Haft Seen

Out of all holidays, Nowruz and Easter inspire me the most with their promise of rebirth and hope. Nowruz, which means “new day” in Persian, falls on the spring equinox (March 20th in 2016) and is celebrated for the thirteen following days. Often called Persian New Year, it’s an important celebration not only in Iran, but also Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Georgia, India, Turkey, and other lands that were once part of the political or cultural Persian sphere.

haft seen1

I received a glimpse of Nowruz through my Azeri stepmother, although my own explorations directed me further down the path. While today it is by and large a secular event, observed by people of different religions and communities, Nowruz is a 3000 year old holiday with rich symbolism and ties to ancient Zoroastrian traditions. Nowruz contains beautiful, colorful and uplifting elements, a great reason to celebrate it.

The centerpiece of Nowruz celebrations is haft seen, or an elaborately decorated tablecloth. Haft means seven in Persian, and seen is the name of the letter “s.” Seven is a lucky number, believed to have roots in the “Seven Eternal Laws” of Zarathushtra–good mind, ultimate truth, good guidance, lawful desire, perfection, immortality, wisdom*. Each item on the haft seen spread also has its particular significance, but as can be expected for such an ancient event, some meanings have been lost and others have been added over the centuries. My personal aim with my haft seen is to welcome spring, give thanks for the departing year and anticipate another, better one.

haft seen2

I sprouted a mix of lentils and wheat grains (sabzeh), a symbol of happiness and rebirth. I added garlic (seer) for good health, sumac for patience, senjed fruit for tolerance, vinegar (serkeh), hyacinth (sanbol) and apple (seeb). The latter signifies beauty–one of the most charming compliments I heard in Iran was “her face looks like an apple cut in half.”

hyacinthscandied chickpeas

Other haft seen elements are a mirror, a reminder to be honest, and a flask of rosewater, a symbol of purity.

mirrorrosewater

A friend mentioned that a bitter orange floating in a bowl of water stands for the world, so I made a room for the universe on my haft seen.

sweets3

Also essential are the sweets, and this year I laid out seven varieties, supplementing classical Persian rice cookies, walnut macarons, chickpea biscuits, and Olena’s rose jam rolls, with store-bought candied nuts, saffron sugar, and Pierre Marcolini Easter chocolate eggs. Painted eggs, a familiar part of Ukrainian Easter spreads, also have a place on haft seen, and mine came with a Belgian accent.

hafez

I also added a volume of Hafez poems, hoping for improved Persian language skills in the new year.

Spring is officially invited into my home.

*Extra reading: Iran Chamber, an independent, non-partisan website, has a number of interesting articles on different Persian topics, including Nowruz and haft seen. Wikipedia has a thorough entry, including explanations of how the holiday is celebrated around the world.

Also, Turmeric and Saffron  and My Persian Kitchen feature great recipes and articles about Nowruz.

Two favorite recipes: Rhubarb Rose Sherbet and Rice Cardamom Cookies.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, all rights reserved.

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80 Comments

  • Michaela: I hope spring enters into your soul as well as into your home! You prepared an invitation impossible to refuse.
    Thank you for the excellent writing and great information. March 15, 2016 at 7:21am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t always make such an elaborate spread, but this year I felt like it–and I had an excuse to justify my addiction to the Persian cooking videos. 🙂 March 15, 2016 at 11:28am Reply

  • Sandra: Have a great new year Victoria. Thank you for sharing! What perfume will pick for your celebration? March 15, 2016 at 8:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I haven’t decided yet. With hyacinths in bloom, the whole room smells like of them. And of cardamom. When I walk into the living room in the morning, these scents wash over me like a wave. March 15, 2016 at 11:29am Reply

  • Maya: I realized recently that I have come to view you as a personal friend whose intelligent, beautiful, and always inspiring. I suspect I’m not the only one of your readers who feels this way. Special request (please): write a post about your time management method. Given your ability to juggle reading voraciously, writing, cooking, traveling, etc, you surely have devised one. Happy and beautiful spring to you and all. March 15, 2016 at 8:52am Reply

