A heartfelt thank you to Early Start mums F and K for dropping by to teach the Early Starts all about Norwuz last Thursday. Both mums were born in Iran and it was so lovely to hear about their special family celebrations. We learned so much. Norwuz, or ‘New Day’, is New Year for the Persian community and marks the Spring equinox. This year it took place at exactly 5:37:28 am but the celebrations last for 13 days. In Iran, schools are closed and families and friends spend lots of time together. Families clean their houses, buy new clothes, exchange presents, colour eggs, bake pastries and make a special meal of fish and rice. It must be a very busy, festive time!

One of the main fixtures of Norwuz is ‘Haft-sin’. Haft means seven in Persian. There are seven symbolic items that make up the Haft-sin ~

  1. Sabzeh  – wheat, barley, mung bean, or lentil sprouts grown in a dish – for rebirth and growth
  2. Samanu – wheat germ sweet pudding – for power and strength
  3. Senjed – Oleaster – for love
  4. Serkeh – vinegar – for patience
  5. Seeb – apple – for beauty
  6. Seer  – garlic –  for health and medicine
  7. Somaq– sumac – for the sunrise

Thank you to F for sharing the Haft-sin on display at her house. The symbolism is so powerful. I think we all need a Haft-sin at home! There is another powerful Norwuz tradition – you don’t see it so much in Canada but in Iran, on the Wednesday before Norwuz, people build fires to jump over. This is to signify the letting go of the previous year and new beginnings. People ask the fire to share it’s beautiful vibrant colour and energy with them as they jump so they can shake off their pale winter colour and gain strength. Families wrap up Norwuz with a big picnic. What a perfect way to bring in the new year. Happy Norwuz to all of our CGS families celebrating this week! We wish you a safe, healthy and prosperous year ahead.