Sprouts for Nowraz, Persian New Year
Persians/Iranians celebrate their New Year, Nowraz, on the spring solstice and traditionally serve seven symbolic dishes that all begin with the S letter. Chief among them is sabzeh, sprouts, wheat or lentil, to signify rebirth. In addition to being presented plain, they appear cooked into a sweet, creamy and complex pudding called Samanu. The accompanying dishes are seeb or apple for health and beauty, seer or garlic for medicine, serkeh or vinegar for patience, and its corollary for age. Somaq, sumac berries, which stand for the color of sunrise, signify the brightness of good conquering the darkness of evil and senjed, the fruit of the lotus tree, whose heady fragrance and fruit make people fall in love.