Haft Sheen instead of Haft Seen- Going back to my roots!

by ramintork

If you decide to go back to your pre Islamic roots and have a haft sheen instead of the Haft seen you'll need these items:-

Extracted from "The mysteries of Mithras by Payam Nabarz" where the book refers to the writings of Dr. Paul Kriwaczek.

"Sharab (wine)" for celebration and the reason why haft sheen was changed to haft seen.

"Shir (milk)" for nourishment

"Sharbat (sherbet)" for enjoyment

"Shamshir (sword)" for security

"Shemshad (box)" for wealth

"Sham (candle)" for illumination more on this one further down

"Shahdaneh (hemp seeds)" for enlightenment

The other items the book has mentioned ( but not in the Dr. Paul Kriwaczek's list) :-

An orange floating in a bowl of water representing the Earth floating in space

A goldfish in a bowl representing life and the end of astral year Pisces

A flask of rose water known for its cleansing properties

A pot of flowering (sonbol) hyacinth

Burning Esfand ( wild rue) to ward off evil spirits

A mirror representing the images and reflections of creation, as we celebrate the 1st day of Norooz believing that creation took place on the first day of spring

On either side of the mirror a candle for each child of the family.

Why bother? For one thing it is simply beautiful when you know what you are celebrating, with what and what for!

I just have to convince the Mrs and remember to buy long life milk.



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Shah Daneh

by theconstitutionalist on

The roots of the plant are in west central asia Uzbek, Tajik, Turkmen, Northern Iran, Azerbaijan, Caucasus, etc...         

Hemp seeds were prescribed for mental ailments in Iranian and Central Asian folk medecine.

Used also for food, oil and fiber.  They just dug up a 2700 year old civilization in Western China who were either of Turkic or Parsi stock.  The swiss archeologists discovered two shahman burried within the 500 grave sites.  Both shahmans were burried with a large stash of Shah Daneh seeds, leaf and flowers.     

My dad has fond memories of going to the movies in Iran and munching on toasted Shahdaneh(hemp seeds) while enjoying a western.  


Nothing confusing about my argument

by ramintork on

Nothing confusing about my argument simply a different point of view!

Culture is dymanic, I heard that this year women as a sign of their resistance had dressed up as Haji Firooz, not very traditional is it but apparently welcomed by many. People respond to the social, political forces and they shape culture the way they should. It is a question of their choice. If it needs purification it gets purifed if it doesn't then it doesn't, totalitarian Govenrments struggle to change the culture never mind one guy sitting in his European apartment!

So your argument for thinking that with one blog I have damaged the culture is a weak argument, you have sterotyped me in a group whereas I am providing a different perspective, and I am certainly entitled to suggest an alternative. people decide which parts of culture they want to keep and what parts they don't. The truth is that after your sterotyping you have decided I am classed in a category who gets up your nose!

An Iranian with all true Islamic devotion writes beautiful Naste-Aligh Caligraphy praising Allah yet his Iranian free spirit uses free flowing lines that dance on paper and create forms in harmony with visual melody and he forgets it is his spirit of struggle, an Iranian spirit that wants to dance and wants to draw shapes like Mattise that made his lines flow. In bounds and chains by his faith he still creates beauty, but this beauty belongs to him not his Arab invaders and these words break his vows not to paint, sing and dance for he has painted his own spirit and his lines have done that for him. We both see the beauty but I also see his spirit. 

The Mullahs have placed themselves in every aspect of our lives, be it at the time of orgasm or coming out of the toilet it is inevitable that there would some purification but not everything is bad, but it is important to discuss our choices and ask questions. For me, I reserve the right to ask questions about everything including Haft Seen. Within the spirit of even this web site, Nothing is sacred!



To ramintork

by Ali (not verified) on

Well, I see a lot of confusion, mixed feelings and contradictions in your argument. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to give a little order to your thought and the concepts you are trying to use:

Sure, you are a free man. You can celebrate Norooz anyway you want. If you like, you can even set a haft-W instead of a haft-seen and invite other people to do the same. If your motive is just to exercise your individual freedom and to go against the flow or even try to create new customs, then good luck.

However, what I am criticizing is the reason and motives of many Iranians (such as yourself) behind such innovative actions. I am criticizing this whole mentality of "purifying" or "cleansing" the Iranian culture from whatever they deem as "Arab/foreign influence"! This whole absurd idea that anything pre-Islamic is "more Iranian" than anything post-Islamic, and that there is some kind of "shame" ("slavery earing" as you put it) attached to our present Iranian culture that we have to get rid of!

So, this has nothing to do with your "individual freedom", it is about a mentality and a trend that you are promoting which I think is damaging to our Iranian culture.


And a word from our cultural expert Agha Ali!

by ramintork on

The true Iranian culture is what it is TODAY!

