The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 20, 2012

The Iranian new year “Nowruz”

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Before the end of the night, some people, especially children, go to the neighbors' houses for treats, and bang in a bowl or pans with spoon and ask for treats. This tradition is called gashog-Zany, similar to the Halloween tradition in United States.

Before the end of the night, some people, especially children, cover themselves with sheets or fabric and go to the neighbors' houses for treats. They take a bowl or pots and spoon, and instead of ringing the bell, they bang in a bowl or pans with spoon and ask for treats. This tradition is called gashog-Zany, similar to the Halloween tradition in United States.

Hafte Seen (seven S's) table is one of the new year traditions. In this ceremonial table, traditionally, Iranians put seven items starting with Persian letter “seen” or “S” in English.

Each of seven S is important symbol:

1. Sabzeh (grown wheat or lentil) for rebirth

2. Samanu (flour and sugar) for sweetness of life

3. Sir (Garlic) for health

4. Sekeh (coin ) for prosperity and wealth

5. Senjed (dried fruit of Lotus tree) for love

6. Somaq (sumac berries) for warmth

7. Serkeh (vinegar) for patience

In addition to these seven items, more items on this table, have particular meanings. For example, painted or decorated eggs represent fertility. A mirror represents image of honesty and reflection of life. Goldfish represent life. Holy book such as the Avesta, Qur'an, Bible, Torah, or Kitáb-i-Aqdas, represent religious beliefs. Iranians put a poetry book, almost always either the Shahnameh or the Divan of Hafiz or Rumi.

All Iranians participate in this celebration regardless of their religious beliefs.

The family sits around the table waiting for new year to come. When the new year arrives, we kiss, hug and say happy new year to each other. Right after new year begins the father gives the new paper money to each family member, starting with the oldest to the youngest.

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