This is the first year I’ve decided to do a Sofreh. It is also the first year I no longer have any living grandparents. My last grandparent died in October 2014 and she had always done the Sofreh in fact I had not personally celebrated (nor has my mom) since my mamun joon lived near/with us, so lets say 2000. I did attend one Norooz party afterwards but we did not make a Sofreh. Once my grandparents went back home we just kind of stopped. I now have given birth to my last child as of November 2014 and feel the need to create those memories I had with my family, with my kids. This year was a rush deal because it was a last minute idea to kind of help me grieve/ keep the memory alive as well as learn. So this post is about what I have/ am learning about my culture. It is a journey I’m taking with the help of my mother and the memory of my grandparents. We are not celebrating Norooz this year but I am using it as an opportunity to practice so next year we can. So enjoy the lesson….
A Sofreh Eid is a table that is set up in celebration of Norooz (Noruz, Nowruz, Nurooz, etc- however you want to spell it). Norooz is the Persian New Year. It literally means New Day. It coincides with the Spring Equinox and is typicallyy done with families around this beautiful set up at the exact moment of the Spring Equinox to celebrate the transition from winter into spring and the creation of new life that moment represents. There are also big parties, lots of food, and jumping over fire as part of this amazing celebration. It also means the Elders (that would mean older than me people) give family members presents Eidee, which is small monetary gifts (that means money).
Haft Seen (7 S’s) This means the sofreh must contain 7 items that begin with the letter S in Farsi. Now there are 7 main items but I didn’t have all of them so I used some of the other ‘S’ letters to help meet my 7. I also cheated but I’ll show you below how I did that.
1. Sabzeh (sprouts): symbolizes rebirth [ Now you’re suppose to grow sprouts yourself or buy the lentil sprouts but I didn’t because this was a last minute idea so I cheated by using parsley because sabzeh is technically a green plant but yea…]
2. Somagh (sumac): symbolizes the color of the sunrise
3. Sib (apple): symbolizes health and beauty
4. Serkeh (vinegar): symbolizes age and patients [and of course I use balsamic vinegar]
5. Sir (garlic): symbolizes medicine
6. Senjed (dried fruit from the lotus tree): symbolizes love [I cheated and used dates because I don’t know where a Persian store is to get it]
7. Samanoo (sweet pudding): symbolizes affluence [This is incredibly hard to make and even harder to buy so it didn’t make my table until I find a place that makes it cause I’m never attempting this]
Other S’s & typical items
Sekkeh (coins): Symbolizes wealth and prosperity
Sham (candle): symbolizes enlightenment
Shirini (sweets): Symbolizes spreading sweetness
Sonbol (hyacinth flower) a spring flower [I couldn’t find this soooo it didn’t make the table]
Mahi (fish- specifically gold fish): symbolizes life [this won’t make my table until we are ready to put the fish tank up or until the pond is clean enough for fish]
Tokhmeh Morgh (egg): symbolizes fertility
Ayenen (mirror): symbolizes the images and reflections of creation as we celebrate the new [Persian tradition believes that creation took place on the first day of spring]
Rose water: symbolizes cleansing
A bowl of water: symbolizes purity & freshness
Bread: symbolizes the traditional life sustainer
Orange floating in water: symbolizes the earth floating in space
A Holy Book: (This can be for whatever religion you celebrate)
At the exact moment of Norooz the egg on the mirror is suppose to move.
Eventually I will have an amazing Sofreh like the one below, that picture was unknowingly given by Ziba, Shahin & the Beautiful Roxana.
I’d like to thank mypersiankitchen.com and farsinet.com for the information and of course mom