Persian New Year display at City Hall through March 23

Mayor Nicola Smith and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commissioner Naz Lashgari admire the haft seen (table setting) celebrating Nowruz in the City Hall lobby. (Photo courtesy the City of Lynnwood)

Tuesday morning at 9:15 a.m. was the exact time of the Vernal Equinox and the official beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commissioner Naz Lashgari, an Iranian immigrant, shares her tradition of celebrating Nowruz with our Lynnwood community with a display in the City Hall lobby, and the following details:

Nowruz is the celebration of the Vernal Equinox, commencing the start of the spring. Nowruz is a 3,000 years old tradition of Zoroastrian belief system.

Nowruz is celebrated in Iran and many other countries; an estimated 300 million people celebrate the moment spring begins. The countries that celebrate Nowruz are Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Parsees in India, Western China, Zanzibar, and some parts of Pakistan. It is celebrated by all Iranians all over the world.

The festivities last 13 days, and the haft seen (table setting) remains in every house until the 13th day of the New Year. On the 13th day the celebration ends with a picnic by a river.

The haft seen or 7-S table represents seven heavens, and seven being a lucky number in most traditions, it is with 7-S that Iranians celebrate.

Everything on the haft seen 7-S table is symbolic to bring health and prosperity to the family and the household. The most important part of the haft seen is:

1 – Wheat grass or “Sabzeh” which symbolized new beginnings, growth, wealth,
and prosperity.

2 – Hyacinth or “Sombol” which symbolizes the beginning of Spring.

3 – Vinegar or “Serkeh” for immortality, and eternity.

4 – Garlic or “Sir” for health and longevity.

5 – Apple or “Sib” for Beauty and health.

6 – Coin or “Sekeh” for wealth.

7 – Sumac or “Sumac” for the spice of life.

Besides the seven lucky items that must be on the table, there are additional symbolic items, such as a mirror to reflect on life, candle to bring light, sweets to have a sweet life, colored eggs for fertility, book of Hafez the Persian poet for reading poetry, a bowl of water with an Narenj (a citrus similar to orange) floating in water to represent earth in space, a goldfish to celebrate life and movement, Senjed or Wild olive for intimacy, Samanou or sweet paste made entirely from germinated wheat.

The Nowruz haft seen will be in the City Hall lobby through Friday, March 23. Please feel free to stop by and check out the display! City Hall hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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