Happy New Year to all of you hamvatans! These are some pictures of the ghost of Nowruz past and present. I remember new shoes, the intoxicating scent of hyacinths, the goldfish and the mint bills – and of course the sound of naghareh when the year changes.

norooz 1387 micheleroohani 2008

No Ruz is the day when life’s glory is celebrated; it usually occurs on March 21st or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. It’s a feast of renewal and freshness – No (new) Ruz (day).

norooz hyacinth micheleroohani

It has often been suggested that the famous Persepolis Complex, or at least the palace of Apadana and Hundred Columns Hall, were built for the specific purpose of celebrating Noruz by Darius the Great (522 -485 BC). It is celebrated in other countries as well as Iran. Tajikistan is one of them.

norooz sofreh micheleroohani

In spite of trying hard, the islamic republic of Iran has not been able to erase this semi-pagan spring festival; they have tried to replace Zarathustra‘s spring equinox celebration with the muslim eyds to no avail.

norooz goldfish micheleroohani

The original haft sheen or seven sh‘s were: Sharab (wine), Shekar (sugar), Sham (Candle), Shir (milk), Sharbat (Sherbet), Shaneh (comb), Shahd (nectar) but they were replaced by seven S’s to eliminate sharab (wine) after the arab conquest.

norooz sweets micheleroohani

The haft seen is made of:
Sabzeh – wheat or lentil sprouts growing in a dish symbolizing rebirth
Samanu – pudding made of wheat symbolizing wealth
Senjed – dried fruit of Jujube tree symbolizing love
Seer – garlic symbolizing medicine
Seeb – apples symbolizing beauty and health
Somaq – sumac berries symbolizing the sun
Serkeh – vinegar symbolizing age
Sonbol – hyacinth flower symbolizing the arrival of spring
Sekkeh – gold coins symbolizing prosperity and wealth

norooz coins micheleroohani

Too much information, wouldn’t you say?

norooz sabzeh micheleroohani

“Pourquoi les hommes ne savent-ils pas
Que la capucine n’est pas un hasard…” Sepehri

norooz ayneh micheleroohani


آمد بهار ای دوستان منزل سوی بستان کنیم
گرد غریبان چمن خیزید تا جولان کنیم

امروز چون زنبورها پران شویم از گل به گل
تا در عسل خان جهان شش گوشه آبادان کنیم

آمد رسولی از چمن کاین طبل را پنهان مزن
ما طبل خان عشق را از نعره ها ویران کنیم

بشنو سماع آسمان خیزید ای دیوانگان
جانم فدای عاشقان امروز جان افشان کنیم

آتش در این عالم زنیم وین چرخ را برهم زنیم
وین عقل پابرجای را چون خویش سرگردان کنیم

کوبیم ما بی پا و سر گه پای میدان گاه سر
ما کی به فرمان خودیم تا این کنیم و آن کنیم

نی نی چو چوگانیم ما در دست شه گردان شده
تا صد هزاران گوی را در پای شه غلطان کنیم

خامش کنیم و خامشی هم مایه دیوانگیست
این عقل باشد کآتشی در پنبه پنهان کنیم


To hear my good friend (Houri)’s voice accompanying the preparation of haft-seen, click on the view here.

About the seven sh’s, somebody mentioned the omnipresent SHAHNAMEH on the Norouz spread and I have to agree – the Great Book‘s almost always been on mine even now that it’s become the tame haft-seen. For some comic book version (for the heavy readers) check this site out.

My Nowruz 1390 (2011) here

For Nowruz 1389 (2010) go here

for Nowruz 1388 (2009)  go here

36 Responses to “No Ruz, Norouz, haft-seen, haft-sheen, etc…”

  1. Marie-Ancolie Romanet Says:

    too much information ??
    for sure no.. Very interesting and all my best wishes for your new year.
    I’d like to taste all that meals and candies.
    the choice of Sepehri is great. What a great poet.
    “Ecoute, c’est l’oiseau le plus lointain du monde qui chante,
    la nuit est unifiée, fluide, épandue.
    Les géraniums,
    de même que la branche la plus sonore de la saison
    entendent les frissons de la lune”

    Bonne année à vous Michèle et à ceux qui vous sont chers.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Very tastefully done and informative.

    Happy No Ruz to you too!

