Celebrating the Persian New Year: Saba’s Favorite Nowruz Traditions

Celebrating The Persian New Year: Saba’s Favorite Nowruz Traditions
The Persian New Year, or Nowruz, is my absolute favorite part about being Persian. Although my Farsi and Persian culinary repertoire are quite elementary, I love everything about the tradition – the beautiful, full-table spread, the new clothes and the food. Each year as spring approaches, I set about the ancient tradition of preparing our sofreh haft-seen in preparation for the beginning of the spring equinox and the start of Nowruz (Fig & Quince has a wonderful explanation of this tradition). Even the spring we lived in Rwanda I managed to procure a good portion of the traditional setup. I simply cannot imagine a better time to celebrate the beginning of a new year, when the landscape is full of lush green and colorful blooms dot the landscape.

Our haft-seen is ever evolving. However, every year I like to include my dad’s copy of Hafez’s poetry, the egg we purchased in Rwanda and the coins we’ve collected from all of our travels.

Celebrating The Persian New Year: Saba’s Favorite Nowruz Traditions

It’s amazing the endless variety of ways to style this annual sofreh.  Even in a small space you can make a lovely haft-seen.

Celebrating The Persian New Year: Saba’s Favorite Nowruz Traditions

We even set up a more child-friendly haft-seen for our four-year-old daughter Leila, and I look forward to including Leila in even more traditions as she grows.

Celebrating The Persian New Year: Saba’s Favorite Nowruz Traditions
(Happy Nowruz: Cooking With Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year by Najmieh Batmanglij)

This afternoon our entire family will head to my parents for a feast of kuku-ye zabzi (a quiche-like dish loaded with herbs), borani-e esfenaj (yogurt and spinach), sabzi polow (long-grain basmati rice infused with herbs) and mahi (fish) prepared from Najmieh Batmanglij’s iconic New Food of Life.

Before dinner we will gather around my parent’s haft-seen for photos to mark the holiday – all of us wearing our new outfits. As all good family holiday traditions, it is both exasperating and endearing, as we shift around taking pictures in absolutely every single possible pose and configuration of family members. Dad will pass out Eidee (money) to all the kids, no matter our ages, and we will exchange gifts with the children.

The celebration continues for 13 days, but the first day is always the most cherished part for me.

We are extending our family celebration at the store – and we invite you to come celebrate the beginning of spring with us!

Nowruz Spring Specials at Lost Pines Art Bazaar:

Tuesday, March 22nd-Saturday, March 26th:
Surprise Spring Specials: Draw an Easter egg at check out and open it to receive gifts and *special offers. (One egg even includes a 30% off coupon. Coupon must be used upon checkout.)

Tuesday, March 29th-Saturday, April 2nd: 
Free design consultations along with 15% off all carpet purchases made through your consultation.

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