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A ceremonial table called Sofreh-e Haft Sin (cloth of seven dishes), name of each dish beginning with the Persian letter Sinn.
At the time of Sal Tahvil (Beginning of the new year) family members gather around the
HaftSin Table (Sofreh-e Haft Sinn) to start the new year together.
A few days prior to the New Year, a special cover is spread on to
the Persian carpet or on a table in every Persian household. This
ceremonial table is called cloth of seven dishes, (each one beginning
with the Persian letter cinn). The number seven has been sacred in Iran
since the ancient times, and the seven dishes stand for the seven
angelic heralds of life-rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy,
patience, and beauty.
The symbolic dishes consist of:
Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth.
Samanu is a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are
transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding and
represents the ultimate sophistication of Persian cooking.
Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty.
Senjed the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree, represents
love. It has been said that when lotus tree is in full
bloom, its fragrance and its fruit make people fall in love
and become oblivious to all else.
Seer which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine.
Somaq sumac berries, represent the color of sunrise; with the
appearance of the sun Good conquers Evil.