  3. آمر Says:

    سلام شما هم زیاد بهاری هستید. سبز باشید.
    …این جا تنها بهار
    بی مجوز
    منتشر می شود

  4. Maryam Says:

    Aideh shomah mobarack Dordaneh joon. I’m sad to not be home for aide this year, but I’m going to travel 1.5hours to the only decent persian restaurant in the bay area this weekend to celebrate.

  5. philippe Says:

    Ce que je vois me donne envie d’être persan…Ta maison est belle.

  6. askin ozcan Says:

    nice short trip to Iran. a nice taste of noruz! why do we have to give up those refined traditions for the black head-covers which only profit their textile industries and false religions?

  7. Mitra Says:

    Dordaneh Jan
    Eid shoma ham mobarak – These pictures are so beautiful – Good job as always, very informative too.

  8. Sepideh Says:

    Many thanks for your beautiful photos and good information about 7 sin. Wish you a happy happy new year.

  9. Franck Says:

    Quelle belle évocation et quelle histoire !!!
    Un merveilleux voyage aux racines de votre brillante civilisation.
    Grand merci, chère Michele

  10. امیر Says:

    سر سبزترین بهار تقدیم تو باد
    آوای خوش هزار تقدیم تو باد گویند که لحظه‌ایست روئیدن عشق
    آن لحظه هزار بار تقدیم تو باد
    فوق‌العاده بود
    همیشه سبز باشی

  11. bahareh Says:

    salam, man kamelan etefaghi be site shoma link shodam va az in etefagh kheily khoshhalam alan chandin daghighe ast mahve aks haton hastam, vaghan aali an, por roh va ziba.
    sale nooton mobarak
    hamishe movafagh bashid

  12. Benoît Says:

    It seems as if the hypocrisy/stupidity of the current whitehouse residents will never cease to surprise me.

    They are talking up the “need” to attack Iran and in the meantime having fun celebrating nowrouz!

  13. Entropy Says:

    Gorgeous photographs, enlightening post.. Thanks for sharing traditions,mystic & festivities

  14. Haleh Says:

    Dordaneh joon;
    Just had to let you know that I really enjoy the depth of your thinking and what you share in your website.


    بوی باران، بوی سبزه، بوی خاک ، شاخه های شسته، باران خورده، پاک
    آسمان آبی و ابر سپید ، برگ های سبز بید
    عطر نرگس، رقص باد ، نغمه شوق پرستوهای شاد
    خلوت گرم کبوترهای مست … ، نرم نرمک می رسد اینک بهار
    خوش به حال روزگار! خوش به حال چشمه ها و دشت ها
    خوش به حال دانه ها و سبزه ها ، خوش به حال غنچه های نیمه باز
    خوش به حال دختر میخک که می خندد به ناز ، خوش به حال جام لبریز از شراب

    خوش به حال آفتاب

    ای دل من، گرچه در این روزگار جامه رنگین نمی پوشی به کام
    باده رنگین نمی بینی به جام
    نقل و سبزه در میان سفره نیست
    جامت، از آن می که می باید تهی است
    ای دریغ از تو اگر چون گل نرقصی با نسیم!
    ای دریغ از من اگر مستم نسازد آفتاب
    ای دریغ از ما اگر کامی نگیریم از بهار

  15. Meisam Says:

    kheyli etefaghi baad az search dar morede noruz baraye yeki az dustane kharejim be inja residam .
    sadeghane begam ,man ke asheghe Irano farhange kohanesham dashtam kam kam noruzo faramush mikardam ,vali in axaye ghashang mano be fekr foru bord .(man chand sali hast Iran nistam).
    merci az axat !

  16. NELLY Says:

    HI thank you for your really nice and beauty image and pictures . i really enjoy it!

  17. sh Says:

    sale no mobarak.the pics r very beautiful.

  18. om Says:

    Ah, so festive, happy New Year!

  19. Bahram Says:

    salam azatoon ajaze mikham axaro age mishe too saitemoon bezarim ba gheyde manba kheili mamnoon misham behem email bedid. ba web saite ma sar bezanid (www.dafiran.com) . bazam mersi

  20. Bahram Says:

    Hi tanks. Happy new year.

