March 20, 2021
This Saturday marks Nowruz – the Persian New Year. Nowruz is celebrated internationally by 300million people in places such as Iran, Iraq, India and Afghanistan. The holiday starts at the Spring vernal Equinox's exact time as the Sun enters Aries and passes above the equator, corresponding to the Persian calender's first day.
It is a celebration of fertility and life, embedded in the Zoroastrianism religion and originating from ancient Persia. Spring's forthcoming portrays the idea of victory over darkness. Since the Islamic conquest of Persia, Nowruz has spread throughout various cultures, known as the Persian people's diaspora.
Persian art is a fundamental aspect of the Sarvin design process. Our garments are inspired by Middle Eastern culture, focusing on their patterns, colours, textures and architecture; our dresses combine these aspects with contemporary Western silhouettes. In July 2020, Sarvin collaborated with Persian artist Ali Fani Salek to create an exclusive hand-drawn print is incorporated into our LARICA dress, ARIA dress and MINU scarf. The print is similar to Nowruz in which they are both visually and mentally stimulating and vibrant. Ali Fani Salek's print is a fusion of cheerful bright colours; Nowruz is a time to reflect on positive memories whilst also looking forward to future happiness.
Nowruz translates to 'New Day' as it is celebrated traditionally with a Spring clean. The Nowruz Spring clean involves removing dust from the previous year, rigorous cleaning of treasured Persian rugs, and filling vessels with water as a sign of health. Families and friends pay house visits to one another during the holiday. Families prepare a Haft-Seen, laying out seven symbolic items over a green tablecloth called 'Sofreh'. Seven is considered a lucky number within Islamic culture. The traditional Haft-seen includes:
- Senjed: Sweet, dry fruit representing "the fruit of love."
- Serkeh: Vinegar, for wisdom, age and patience
- Sekkeh: Coins, for prosperity and fortune
- Samanoo: A sweet and creamy pudding symbolising new life
- Sib: Apple, for health and beauty
- Sir: Garlic, for medicine and good health
- Somaqh: Sumac, to represent the colour of sunrise
In addition to the 7 Haft-seen ingredients, other objects are displayed, such as mirrors, candles, coloured eggs, traditional pastries, and a bowl of water with an orange floating in it to symbolise the Earth's rotation. Family members gather around the table, exchanging gifts once the first moment of Spring arrives. They then attend numerous Nowruz parties, both within houses and central locations, until the 13th Day of Spring.
How well the Nowruz parties plan out determines how well the following year will be. This year's celebrations will evidentially be Covid safe with families attending the parties through video calls.
Nowruz is especially significant this year. The UN has stated it is a holiday that promotes "peace and solidarity". As the first stage of loosening lockdown within the UK occurs, we are all looking forward to the future, looking forward to making up for all the missed moments from the pandemic. Nowruz is a great way to spend time with your family and clear any worrying thoughts.
The Sarvin team have found some delicious traditional Persian recipes to cook during Nowruz to help you celebrate and learn more about Eastern culture and its holidays:
Nowruz Mubarak from the Sarvin team to your family!
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Persian influenced brand Sarvin, is ethically conscious womenswear born in Britain and loved internationally.