Nowruz Sabzeh: Green Sprouts
. Some people make Nowruz sabzeh by growing sesame seeds on earthenware jars and some others by planting grains on the seven niches of the house.
The custom of growing green in Nowruz ib being linked to the day of Jamshid’s return to the dried land (of his kingdom) - in which no by plants and trees grew - after suppressing the demons. It is said that on this day, everyone planted a handful of barley in a pan and since then, this practice became a traditional custom that has survived till date, and every year people grow Nowruz Sabzeh or green sprouts with different types of grains in their homes.
Today, these green sprouts are kept until the thirteenth day of Nowruz and are placed on running water on that day.
Growing green sprouts means the growth of happiness and cheerfulness during the new year so that Iranians can experience a green life with peace and divine blessings.
Most of the components of the Haftsin tableware are prepared by the families themselves. A few weeks before Nowruz, the mother of the family soaks seeds and grains such as wheat, lentils, mung bean, sorrel or millet in containers in order to turn into fresh and colorful greens sprouts after the required growth stages and remind the family members of life and vitality.
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Nowruz (literally translated New Day) is one of the oldest celebrations in ancient Persia, which is held vigorously in the first day of spring marking the beginning of the Iranian calendar (21 March). Nowruz festivities celebrate the beginning of rebirth of nature and lasts for 13 consecutive days. Celebrated by millions of people in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey, Nowruz is inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The first universal festival of Nowruz was held in 2010 (March 27), in Tehran and the city introduced as the "Nowruz Secretariat". Nowruz includes the official holidays in some countries and in Iran the first four days are considered the official holidays but it continues to the 13th day in some organizations.
Nowruz is celebrated practicing certain rituals such as spring cleaning, sprouting wheat or mung beans, buying new clothes, cooking local foods and baking sweets.
Families usually gather around the Haft-Seen table to celebrate the precise moment the Earth finished its annual journey around the Sun to celebrate the first day of spring. The Haft-Seen table contains seven edible items that their names begin with a letter in the Persian alphabet which is equivalent to “S” in English. It usually includes Seeb (apple), Sabze (green sprouts), Serke (vinegar), Samanoo (a delicacy made from wheat sprouts), Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Sumac, and Seer (garlic).
You may see a holy book, mirror (sign of sincerity), gold fish (sign of livelihood), candles (sign of light and bright), decorated eggs (sign of rebirth), and Divan-e Hafez on the table. Sabzi Polo with fried fish is served as the main course of most of Iranian families on Nowruz day.
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