Once again Norooz, “new day”, spring, the Persian New Year is upon us; so is the earth’s rejuvenation and the hope! Hope for more sun, more warmth, more kindness, more peace – hope for better days. It is that time of the year we prepare for our new year by doing a lot of things including baking delicacies for our new year sofreh.
This year I decided to try my hands on a rather complicated homemade sweet, called baghlava, باقلوا in Persian – an extremely delicious walnut-almond rich layers brought together by fragrant honey-rosewater syrup.
Only five days left till the Persian new year, Norooz, celebrated by some 187 million people across the globe on the first day of spring, this year on March 20th. And right now, in every Iranian’s household at least one person is quite busy (you know who that person is, right) – from shopping new cloths, to cleaning house to preparing haftsin table, tending to sabzeh and of course painting hard boiled eggs. Watch my brief video clips here here for a colorful introduction of Norooz celebration and here for a “very fast” preparation of Norooz table! Don’t forget to check out the links below for Norooz-special blogs by my friends at #PersianFoodBloggers.
From ancient time, dyeing and decorating eggs has been a significant symbol in many cultures around the world – from the Zoroastrian Norooz dating back to over 3000 years ago, to the Jewish Passover to the Christian Easter, eggs are painted in solid or multicolored often to symbolize rebirth. In my youth time, my older sisters used to dye Norooz eggs by wrapping them in color bleeding pieces of brightly colored cloths, tightly sewing them in and hard boiling them in salted water. The cooled eggs would then emerge from the wet cloths delicately colored and patterned. In my household too, we usually take the egg painting quite seriously, often going to some length to actually paint the eggs in detailed and complicated designs. Watch some of those here. Read the rest of this entry »
That time of the year again, around spring and Persian New year, Norooz – the perfect time to find the motivation to write, to post, and to cherish and share the wonderful moments where people, plants and beautiful customs come to a renewed life one more time. Below is a selection of pictures taken by my sister, in several Iranian cities, including Shiraz, Yazd, Booshehr, Dargahan and Tehran, during the months of March to April 2016.
At the end of the Norooz festivities, on the 13th day of Spring, or sizdah-bedar, literally ‘thirteen to out’, Iranians, by tradition, go outdoors for a family picnic to play games, dance, ramp around and, of course, eat. Lettuce and “sekanjehbin”, a heavenly tasting syrup made of vinegar and honey, is among the popular food item for this day. Other foods of the day include noodle soup, and broad-bean mixed rice, layered with large cubes of lamb or beef.
Check out my 4:20 minute video about hope, renewal and the Persian new year Norooz at Vernal Equinox ! Here at Radio Kooche
Or on Vimeo
Listen to Jian Ghomeishi’s Message on Q: Norooz Pirooz here
AND SEE MORE BELOW!
Egg decoration is a popular craft in many cultures and traditions. Easter of course is probably the most renowned one in Christian world, but the painted eggs you see here are the ones that my husband and I have painted over the years for the Persian New Year, Norooz, which is celebrated in some 15 countries just a few days before Easter, on the first day of spring.
Each year we paint several boiled eggs, but keep only the prettiest of them. Well, that “winner egg” is usually the one painted by my husband – to the testimony of all the friends and relatives who pay us Norooz visit! Here is how it goes, I boil 5-6 eggs and let them cool and meanwhile get whatever painting tools we need. We start at the same time. I finish painting five and go about preparing dinner or something. He is still working on one. He takes a break and continues working on it after dinner until he gets off the chair with a bad back and happy face: A work of Art, if you ask me! Look at some of them below.
I promised to post Iranian norooz-specific traditional dish, mixed herb rice and fish (sabzi polow mahi), since traditionally it is prepared and served on the first day of spring (often, along with kookoo sabzi). Well, better late than never! The good news is that the recipe I have here is the easiest AND the most delicious one – cross my heart! Special thanks to my sister, Atefeh the chef!
Ingredients (6 serving) Read the rest of this entry »
This is a rather lengthy general introduction and personal note on Norooz the deeply-cherished. Persian New Year which occurs at the exact moment of the start of spring, this year on Monday March 20th at 01:11 AM (Montreal) 08:44 AM (Iran).
My new header shows a Norooz table setting “sofreh”, which should contain certain items, as I will explain below. The contents as well as the arrangement of sofreh items vary according to individual’s taste and beliefs. I love my sister’s artistic “sofreh” shown in the header. Don’t you!? And let me confess, I am dying to share mine with you once I set it – probably sometime on Sunday evening
For now, let’s just turn this music on and listen to Simin Ghadiri, a Persian folk singer, while you’re reading my account of Norooz. You don’t really need to understand her words, her voice alone is spring on itself! (Lyric describes spring days, the mountains, and fields covered with flowers)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGNLwkm5wes “Yek gol, Sad gol….”