It’s finally spring! Time to celebrate Norooz

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Syrian Kurd Nazdan who fled her home in Qamishli, Syria, wears traditional clothes as she dances and waves a Kurdish flag, during a celebration of Nowruz day, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, March 21, 2016.  Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for 'new year', is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in central Asian Republics, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) Syrian Kurd Nazdan who fled her home in Qamishli, Syria, wears traditional clothes as she dances and waves a Kurdish flag, during a celebration of Nowruz day, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, March 21, 2016. Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for ‘new year’, is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in central Asian Republics, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

The celebration of Persian New Year and the coming of spring lasts 13 days. One important element in the celebrations is the Norooz table, called the Haft-seen.

It's finally spring! Time to celebrate Norooz

It's finally spring! Time to celebrate Norooz

The celebration of Persian New Year and the coming of spring lasts 13 days. One important element in the celebrations is the Norooz table, called the Haft-seen. Elmira Jafari reports.

Growing up in an Iranian household, you become a pro in setting up your haft-seen table. It’s such a huge part of the culture that parents start teaching their children it right along with their A-B-C’s.

Haft-seen means “seven S’s” and refers to a traditional table setting that includes seven items that all start with the letter S. Each represents an important symbol of life and a message of spring:

Sabzeh (wheat sprout) is a symbol of rebirth.
Sib (apple) represents beauty and health.
Sir (garlic) is a symbol of medicine.
Serke (vinegar) represents age and patience.
Somagh (an ancient spice) is the color of sunrise.
Senjed (dried fruit) and samano (an ancient pudding) bring love and affluence to the table.

Persians spend the last couple weeks of the year decorating their haft-seens with much care, attention, and love. The details have to be simply perfect otherwise it won’t be complete. In order to make the setting more beautiful and poetic, they add a mirror, hyacinth flowers, a bowl of goldfish, and a book of poetry by Hafiz, a Sufi poet. It’s like having a glimpse of spring in your house.