Monday, March 19, 2018

Norooz 2018: Sale No Mobarak

As many of you know, I am Iranian American. As I am quite proud of my Persian heritage and culture, I love to celebrate the Persian New Year (Norooz) every year.
 
Well tomorrow is Norooz As the most highly anticipated holiday of the year, Norooz is a holiday that equalizes both night and day, bringing you more than just a new dawn and a new life, but a new day. In fact, the Persian word "Nowruz" means new day. As the first day of Farvardin, it is also the first day of the March equinox and the first day of the Iranian Solar calendar.
 
To celebrate the holiday, Spring cleaning is essential as it symbolizes a "rebirth" of your environment. And for the Persian New Year, a "Haft Sin" table is set up which consists of Sabze, Samanu, Senjed, Serke, Sib, Sir, and Somaq. The items all include some sort of plant and/or food to represent them, which correlate with the planets in our universe.
 
Sabze includes grains such as barley, wheat, or lentil sprouts grown in a pot or a dish. The Samanu utilizes sweet pudding (usually made with wheat germ). Senjed is represented with olives, usually Persian olives. Serke uses vinegar. When it comes to representing Sib, apples are used. Sir is represented by garlic. And last, but not least the Somaq uses sumac.
 
And for every Persian New Year, this is the kind of things you will see on a traditional haft-sin table. Other things you will see on the table include: a living gold fish in a bowl, candles, a mirror, colored eggs, hyacinth, and other random decorations. Creativity is usually embraced, as not every haft-sin table looks the same nor are they created equal. A book of faith (some refer to this as a book of wisdom) is also added. As most Iranians are Muslim and embrace Islam, there are many (like myself) that are not Muslim, so I would not include a Quran at my haft-sin table.
 
Various food is prepared, primarily Persian dishes. Each day there is a new dish, as several are prepared per day. As most are non-vegetarian, I usually create these dishes using a plant-based alternative or if I am eating dinner with family, I request a vegetarian alternative to the dish. Most of the Persian sweets or desserts are vegetarian. When I am not eating baklava, consuming Persian tea, I love to enjoy dolma stuffed with rice and veggies, kuku sabzi (an amazing vegetarian-friendly Persian dish which utilizes various herbs and veggies), and sabzi polow (rice cooked with an variety of herbs as well as, noodles). Most of the time sabzi polow is served with fish, but I eat it alone or with Gardein's fishless filets.
 
I am looking forward to celebrating Norooz this year with family and friends. It is a time to both reminisce and relax. Although many enjoy celebrating before the holiday, the holiday continues days after. Enjoying great Persian food with Persian music and laughter, there is just nothing better.
 
Happy Norooz! Sale no mobarak! نوروزتان مبارک! من بهترین ها را برای شما آرزو می کنم!

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