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Farewell ‘haftseen’
Photo essay: Now that my duty is done and the ‘sabzeh’ is thrown in the water I get to look at the scenery


Shahireh Sharif
April 3, 2007

Another ‘sizdah-be-dar’, another goodbye to yet another ‘sofrey haftseen’! A group of us gathered to celebrate ‘sizdah-be-dar’ in the usual manner. We are also protecting ourselves against the bad luck that is supposed to be associated with 13th of Farvardeen if spent indoor!  Not surprisingly, there are other groups of Iranians about. The common factors between us are a desire to have a good time, ‘aash’ and ‘kabaab’!

Between playing volleyball, dancing and eating I managed to find a few seconds to say goodbye to the last survival of this year’s ‘sofrey haftseen’: ‘sabzeh’. The fate of three items of the ‘sofrey haftseen’ is very interesting. The first one is ‘sonbol’; a pretty flower with an overwhelming and seductive scent. In a few days after ‘Eid’, when ‘sonbol’ has lost its freshness, it is removed from the rest of the ‘sens’ and is not seen till the year after. The next victim is the gold fish; condemned to suffocate in a small but crystal clear container! ‘Sabzeh’ is the last sacrificial ‘sen’. Unlike the other two, this one does not die of “natural causes”. First the frail stems, which were looked after up to now, are subjected to a certain degree of brutality as a few big knots are tied in them, then it is thrown in a stream or river.

Now that my duty is done and the ‘sabzeh’ is thrown in the water I get to look at the scenery; it is a calm day. The calmness is visible in the green colour of the land, in the magnificence of a swan and in a cheeky smile of a young child. But perhaps more than anything else the calmness appears in the friendship among the group of people, which I could now see from a distance. I best hurry up and get back to them before my dear friends eat up all there is to eat!!!

Handle life with care; it’s our most precious and short-lived possession >>> Photos

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Shahireh Sharif



Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis


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