Haft Sin (Haft Seen) is a traditional table setting with 7 different items starting with letter (S-Seen “س”)
The common items and their symbolic definition:
1. “Sib” (Apple): it is a very common item. Its main symbolic definition is “Health”, there is A prevalent quote: “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”
2. “Sabze” (Grass): Symbol of Greenery, Nature and Exhilaration.
3. “Senjed” (Sea-buckthorn): an inseparable item which symbolises the wisdom and Regeneracy. In traditional medications Senjed was utilised to invigorate the brain and memory.
4. “Serkeh” (Vinegar): Symbolises the Disinfection. Also some believe that it’s a symbol for Surrendering and Satisfaction. In Persian literature vinegar is used to analogise the stress, tear, etc, since some deduce from that its symbolisation meaning.
5. “Samanu”: (or Samanak, Samalak in Tajik, Sumalak in Uzbek, etc.) is a sweet paste made from germinated wheat, which is especially prepared for Nowruz and it has a history in pre-Islamic Persian empire as the symbol of Power and Bravery.
6. “Somaq” (Sumac): Sumac is a symbol for Patience and Tolerance.
7. “Seer” (Garlic): Such as Sumac some people consider it as a stimulation symbol.
There are also other items such as:
“Sekkeh” (Coin) (symbol of Wealth), “Sonbol ” (Hyacinth), “Sabzi” (Vegetable), “Sepand” (Peganum harmala), “Sormeh” (Kohl), etc.
There are items which do not start with “Seen”, but as a symbol or a decoration, they are also used in Haft-Seens, As follows:
“Ayyeneh” (Mirror): The symbol of Light.
“Goldfish”, is the symbol for Pisces also known as Fish, to indicate that the new year starts from this month (Pisces). Nowadays it is also
represents Victory, Exhilaration, Blessing, etc.
“Quran”, Shahnameh or Hafez Poet Book, as Holy-books or respectful literature in Persian culture.
In Zoroastrian culture (Ancient Persian people religion) Shamdan (or Fire box) is a symbol of permanent Perspicuity and Warmth in household and usually they light candles, equal to the number of family children.
However there are some who refer these items to ancient Gods in Pre-Islamic Persian Culture such as Anahita and “Spenta-Ârmaiti”.