Haft Sin is a tabletop arrangement of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed at Norooz, the Iranian new year. The haft seen table includes seven items all starting with the letter seen (س) in the Persian alphabet.

Actually, every item in Haft sin is a symbol from Regeneracy, Fertility, Abundance, Wealth, etc. The common items and their symbolic definitions are as follow:

Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz

  1. Sib” (Apple): it is a very common item in almost every Iranian household Haft seen. Its main symbolic definition is “Health“, there is A prevalent quote in Persian culture which says “If some one ate an apple in a day, he would never require a doctor! “Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz - sabzeh
  2. Sabze” (Grass): It’s also an inseparable item in Haft Seen, and it’s a symbol of greenery, Nature, and Exhilaration. Also, there are some who claim it is a symbol of Love too.Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz - senjed
  3. Senjed” (Sea-buckthorn): an inseparable item which symbolizes the wisdom and Regeneracy. In traditional medications, Senjed was utilized to invigorate the brain and memory, and so it is considered as wisdom symbol in Haft-Seen.Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz - serkeh
  4. Serkeh” (Vinegar): an inseparable item, which symbolizes the Disinfection. Also, some believe that it’s a symbol for Surrendering and Satisfaction. In Persian literature, vinegar is used to analogize the stress, tear, etc, since some deduce from that its symbolization meaning.Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz - samanu
  5. Samanu“: (or Samanak, Samalak in Tajik, Sumalak in Uzbek, etc.) is a sweat paste made from germinated wheat, which is specially prepared for Nowruz and it has a history in a pre-Islamic Persian empire. Actually, it is a symbol for Power and Bravery.Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz - somagh
  6. Somaq” (Sumac): Sumac is a symbol for Patience and Tolerance. Also as Sumac is a flavor it also supposes that it is the symbol for a Life Stimulation.Haft Sin, Preview of Norooz
  7. Seer” (Garlic): Such as Sumac some people consider it as a stimulation symbol. Also, some believe that it is Contentment symbol and not to invade others’ rights. And also in Zoroastrian literature, it is a symbol for Disinfection.

There is also another stuff used in Haft-Seen such as “Sekkeh” (Coin) (symbol of wealth), “Sonbol ” (Hyacinth), “Sabzi” (Vegetable), “Sepand” (Peganum harmala), “Sormeh” (Kohl), etc. which less used comparing to other mentioned stuff. There are also some items in Haft-Seen which do not start with “Seen”, but as a symbol or a decoration, they are also used in Haft-Seen, As follows:

  1. Ayyeneh” (Mirror): It is a common “non-Seen” item in Haft-Seens and it is a symbol for Lighting.
  2. Goldfish, it is the symbol for Pisces also known as Fishes, which was relevant in the traditional Persian calendar. Iranians put goldfishes in Haft-Seen to indicate that the new year starts from this month. Nowadays it is also a symbol for Victory, Exhilaration, Blessing, etc.
  3. Quran, Shahnameh or  Hafez Poet Book, as Holy-books or respectful literature in Persian culture.
  4. Sham’dan” (Candlesticks)
  5. Decorated Eggs

In the Zoroastrian culture (Ancient Persian people religion) Shamdan (or Fire box) is a symbol of permanent Perspicuity and Warmth in the household and usually, they light candles, equal to the number of family children.