    • Phyllis Iervello: Maya,
      You are not the only one of Victoria’s readers who view her as a personal friend. I am one as well and I’m sure there are many, many more of us. Her warmth, intelligence and beauty exude from her written words. March 15, 2016 at 9:18am Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you so much. Anyone would be lucky to write for a group like all of you. March 15, 2016 at 11:39am Reply

    • kayliz: Maya, seconding that request! My thoughts on seeing the photo: “Beautiful…how does she do it… AND that floor is spotless”

      Many thanks from me too, Victoria. I feel so fortunate to have discovered your blog — it is an utter joy. March 15, 2016 at 9:31am Reply

      • Maya: I forgot to mention that she is also a student of languages… March 15, 2016 at 10:21am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s hard not to be when living in a tiny country with 3 official languages. 🙂 March 15, 2016 at 11:43am Reply

      • Victoria: Ah, that’s no credit to me. The housekeeping is done by my husband. I like shopping for food and cooking, so I do that, but he takes care of cleaning, laundry, etc. March 15, 2016 at 11:41am Reply

        • kayliz: What a lovely change! Just realising I have never had a living arrangement, intimate or otherwise, with any man who cleaned a lavatory. March 15, 2016 at 3:58pm Reply

          • Victoria: It would be hard to keep a household running in our circumstances if both of us didn’t share the responsibilities. And a big credit goes to my mother-in-law, who brought up her sons well. March 16, 2016 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Sandra: Agreed! And always inspiring me to be a better person. March 15, 2016 at 10:35am Reply

      • Victoria: I’m very touched by these comments. Thank you very much. March 15, 2016 at 11:44am Reply

    • Victoria: This is such a touching and kind thing to say. Thank you very much. I couldn’t be happier to hear it.

      As for my time management skills, I don’t know if I have any secrets. I usually make a rough plan for each day, sometimes by writing it down and sometimes in my mind, and I try to arrange blocks of time to accomplish what I decide. Once I have that idea, it’s easier to manage time. I discovered that Facebook takes an enormous amount of time–it’s so addictive to scroll through my feed to see what people are posting and what articles are sharing, so during the week I try not to check it often. For writing, I always keep either my phone or my notebook handy, because ideas can come from anywhere. Mostly, I find that when I’m interested in something, I’ll always find time for it. And I try to wake up as early as possible, around 6am, to get reading done. Since I love mornings, although not the process of waking up, it’s a boon. March 15, 2016 at 11:38am Reply

    • Christine Kalleeny: Dear Victoria,

      I agree with Maya. I discovered your blog in 2006 when I was living and studying in Cairo and I haven’t been satiated since. I feel like we are friends, though I know you more than you know me! It is my favorite online perfume and perfume culture resource of all. We share many common interests: a fondness for Persian cooking, Poetry (Arabic, Persian…and I also write poetry) and traveling.

      I want to recommend a visually exquisite Persian cookbook that has delicious recipes and cultural anecdotes and poems: “Food of Life”
      http://www.amazon.com/Food-Life-Ancient-Persian-Ceremonies/dp/193382347X

      It is one of my favorites, alongside Claudia Roden’s spectacular Middle Eastern cookery books.

      نوروز مبارک

      Christine March 15, 2016 at 11:45am Reply

      • Victoria: Do you have favorite poets or favorite books by Persian or Middle Eastern writers?

        Thank you, Christine. I used the recipes for the walnut macarons and chickpea cookies from Food of Life, and like you, I consider it one of the best introductions to Persian cuisine and culture. I’m also fascinated by Batmanglij’s recipe for paste made from quince blossoms. I wonder what they smell and taste like.

