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From mince and tatties to pomegranate stew – Celebrating Naw-Rúz

Posted on 17th March 2020 by Karen Hemmati

From mince and tatties to pomegranate stew – Celebrating Naw-Rúz

At YOURgb, we’re passionate about sharing our own experiences and culture with one another. Not only does this strengthen our personal bonds as a team, it also encourages fresh ideas when pulling together thoughts and ideas for our clients.

So….I thought I would share a little insight into my culture and what I’ll be celebrating this month.

My mother is from Fife and my father is originally from Iran. I grew up with a rich blend of Scottish and Persian cultural influences, from mince and tatties to pomegranate stew.

One of my favourite celebrations of the Persian calendar is Naw-Rúz , it’s kind of like my second Christmas!

In Farsi (the Persian language) Naw-Rúz  means ‘new year’ or ‘new day’ and has been celebrated at the Spring equinox for thousands of years usually around the 19th to the 21stMarch. Every year people from all over the world and of all cultural backgrounds celebrate the start of nature’s renewal with a Naw-Rúz picnic or party.

The 2020 celebrations around the world might look a wee bit different this year, but I hope everyone can still celebrate in their own way and appreciate the beauty of this tradition.

One of my favourite parts of Persian Naw-Rúz is the Haft Sin table – Haft (the number seven) Sin (the Persian letter “S”). A Half Sin table is like putting up your Christmas Tree and decorations in December. The seven items on the Haft Sin table are colourful and joyful, but also have symbolic meaning:

  • Somagh (sumac): symbolises the colour of sunrise
  • Serkeh (vinegar): symbolises age and patience
  • Senjed (dried fruit from lotus tree): symbolises love
  • Samanoo (sweet pudding): symbolises affluence
  • Sabzeh (sprouts): symbolises rebirth
  • Sib (apple): symbolises health and beauty
  • Sir (garlic): symbolises medicine

These are all things you would wish for your friend and family and yourself for the year ahead.

Naw-Rúz is also the start of the new year for followers of the Zoroastrian and Bahá’í religions.

The founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh designated the 19-day period  before the Bahá’í New Year for fasting.

Similar to Ramadan or lent, the fasting period of spiritual preparation and regeneration for the new year ahead and is a very social time, when the Bahá’í community regularly get together to break fast together in the evenings.

Fasting responsibly has many health benefits, but it’s still a physical challenge and makes the celebration of Naw-Rúz all the more poignant for those who take part.

Wish your friends and colleagues a happy Naw-Rúz on the 21st March!