For one thing there is no single culture, different regions, and faith have their own practices and who said what we have TODAY is the true culture? You? What the Islamic culture? Well many non Muslims and indeed Muslims disagree with you but you have a right to your opinion, it is true that most will have Haft seen but who says you can't have haft sheen I am a free man!

In Iran we used to have a tradition that if you were riding a horse and a Seyed walked by you had to get off the horse. We don't practice that anymore in fact we probably would not give a Mulla nevermind Seyeds a ride in a Taxi cab today so you see no tradition is set in concrete.

What it was 2000 years ago? Haft Sheen and Haft Cheen is being practiced even now amongst Tajiks, Afghans and many non Muslim Iranians, but if you read my comments you would notice I said there is nothing wrong with Haft seen but it is good to investigate the roots so when your kids asks why we have vinegar on the table you can answer them, besides I am not a Muslim so what would I be doing with an Islamic compliant table? You are probably a Muslim so if you want to have a Quran and Haft seen and your Arabic prayers at your table that is your choice and I respect that.

Persian Empires? I believe in Democratic Republics in case you are wondering I am not considering IRI as one!

Something I read? Reading is not such a bad thing you should perhaps try it sometime! Transfer of knowledge happens one way or another, e.g. Latin is a dead language but very much alive amongst many academics and yes it is something they read!

Sabotage? If you think that you hold the majoirty opinion then what are you afraid of, that some guy sitting in a corner of the world has a different table from you? But if other people want to have Haft Sheen instead of Haft Seen it is their choice. Surely you are not dictating what people should do in their homes? or perhaps you are!

Who said I don't like Iran? I love Iran! and when did I say I don't like the last 1400 years of Iranian history? I just don't like certain parts like the Arab and Mongol invasions and other disasters but accept them as fact it doesn't mean I have to comply by Arabic or Mongolian customs and act like I'm still their slave, do I?

In the olden days a slave that was to be freed after a seven year service would stand with all present and be given a choice to wear an earing and become a permanent slave or be free, some had no other place to go and wore the earing with pride and some became free!

I am not suggesting that anyone who has a haft seen this year is a slave! For one thing I've had haft seen every year so far, but I think it is important to think about what slavery earing has been put on our cultural ears and what it may symbolize.


To ramintork

by Ali (not verified) on

The true Iranian culture is what it is TODAY and NOT what it was 2000 years ago. And the ONLY right way to celebrate Norooz is by setting up a haft-SEEN not some kind of Haft-sheen!!

If you don't like what Iran is and has been for 14 centuries then the fact is that you just don't like Iran. What you like is an image of the "Persian Empire" that you have created in your mind from what you have read and heard about it.

Please let's not try to sabotage and destroy the beautiful celebration of Norooz with all the cultural baggage that is attach to it. And my suggestion to you, is to try to love Iran for what it is today.


sal -nu -mobarak.........

by maziar58 (not verified) on

love y,all.... peersians!
back to the basics,happy nurooz.


Dear Critics!

by ramintork on

Anonymous Observer - Very valid points I did think about that one and you may be correct but I considered that some words have crossed back and forth from persian to Arabic e.g. Borj is Burgh which is used for high ground ( mountains etc.) and some may have had a Pahlavi word starting with "sh" ? I am no scholar so perhaps a true scholar can comment on the book I quoted, in any case having a shamshir on the table may not be so practical if you have kids or marital arguments! I will see if I can find a more reliable source for the list. Thanks for your comments.

Red Chicken - Haft seen is just great, there is nothing wrong with it, but doing Haft Sheen opens an oppurtunity to look into our roots. Haft Sheen is still practiced in our neighboring countries Tajiks still do Haft Sheen.

Ye Irani - Good for you, you should do what is right, you carry on living in modern times, like you most likely do, but it is nice to look into traditions believe me no one lives in modern times like I do, it is sometimes nice to get away from it! Besides when we try to take pride in confused heritage we would sound like that Baluchi guy who was proud they have "Monica Bellucci" as a major Baluchi screen goddess! Besides ever since IRI created so many Opium drug addicts half the country is celebrating Haft Sheen instead of Haft seen, another fruit of Islamists!


Mussiow - Sharab is a great thing taken in moderation drank with the right person and in the right place! Just like sex is a good thing with the right person and in the right place, but you tell that to double faced Islamists like the Police chief who was caught with six prostitutes and those who preach and then go and commit the most horrible crimes against humanity!

AnonymousShaer - Dear Iranian.com troll, you probably have all these items in your mind and body, go and get yourself disinfected and don't infect us with your Shepesh!  

Happy Norooz to you all irespective, even AnonymousShaer. Our comments sections are more blessed and fun with their contributions!







by Majid on

Thanks for all positive comments in this very beautiful moments.




And once again, I'll dedicate this to "VATAN" : 




Now that we are at it

by AnonymousShaer (not verified) on

Let's add these items as well:

I like the way some I-raynians rediscover their roots in ghorbat.



by Mussiow (not verified) on

Sharab is not a bad thing....baba boro ye kami tarikh yad begir va inghadr hemaghat nakon!


H'mmmmmm...No thanks...I'm sticking with my culture as

by Ye Irani (not verified) on

I'm sticking with my culture as is.....All of it....one by one....not even one less Iota!!!!!!!!

In the meantime....you are free to go back and live in 1400 years ago.

Shalom....bebakhshid Salam.


Not True

by Red Chicken (not verified) on

I appreciate your efforts here very much but I am afraid there has only been one and only one kind of haft SEEN. And that haft seen has existed for millenia because of its uniqueness. Haft sheen has no basis in history. The five rules of haft seen are: Start with "S" Be Edible Be of a singular item (You can't use Sabzi Polo) Be of a non-animal source Be a Farsi word And with those rules only SEVEN items exist in the Persian language: Seeb Senjed Sabze (or Sabzi) Samanoo Seer Somagh Serke Each of these items has a mystical meaning which I won't get into now. There are no other persian words starting with "s" that fit in those rules. I challenge anyone to disprove that. There has never been a haft Sheen. Maybe Sharab was part of the sofre before Islam but that may have been as an adjunct like the colored eggs, shirini, sham, Gol... Norooz Pirooz


Your List Is Inaccurate

by Anonymous Observer (not verified) on

God knows that I am a Persian nationalist, but I have to disagree with you on this list. Your list cannot be accurate as two, and possibly three, items on your it have Arabic names, so they could not have been called by those names in pre-Islam Persia, that is prior to the mixing of the two languages. The first one is obviously "sharab" which is an Arabic word that means "drink" (nooshidani in Persian). It comes from the Arab root word of Shorb (to drink). Obviously, the use of the word in Persian took on the meaning of wine rather than its common usage in Arabic which can refer to any drink.

The next word is "sharbat", which is derived from the same root word. The possible third word is Sham, with the "ein" letter at the end, the word is most likely from an Arabic root.

While I understand that you quoted a book on the subject, I disagree with that source. You (and the author) may be correct in that Haft Seen may have been Haft Sheen, but these items could not have been called by these Arabic names prior to the Arab invasion of Persia, and therefore may not have been part of the so-called "Haft Sheen".


Haft Sheen

by Aryapars on

Glad to see so many Iranians are finally paying attention to their roots - pre Islamic Iran where Iran was a progressive civilization.  We are the cradle of civilization; meaning we established the foundation for the civilization ..... many other cultures and languages have branched off from the original foundation, however, none can match the original spirit of what the Iranian emperors  and culture established. 

 Pendar, kerdar va goftar Nick says it all...and Haft sheen is the only way to celebrate Norooz, along with Shahnameh va Avesta.  We have our own religion, our own culture, we created writing amongst many many other inventions and creations...We don't need to escape and follow any foreign or outside religions or cultures...  We are the basis for all that exists now...we are the original, we are the foundation.  Believe in being an Iranian first, being an Iranian second and being an Iranian third. Jaavid Iran...va Irani.


ramintork, It makes sense.

by :<D (not verified) on

ramintork, I aqree. Let's drop Haji too and stay with Pirooz who claims to come from God and bring with himself health and joy with New Year.

Haji does not want to accept Iranian citizenship and has always brought us his forceful misery.

NoRooz-e-it Pirooz


Sumerian god

by ramintork on

I think you are correct about the Sumerian god.

The Dutch have a similar problem. They have Peter who is Santa's helper. For the sake of political correctness they say Peter climbed the chimney and has soot on his face, but I think he is banned in some parts of Holland.

Haji Firooz needs a face lift for the new century. If the Brits dropped their politically incorrect and insulting symbols like the black and white minstrels we can do the same, even though ours should not be insulting based on the origin. We can certainly change the Haji part. 



Shahnameh would be best

by IRANdokht on

I am afraid I do not have a copy of Shahnameh in my possession... I know that's a sad thing to admit to. If only I could do Faaleh shahnameh ;-)  I would have brought one with me years ago.

As for the wine, you're right, I just don't like the look of the glass with plastic on it.

thanks again



Shokofeh, Shirini, Shir, Sham, Sher (poetry) are real

by Face Facts (not verified) on

Islamize Norooz and you get haft seen. Our NoRooz received mandatory veil. Sharob (wine) became serkeh (vinegar). The rest was made up.

For NoRooz, Shokofeh, Shirini, Shir, Sham, Sher (poetry) are real.