        نوروز مبارک March 15, 2016 at 11:59am Reply

        • Christine Kalleeny: Dear Victoria,

          Well, as I am professor of Arabic language and literature, I have more expertise in classical Arabic poetry than I do Persian, though the two literary traditions overlap quite a bit. I don’t read Farsi (I always wanted to and one of my best friends is a Professor of Farsi but somehow I missed the boat of opportunity!!). I love Hafez, Rumi and I love listening to Mohammed-Reza Shajarian interpreting the love poems of Hafez.

          For the Arab tradition, I have much more to say: I am particularly fond of the erotic love poetry of 8th century Udhri poets (‘the poets who died of love’)–among whom the most famous is Majnun-Layla. There is an Arabian legend about a poet, Qays who went mad for Layla, therefore become known as Majnun-Layla and his legacy became the central focus of Nizami’s romance in Farsi. It is beautiful and lyrical even in translation! This mad love is also the inspiration behind so much music and poetry in the Arab world, modern-day Iran, Pakistan, India…its incredible how this romance thrived. Also, Bob Dylan’s Layla was inspired by this tragic romance. In fact, the French troubadours themselves are believed to have owed so much to the Arabs who came to France. It has been suggested that the word troubadour derives from the Arabic word “Tarab” which denotes ecstasy (connected to love, music and poetry). I recommend reading “Shards of Love” by Maria Rosa Menocal for a deliciously written collage-history behind the Arab literary heritage and the imprint it has left on the ‘West.’ I happened to be very interested in the topic of Tarab music and its manifestations in modern life…though I havent’ had as much time as I’d like to research it.

          Also..for perfume-inspired poetry: the great Abu Nuwas (9th century) who sung ‘erotic’ praises for wine and whose poetry is inspired by Persian gardens, the fragrance of garlands, musk and basil, and for whom wine is a spirited, volatile, quintessentially feminine essence tamed only by her union with water before consumption. Its incredible, image-rich poetry and I’m happy to send you some to read (good translations). He was the topic of my dissertation. I believe the poetic and ‘alchemical’ sensibility with which he conveys the experience of wine and drunkenness is what drew me to his poetry.

          I’m sorry for this long email..I actually wanted to ask you how you are studying Farsi? And what is inspiring you to do so? I’ve contemplating self-teaching because of time constraints but have no idea where to begin. March 15, 2016 at 12:31pm Reply

          • Victoria: Thank you very much for sharing this. I always love the abandon in the classical Persian poetry, the way it subverts the expected, shocks, makes you think of the world in a different way.

            And yes, if you can send me any translations to read, I’d love it.

            On a tangential topic, as I study more about the Ukrainian baroque, I see so many Persian and Arab influences. Ukrainian baroque icons are full of the rose-and-nightingale themes. There is even a word burka. Although instead of the full body covering for women, it means a coat worn by men, usually military leaders. March 15, 2016 at 12:43pm Reply

          • Victoria: I bought a book called Spoken World Farsi (Living Languages), and I started with that. It plunges you straight into the thick of things, so to speak, but it was a good basis. Then I found someone to practice speaking once-twice a week. The first month I would devote around 2 hours each day, which is, of course, a big time commitment, but it was enough to learn the basics. After six months I can maintain a conversation and read haltingly. I’d say that Farsi is not difficult to learn if you already speak English and Arabic, but for me, reading was the most difficult part. Since the short vowels aren’t included (same as in Arabic), you basically have to learn all of the vocabulary. It’s such a gorgeous, musical language, and it’s a pleasure to speak it.

            As for my motivation, it’s a question I get asked a lot, and there are so many different facets. I was always interested in the Persian culture and history. Persian used to be the universal language of culture and literature, so knowing Farsi opens up a completely new world–including the Moghul treatises on perfume, poetry, biographies of people like Akbar, one of the most tolerant and curious rulers, literature, philosophy. I also feel that knowing that culture helps me understand my own better. And well, giving brain some exercise is a good idea. 🙂 March 15, 2016 at 1:01pm Reply

            • Christine Kalleeny: The ancient world of Persia and its poets, sages, and legendary rulers is a magical world indeed. I too have felt very drawn to Persian civilization as a moth to a flame. Except for me, it could be the obvious consequence of having spent so much time studying classical Arabic history and literature, which owes much to Persian civilization (and vice versa) for the latter’s preservation and transmission of Indian and Greek books. Nevertheless, my studies wouldn’t explain why I revel in preparing so many fragrant saffron-infused Persian koreshes and ceremonial yogurt dips pregnant with fresh mint, tarragon, walnuts, pistachios raisins and rose petals.. ! I think Farsi is just a poetic language and the world that it encapsulates is a magical one that bewitches those who possess an artistic sensibility such as we have. It makes sense to learn it on a purely intuitive level.

              I am totally fascinated by the connection to the Ukraine…before reading your blogs, I never knew how rich the culinary tradition in the Ukraine is and how closely it resembles the traditions of Armenia, Turkey and Iran…What a revelation! I wish I could enjoy a meal at a Ukrainian home! Inchaa’Allah one day. I always knew that Serbian cuisine was SPECTACULAR because of the various regional influences, most notably Turkey’s..but truly I had no idea what Ukrainian food was like!

              Really I learn a lot from you. I don’t know if I have 2 hours to devote to studying Farsi with my insane schedule but I think even 1/2 hour would be enriching: just enunciating the words..so many Arabic loan words by the way! I used to be able to guess what my Iranian friends were talking about by the sheer volume of Arabic words in their conversation! Hopefully that can be an advantage for me.

              I will email you some of my favorite poems by Abu Nuwas and anything else I find that I think you may like.

              Thank you for taking time to write to me , it is a tremendous pleasure to have these kinds of conversations! How refreshing! March 15, 2016 at 4:31pm Reply

              • Christine Kalleeny: Sorry..one last question I promise! lol What books do you recommend on perfume in Moghul courts? I have been buying every book I can get my hands on on the cosmetic and medicinal uses of essences in Rome, Greece, Egypt…but I’ve had difficulty finding academic books on the use of perfume in India..perhaps I don’t know what to look for. What do you suggest? Or any literary narratives, fictional, can work too (other than Arabian Nights)! March 15, 2016 at 4:37pm Reply

                • Victoria: Anne-Marie Schimmel has a short chapter on perfume and Moghuls in her book The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture. But I will email you some other titles; right now I’m on the road and without my notes. March 16, 2016 at 12:24pm Reply

              • Victoria: The interest in cuisine also makes sense, because it’s underpinned by the same aesthetic considerations as painting and even poetry. It makes the flavors rich and complex. Such a fascinating tradition.

                When Ukraine was the Ukraine, ie. a part of the Soviet Union, its culture was just considered under the umbrella of the Russian or pan-Soviet culture. It wasn’t given the proper treatment. Now there are more interesting studies and discussions, although many focus exclusively on the connections to Europe. The interesting aspect of Ukraine is the synthesis between the European Renaissance and the Persianate elements. After all, Ukraine by virtue of its geography and ethnic, religious and political pluralism has blended many influences. Working in the archives when researching my family tree, I have been finding many treasures. Really, all of this is waiting for someone to explore seriously.

                Yes, a little less of life and sleep for that month, but I enjoyed it anyway.
                Thank you also very much. March 16, 2016 at 12:19pm Reply

                • Christine Kalleeny: Victoria, truly you are a dedicated history and culture enthusiast! I am impressed by your tenacity–giving up sleep is something I’m not sure I’m ever willing to do! lol

                  I look forward to your emails regarding the Moghul empire book and as soon as I get a chance I will send you poems by Abu Nuwas, Jamil-Buthayna and Magnun-Layla as well as reading recommendations. By the way…did you ever read Spice: A Temptation? It is an incredible work of scholarship on the history of the spice trade but its written in such a riveting style..truly a temptation. I recommend it. March 16, 2016 at 12:37pm Reply

                  • Christine Kalleeny: Sorry..I meant the other books you said you would recommend. I just purchased the book you did recommend and I can’t wait to read it. My husband and I are antiques-collectors and items from the Moghul empire are among the the things we treasure most! March 16, 2016 at 12:40pm Reply

                  • Victoria: I read Turner’s book and liked it. The part about the excretion from mummies being used as medicine was fascinating in a morbid way.

                    It was just a very short period of time. March 16, 2016 at 7:13pm Reply

          • Karen A: Thank you Christine for such an informative response! You don’t happen to teach in the DC area, do you?

            I’m sure there will be an increase of orders for Shards of Love! March 15, 2016 at 5:21pm Reply

            • Christine Kalleeny: Hi Karen!

              Thank you ! I wish I did teach in the D.C area–wonderful place to be. I’m in Lancaster!

              Shards of Love is a fantastic book…so is Ornament of the World…both of Menocal’s works are inspiring. Enjoy! March 15, 2016 at 5:31pm Reply

              • Karen A: It would be fun if you were in DC! There is so much here celebrating the arts and cultures of many places.

                If the Silk Road Dance Company ever gets up near Lancaster, they do amazing folk/traditional dances from Central Asia, Middle East, and beyond. The founder, Laurel Victoria Gray, pretty much saved many traditional dances by notating and performing them at a time when they on the verge of being lost (younger people not so interested in old, traditional aspects).

                Books will be ordered this week! March 16, 2016 at 7:00am Reply

                • Christine Kalleeny: Hi Karen,

                  Thanks for letting me know! I love dance and have been a dancer myself (Egyptian belly dance)! I look forward to more wonderful conversations with you and with Victoria! Cheers! March 16, 2016 at 10:22am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Victoria, I wish you all the best in the New Year. These photos are lovely and thanks for the insight on this special holiday. March 15, 2016 at 9:16am Reply

    • Victoria: Same to you! Thank you very much. March 15, 2016 at 11:39am Reply

  • Jenny B: Beautiful! The plate of pastries makes my mouth water. March 15, 2016 at 9:17am Reply

    • Victoria: I love the smell of cardamom, so anything with this spice is hard for me to resist. March 15, 2016 at 11:39am Reply

  • Connie: Beautiful Post and Beautiful Pictures. A New Year and Spring are always a new start. Spring Inspires me, as well. March 15, 2016 at 10:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Connie. Spring is one of the most inspiring seasons for me. In India, in the state where I got married, the lucky color is green, because it signifies spring and rebirth. So fitting. March 15, 2016 at 11:42am Reply

  • Annie: How so very pretty flowers, candied, books! I was happy to learn about this new-to-me and interesting holiday. March 15, 2016 at 11:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to share! It’s fun to have this colorful display in the living room. March 15, 2016 at 11:44am Reply

  • OperaFan: I hope you are working on a cook book, V. It would be one like no other.
    a:) March 15, 2016 at 11:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Mostly, I have been trying to work through Olena’s recipes, which are brilliant, except that it looks like omits details here and there. Her recipes are written in a sort of shorthand that anyone familiar with a dish would figure out. But I’m happy to have finally figured out how to make her rose rolls work. March 15, 2016 at 11:46am Reply

  • Amalia: Yesterday we entered in the Lent period – fasting in Greece, in a difficult period for Greeks now, with the refugees who suffer and have expectations for a better life. Also each Saturday is devoted to the souls of remembering our dead beloved and we are preparing koliva. I will send you the recipe at your mail because I don’t want to disturb your blog. I try hard and I think I have performed well the recipe. Ignore my bad english! 🙂 March 15, 2016 at 2:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Amalia! I can’t wait to try it.
      (And there is no need to apologize for your English.) March 16, 2016 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Neva: I always admire your interest and knowledge of various cultures and thank you for sharing these things with us. Your haft seen is lovely in every detail. It’s beautiful that you included every segment of life that is important for you: happiness, rebirth, tolerance, patience, beauty…and you gave it a natural symbol. Just looking at the pictures made me smile and feel good all over. It’s true what other commenters said – you are a great inspiration to live conscious and in the present, enjoying with all senses what surrounds us. March 15, 2016 at 4:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Neva. I’m so happy that I could make you smile, and your comment in turn did the same to me. 🙂 March 16, 2016 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Lavanya: Lovely and interesting post, V! The mirror you mention on the haft seen reminded me of Vishu Kani which is set up on Vishu (celebrated in Kerala). I loved reading the details of your personal set up for ‘haft seen’..And the carpet/kilim! March 15, 2016 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m going to look up Vishu Kani.

      By the way, I discovered that Ukrainian and Farsi share a word for this type of carpet, kilim. March 16, 2016 at 12:21pm Reply

  • SilverMoon: Happy Navroz/Nawruz to you, Victoria and to all readers! Thank you for this lovely post. I must say, when I started reading this wonderful blog some years ago, I would never have expected to see any mention of Zarathustra or Zoroastrians. It made me really happy (because as a Zoroastrian one rarely meets people who even have heard of them, much less know about our religion, customs, etc). So, very many thanks. Victoria, I shall certainly think of you specially on Navroz/Nawruz this Sunday. March 15, 2016 at 7:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Happy Nawruz! I will also think of you on Sunday. 🙂

      I visited the Zoroastrian temple in Yazd, and they had a nice museum explaining the tradition and religious beliefs. Of course, given that it’s such an old religion, I barely gained a modicum of understanding it. March 16, 2016 at 12:28pm Reply

  • Mia: On behalf of the whole world, special thanks for the bitter orange. It is needed!

    Nice to also meet other “old” readers! March 16, 2016 at 12:05am Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! I thought that idea was beautiful. March 16, 2016 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Karen A: Beautiful photos, beautiful words and sentiments, and beautiful comments!

    Thank you to everyone for bringing more beauty in to my day! March 16, 2016 at 7:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Karen.

      Happy spring to you! March 16, 2016 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: Thank you for sharing how you invite spring! I am curious what the hyacinth represents…food for the soul? As for a fitting perfume, both in name and scent I think Ostara must be it… March 16, 2016 at 7:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Hyacinth as a spring flower seemed appropriate, and its name in Persian starts with “s”, so I added it.

      You’re right about Ostara, an idea perfume to capture this kind of opulent spring. March 16, 2016 at 12:31pm Reply

  • maja: Thanks, Victoria, for this wonderful insight on Persian New Year. I needed my daily dose of beauty and you provided one. Everything looks so gorgeous. *heart* March 16, 2016 at 8:43am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Maja! 🙂 March 16, 2016 at 12:33pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos and beautiful thoughts for spring. Do you by any chance have a recipe for chickpea biscuits shown? I have celiac disease so I’m always looking for things with flours other than wheat flour, which makes me very sick. March 16, 2016 at 9:57am Reply

    • Victoria: I used a recipe from “Food of Life,” a book on Persian cuisine without equals, but this one also looks good:
      http://www.aashpazi.com/chickpeas-cookies

      This recipe calls for a tablespoon of wheat flour, which I would skip. Food of Life uses only chickpeas flour and my cookies came out well. The only important thing is not to touch them until they cool down. They are very fragile. March 16, 2016 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Ayesha: Its tempting, but near impossible because of work to read an entire blog post plus all of the comments below–somehow I managed it today. Beautiful post and very interesting comments esp from Christine. I too want to learn more of perfumery during the Mughal times. Read a little about it in Nur Jahan-Empress of Mughal India, but not much detail. Any other book recommendations (such as those you will email Christine–please let the rest of us know too)? March 16, 2016 at 1:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: Very glad to hear this, Ayesha!

