The haft-sin (or the "Seven S's") is a deeply ingrained portion of Iranian Naw-Ruz celebrations. It is a table bearing seven traditional items starting with the letter "S". These displays are a source of pride for families who often put considerable effort into their appearance so as to be pleasing to visitors.
The traditional items are:
- Sabza – Wheat, barley or lentils that have been allowed to grow for several days in a dish. They symbolize renewal and are often disposed of in running water after the celebrations, taking with it the bad influences of the previous year.
- Sepand - Seeds of wild rue, generally burned as incense.
- Sib – Apples, symbolizing beauty and health.
- Sekka – Newly minted coins, symbolizing wealth.
- Sir - Garlic cloves, symbolizing medicine.
- Serka – Vinegar, symbolizing age and patience
- Samanu – A thick, sweet paste made from wheat, oil, water, almonds and walnuts. Commonly eaten at the Naw-Ruz feast as well as distributed to neighbors. It symbolizes affluence.
Other common items that may also be included on the table (or substituted for some of the items above):
- Solbol – Hyacinth, symbolizing the coming spring
- Senjed – Druit fruit of the oleaster tree, symbolizing love
- Somaq – Sumac berries, symbolizing sunrise, which is also commonly associated with renewal
Additional common decorations of the haft-sin table not starting with the letter "S" include:
- Mirrors to reflect candlelight
- Colored eggs, representing the fertility of spring
- A holy book appropriate to the religion of the table's creator