pine
  • pomegranates
  • painted eggs
  • coins as a symbol of wealth
  • candles for each member of the family
  • a bowl of water
  • wheat or bread

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