      I do recommend the book by Schimmel I already mentioned. It’s a treasure, and Schimmel herself was impressive. Just to give you an idea, she wrote her first book on Mughals when she was just a teenager. By then, she already learned Arabic and Persian. And was a couple of years away from getting her Ph.D. 🙂

      William Dalrymple’s book The White Moghal isn’t about perfume, but it has a great chapter on scents in the Islamic culture. March 16, 2016 at 7:40pm Reply

  • Raquel: Beautiful post Victoria and the best for the New Year. Bois de Jasmin makes me happy. I love reading all the comments. All my birthday presents came from suggestions found in this wonderful blog like Tom Holland “Persian Fire”. Thanks to Christine for all the information. March 16, 2016 at 1:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: Did you already read “Persian Fire”?

      Happy Nowruz! March 16, 2016 at 7:41pm Reply

      • Raquel: Not yet! Waiting for Easter holiday to sit and read, hopefully in my countryside home. March 17, 2016 at 11:19am Reply

        • Victoria: Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! March 21, 2016 at 10:43am Reply

  • Elena: A feast for the eyes!! Your writing and photography are so wonderful, I can just imagine sitting with you and having a cup of tea while you explain Nowruz and exploring your cookbooks. You have officially inspired me, and I am going to get some fresh flowers tomorrow to welcome spring. (I also vacuumed out our minivan today on a lovely sunny afternoon for the first time since fall, and though cleaning up sand and salt and fallen Cheerios wasn’t quite as romantic as your post, it felt renewing in its own way!) March 16, 2016 at 11:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Spring cleaning is always uplifting, even all it involves is reorganizing papers or sorting clothes.

      As for having a cup of tea together, how fun would that be. I like to think we can do it virtually in our Jasmine Forest. March 18, 2016 at 5:58pm Reply

  • Wara: Gorbone To! was my favorite Farsi expression to say thank you, I appreciate you! Thank you for the lovely photo, the wonderful community you have created!
    I was feeling a bit down because of super Tuesday 2 (I am an ardent supporter of Senator Sanders) and I remembered how Channel No. 5 won in the survey of the community…..I put some on today as a way of renewing energy……and of course, I had to come and “visit” here because I just knew there was something special….how appropriate that I found your Haft Seen post……you are a blessing! March 17, 2016 at 12:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Many positive vibes to you then! Please keep your spirits up. 🙂

      Putting on a favorite perfume makes such a big difference. Works for me too. March 18, 2016 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Marion: Blessed be, for the rebirth of the new year, and powerful energies for our beautiful earth and all Her children, and thank you for sharing this sacred energy dear Victoria….. March 17, 2016 at 3:13am Reply

  • Nick: This reminds me of our Chinese New Year celebration when my parents, though being rather non-religious, make the annual savoury and sweet offerings to the gods of good fortune that descend to consume. I didn’t really know the significance behind it when I was younger — only that I got to enjoy the ‘leftovers’ of the gods 🙂

    By the way, updates! March 18, 2016 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Now that you’ve mentioned it, yes, I can see it. Or the Indian festivals where the gods are regaled with sweets, fruit, incense, flowers and perfume. March 21, 2016 at 10:46am Reply

  • Alouetta: What a beautiful tradition! Thanks as always for sharing this with us. I feel like I learn so much whenever I visit here. March 20, 2016 at 4:31am Reply

    • Victoria: Lots of beautiful symbols in it! March 21, 2016 at 10:48am Reply

  • amir: happy noroz April 2, 2016 at 8:08am Reply

  • maja: And here I am, a year after, learning Persian and soon packing my bags for a trip to Hafez’ tomb. 😃 March 16, 2017 at 4:17pm Reply

    • Karen A: Have a wonderful trip! Report back on your journey! March 16, 2017 at 7:15pm Reply

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