March 12, 2008

KCWC Norouz - Persian New Year

Sousan hosted a Norouz ("New Day") celebration in her home. Norouz officially starts 20th March 2008 at 5.48am GMT. This Persian New Year holiday celebrates the Spring Equinox with many customs. Sousan sent us a wealth of information including the cultural significance of each of the items required for a Haft-Seen Setting - starting with 7 natural and edible food items all beginning with letter S:
1) Sabzeh (sprouts, usually lentil or wheat): Rebirth of nature
2) Seeb (apple): Natural beauty & health
3) Samanu (a sweet wheat sprouts pudding): Affluence
4) Somaq (somaq berry used as spice): Sunrise & vitality
5) Senjed (the sweet, dry fruit of oleaster tree): Love
6) Seer (garlic): Health
7) Serkeh (vinegar): Patience

Other items displayed as part of the Haft-Seen ensemble are:* Mirror which represents clarity* Sofreh (table cloth) on which Haft Seen is displayed* Sonbol (Hyacinth): Spring flowers with the scent of heaven* Sekkeh (coins): Represent prosperity and wealth* Painted eggs represents fertility* A Seville orange floating in a bowl of water represents the earth floating in space* Goldfish in a bowl representing flow of life and the end of year which takes place in the month of Pisces* Rose water, for its magical cleansing power* Sepand (incense) which ward off evil spirits*Home made sweets and pastries.

Sister Maureen Goodman, one of the directors of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, was a guest at this event. At our request, she spoke for a few minutes - a beautiful, hopeful prayer.

This was a wonderful cultural event with over 50 guests from many countries. I am glad KCWC President Sandra and Sousan stopped long enough to get their photo taken.

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