Soomadg, Senjed, Samano, serkeh (vinearger), seer (garlic) on table are plain silly and idiocy. Why don’t we Iranian accept that we have been traumatized and then hypnotized by Islam? They feared us to raise questions. Any question about god, Islam, Mohammad, Koran and authority deserved burning hell, jail, lash, spank, pas gardani, dar-e-koni and more!

This beating of Iranian is perpetuating just because we Iranians act as victim of brutality. This vicious cycle must come to end by saying enough is enough. My Quran was out of our house long time ago.


I usually place Shahnameh

by ramintork on

I love Hafiz, but in my opinion if any book deserves to be placed there it is Shahnameh, when the mirror reflects the light, life ( reflection of the fishes) and the book to your house it should be a book that tells the epic of Iranian virtues.

You can perhaps buy roasted Shadooneh from the Iranian stores, a friend of mine had absolute hell when he brought over Shadooneh from Iran and had to pay a hefty fine so I agree with you on this one.

As for the wine, you can put cling film on top to keep the flies away In my case I will perhaps go a step further and make it Australian Shiraz wine a strange symbolic mix of celebration and the meloncholy of diaspora!

Happy Norooz.


Meaning of Haji Firooz is not "Black Face"

by :<D (not verified) on

Meaning of Haji Firooz is not "Black Face"
by ReflectionEternal (not verified) on Sat Nov 17, 2007 04:58 AM PST
My black friends were uncomfortable when attending a No Rooz party a while back because they saw our Haji Firooz dancing around. Even I for a moment did not defend it because I understood their sensitivity. It prompted me to look it up. Before he was HAJI because of Islamization, he was an assimilation of these characters:
Domuzi, who was killed at the end of each year and reborn at the beginning of the New Year, symbolizes the rebirth of the Sumerian god of sacrifice.
On the ending days of the old year people abandon everything, which appears in the color of oldness, darkness, and unutilization the manifestation of en masse revolution of people to clean and to destroy tyrant souls, who live in the blackness of oldness and death is the symbol of man’s separation from decey and past sinful living. Hense the black face was a symbol for the dead to remind the rest that YOU are alive! Enjoy life! Break all the grudges and ill-will towards others! Life is short! Only after dying you will understand this! So I am here to tell you friends!
Dameshiq in Nokhbatoddahr refers to a man who comes on No Rooz day sunrise to Sassanid court. He ststes this man introduces himself as Pirouz (victorious) and Khojaste (fortunate). He claims to come from God and bring with himself health and joy with New Year. Still, in New Year, the first person should be fortunate one that brings health, power, joy and blessing for family members.
In Zorastrian mythology this Pirouz man was a symbolic man who saw the light of God and had his face covered in soot. Nothing racist or demoralizing.
The arabization of him being HAJI has created this confusion. And with the conmingling of Arabs who did not know our traditions speculation as well as adopting their spin on the subject may have at the state of confusion on this matter today. As any culture who just accepts tradition blindly from the preceding generation the ignorance will continue. Unless we delve deeper in search of the true origins we will continue to misconstrue our culture like accepting the language of Parsi as Farsi, another arabic misnomer/mispronunciation.


The correct "Haft Sheens"

by Norooz Irani (not verified) on

Thanks for the info Ramin, but here are the correct Sheen before Arab invasion: 
1- Shokoofeh (flower blossom), 2- Sheer (milk), 3- Sheerini (sweets), 4-Sham (candle), 5- Shahnameh (Epic of Kings), 6- Sharub (wine), 7- Shahdaneh (ancient Iranian medic)

Noroozetan Pirooz - Har Roozetan Norooz
Dorood to Iran with more than 8000 years of history.


some substitutions already in works...

by IRANdokht on

Thank you for the information. Without even knowing this little history, I had already substituted Koran with a Divaneh Hafez and this year I am very determined to not use vinegar or wine... (fruit flies are very unflattering to any decoration) I'll try rosewater instead.

as for shadooneh ... don't think so

last time I bought shadooneh at a persian store I felt like a criminal fearing those drug sniffing dogs I have seen in the movies would follow me!

time to go buy the gold fish! :-)

thanks for the post



Shamshir, and Shemshad (box)

by ramintork on


I guess they probably didn't want people to have swords either, and I suspect if you had a box with precious items you would had probably hid it from the invaders.

Once again,

Happy Norouz and Thanks.

Ali P.

Very Interesting!

by Ali P. on

I was not aware of this. Thank you.

So the items changed because of Islam, or they just happened to evolve right around that time ? Except for 'sharaab', I don't see anything unislamic on the list. Is it likely for them to change the whole thing because of one item? After all, we know the "Koran", and for some "Hafiz" has been added to the table.

Anyway. Great timing on this piece.

I'll be looking forward to your future inputs.

And Happy Norouz to you, ramintork!