  21. badri Says:

    Michele aziz vaghean lezzat bordam azin axhaye ziba
    va in sofreie haftsin fogholadat ke kheili basalighe va shik bood
    vaghean ghashang bood,man ke lezzat bordam,man site shomaro link mikonam,

  22. Negy Says:

    It’s So lovely.I couldn’t stop watching these photos……


  23. Maryam Says:

    axaye fogholade ghashangi too site e shomast, man donbale ye axe sofre haft sin boodam ke be onvane axe profilam too facebook gharar bedam, be monasebate norooz 89…
    ejaze daram baraye chand hafte az yeki az axaye shoma estefade konam??


  24. Amin Says:

    Salam michele aziz… Az axaye khoshelet vaqean lezzat bordam, darim be sale 90 nazdik mishim,va dust daram in eido az haminja be hameye ham vatanaye golam tu sararae 2nya pisha pish tabrik begam va hamashuno az tahe qalbam dust daram chon iraniam va irano,iranio miparastam. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL IRAN LOVERS. 🙂

  25. behnush Says:

    niceeeeee, love it..

  26. Another Spring, Another Nowruz, Nature can be kind… | Michele Roohani Says:

    […] coming back from a vacation in History?omid shahnaz on The dawn of the new Middle East?behnush on No Ruz, Norouz, haft-seen, haft-sheen, etc…Amin on No Ruz, Norouz, haft-seen, haft-sheen, etc…mehdi on Picasso and Farah Diba pahlavineda […]

  27. behnoosh Says:

    I heard that it was sharab before, but I think its not right, because Sharab is an arabic word too,such as mashroob, shorb, I’m not sure ,but we have to ask this from someone who know parsi language very well.

  28. G Says:

    What a wonderful blog post =) So beautiful pictures. Merci! xo

  29. Anegl iran Says:

    hi dear
    Happy new year

  30. Haleh Says:

    You’re right that Sharab is NOT a persian word and could not have possibly been a staple of the Persian new Year table prior to the Arab invasion. Those who claim Haft sheen, unfortunately have twisted the truth to fit it in with their political agenda. Haft sheen is a lie and haft seen is our national tradition regardless of religion.

  31. Haleh Says:

    A very Happy New Year to all Iranians. The made-up myth about haft sheen has been debunked by Persian Scholars. Even Avestan Zoroartrians agree that sharaab is an Arabic word that would not have been used in a pre-Islamic Iran. It’s impossible. Also, even if we all agree that Arabic and Persian were interchangable in ancient Persia (which they were NOT), but even if~~why would they change the entire list just to remove one “objectionable” item? There will always be people who want to politicize this secular, and non-political celebration, but we must not give these attempts feet. No poltics and no religion in Norouz. Let’s keep it that way. I’m sticking with my beautiful haft-seen, just as all my ancestors have… Ancestors who respected our beautiful celebration of the Spring Equinox without tainting it with political agendas and religious vendettas.

  32. maryam Says:

    salam dordaneh aziz va honarmand az didane axhatoon besyar lezat bordam. ejazeh daram baraye tabrik sale no 1391 az axe noroozetoon estefade konam? pishapish sali sarshar az eshgh aramesh va salamati barayetan arezoo daram .

  33. Haleh Avesta Says:

    Norouzetaan pirouz, har roozetaan norouz ;o)
    Just FYI, as much as I’d love to rail on the cancerous Islamic Republic regime, the pre-Arab “haft sheen” is purely a myth made-up to further political agendas, as if the Iranian people need to be lied to in order to see the atrocities of the current “leadership”. According to a unanimous consensus among Persian scholars, before the Arab invasion Persians would have NEVER used the words sharaab or sharbat, both of which are purely Arabic words (they derive from shorb (which means drink). Soooo, please go back to your haft seens which is precisely how Iranians have celebrated Norouz for thousands of years devoid of political agendas and unfortunate and unnecessary lies. It’s haft seen and it’s been haft seen since the times of Zoroaster. The only things that people have added to the sofreh-yeh Norouz that wasn’t there originally is the Quoran and the goldfish, both of which were added later.
    Baa Doroud.
    Haleh Avesta

  34. Frank Says:

    Haleh, thanks for setting the record straight. The sharaab also seemed a bit fishy to me!

  35. آزاده Says:

    عید همگی مبارک سال خوبی داشته باشید.

  36. ed Says: