Haft-sin is a Manifestation of the Divine Attributes, and Harmony with Life
Nowruz celebration is one of the most outstanding and splendid celebrations of the Iranians. Every celebration has its own special traditions. It is good to know their philosophy and realize what a profound thought lies behind each seemingly simple custom, manifested by its symbols and signs.
It is said that during the Sassanid period, very beautifully designed plates were brought to Iran from China, which were gradually called “china”, and later changed to salver (in Persian pronounced as seeni, in rythm with cheeni or china).” In those days, fruits, sweets, and other snacks were placed in seven of these salvers and placed on the Nowruz table, which was then called haft-cheen or haft-sin.” And now, rather than the symbols discussed below, seven things have been used that start with “sin” (Samanu, Sumac, Sir (garlic), Senjed (silver berry), etc.)
For Iranians, seven is a holy number and has a special connection with seven Amshaspands or seven innocent immortals. The seven Amshaspandans were known in Iranian schools of Illuminationism and Mysticism as the Seven Lands of Love, the Seven Labours of Life, the Seven Cities of Love, etc. By remembering their symbols and meanings, we remember to act on these good qualities during the year and advance our society.
Ohrmazd (Ahura Mazda= creator and great wisdom) – Knowing God and believing in his oneness is the first step to maturity and evolution. Among the ancient Iranians, each of the flowers and trees pertain to one of the Amshaspands. The cypress, which is always green and fresh, is special to Ohrmazd and is one of the branches placed in the pot of the Haft-sin table. The holy book is also placed on the Haft-sin table as a sign of monotheism.
Bahman (Vohuman = good mind and best trait), in the stages of evolution, it comes after good thought. It means that whoever has righteous mind, words and deeds, is righteous and avoids lying and perversion. In the material world, he is the guardian of beneficial beings, and with his intention, we put a glass of milk or one of its products on the Haft-sin table. White Jasmine (Because white is a symbol of purity, simplicity, and goodness) is a particular flower of Bahman, a branch of which decorates the Haft-sin table’s vase.
According to other beliefs, the egg, which is a symbol of sperm and race, is put on the Nowruz table because of the last day of the year, which is a celebration of the human’s creation.
Ordibehesht (Ašahe Vahištahe = the best truth) – in the stages of evolutions, it is located after goodwill. It means that whoever has the right mind, words, and deeds is right, and he avoids lying and perversion. She is the guardian of fire, and that is why a burning fire with the pleasant smell of Boswellia or sandalwood is placed next to the table. Putting a candle on the table has the same meaning. Marjoram is a particular flower to Ordibehesht, so to add beauty and fragrance, they place a branch of this flower in a vase of the Haft-sin table.
Shahrivar (Xšaθrahe Vairyehe= Kingship over self or self-control) is a power that gives a person the ability to control himself/herself to follow a harmonious middle line in life. In the material world, she is the guardian of metals, and as a sign of this, a metal bowl (Tas-e Rozin) full of water (as a sign of Khordad Amshaspand) is placed on the Nowruz table. Basil (flower) is also symbol of Shahrivar.
Coins placed in pomegranate and put in a bowl of water and thyme are derived from this belief.
Spandarmad (Spenta Armaiti or Esfand= Love, modesty, and loyalty) – All must learn maturity, sympathy, humility, and faithfulness and stand by this humane knowledge. In the material world, this Amshaspand is the earth’s guardian, and the tablecloths that are spread out on the earth to contain other symbols are for this same purpose. Pussy willow is the symbol of Spandarmad Amshaspand and a flower allocated to Esfand.
Khordad (Haurvatātō= knowledge and resonance) the world is continuously moving towards growth. Humans must constantly try for the empowerment and flourishing of thought, heart, soul, body, and psyche and seek achievement and perfection. In the material world, Khordad is the guardian of water, and as mentioned in the explanation of Shahrivar, a bowl full of water is a sign of it. Lilium is his particular flower which we place on the Haft-sin table.
Amordad (Amərətātō= immortality and eternity) – To achieve eternal and full of happiness life, by following these concepts, every human being will eventually join with Ahura Mazda and reach the highest level of minoo, by following these concepts. In the material world, Amshaspand Amrodad is the guardian of plants, and sprouted grain is placed on the haft-sin table as a sign of it. Lily also belongs to her.