In my earliest post I wrote that I live in Kerava, Finland. But I am actually born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Here are a few arial photos of my hometown:
The freedom Tower
Arial photo of one of Tehran's many highways
The National Garden Gate (Bagh-e Melli)
The Alborz mountains visible in northern horizon of Tehran
Well.... Teheran is a giant megapolis, nothing like the quiet and peaceful little town that I live in now ;)
Anyway... in this post I would like to introduce you to a very old Iranian tradition: The Iranian New Year celebrations or Nowruz which we Iranians celebrate today. Nowruz is originally a Zoroastrian feast which marks the vernal equinox or the very beginning of spring. It happens usually on 20-21st of March and it marks the beginning of Iranian calendar. Nowruz in Farsi (the language of the people of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan) means "The New Day", and it symbolizes renewal and rebirth. The nature wakes up in the spring after a long winter slumber. The trees regrow leaves and blossoms and everything smells fresh and full of life.
I love this tradition! It is so meaningful and beautiful! I have so many fond memories of my childhood during Nowruz holidays! Right before Nowruz arrives Iranians clean their homes thoroughly and set a beautiful symbolic table arrangement called "Haftseen" or "Seven Seens". "Seen" is the name of the letter "S" in Persian alphabet. The "Seven Seens" table consist of several items seven of which start with the letter "Seen" in Farsi language. Each of these items symbolizes a blessing on your house. One element for example is spring flowers like hyacinths which in Farsi starts with the letter "Seen" or the sound "S". The other is a coin which of course symbolizes wealth. There are also apples, garlic, vinegar, a pot or tray of grass, etc.... Here is the picture of my tiny little Haftseen table this year:
My Haftseen table
Here are a few more photos of more Haftseens that I found on the internet and some A photo of Iran at Nowruz time where venders on sidewalks and shops sell spring flowers, pots of grass and goldfish which are all items which belong on the Haftseen table.
Iranian families gather around the Haftseen table at the start of the new year while praying and meditating for a blessed and and successful new year. After the new year begins the families start a long visiting tour of all the elder members of their extended family. People go from home to home and everywhere they are greeted with hospitality and warm welcomes, warm tea, nuts, sweets and fresh fruits! The Nowruz holidays last for 13 days and on the 13th day it is customary to spend the day outdoors on a picnic.
So to all my readers: Happy Nowruz! May God bless you all and bring you happiness and success in this Iranian New Year!