A historical costumer’s Haft-Sin

Haft-Sin is a traditional  Naw-Rúz table setting in Persia (Iran), more linked to the Persian roots of  Naw-Rúz, than to the way Baha’is celebrate it, but still a lovely, picturesque idea.  A Haft-Sin is an arrangement of 7 items that begin with S, each symbolising a wish for the new year.  Here is my Haft-Sin for you:

Sabzeh –  wheat, barley or  lentil sprouts growing in a dish symbolize  rebirth

Babies booties with tender curling vine sprouts, 1870-90, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Robe a la francaise with botanical print fabric and vining trim, 1770-1779, English, VandA

Samanu – a sweet pudding made from  wheat germ symbolizes affluence

Corset with embroidery of oak leaves and wheat sheaves, 1876, Royal Worcester Corset Company, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ball gown with embroidered wheat motifs, Jean-Phillipe Worth, 1900, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Senjed – the dried fruit of the  oleaster tree, look like cherries and symbolizes love

Evening dress, Worth with berry print, 1898, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Berry covered toque, Julie Magner Company, 1910, Metropolitan Museum of Art

SÄ«r –  garlic, symbolizes medicine and good health.

Poor Dulcinea (below) was criticised for being so robust and healthy that she more resembled a ‘garlic eating peasant’ than the lady of Don Quixote’s fantasies.

Dulcinea del Tobos by Charles Robert Leslie, 1839, VandA

Nursing dress, 1825-30, VandA

SÄ«b –  apples for beauty and health

Vest with embroidery of fruiting branches, 1780-90, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Apple-red shoes, 1732—59, British, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Somaq –  sumac berries – symbolizing sunrise (through their colour) and new beginnings

Sunrise ball gown, House of Worth, ca 1887, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evening dress, ca 1925, Voisin, Victoria and Albert Museum

Serkeh – vinegar symbolizes age and patience.

Spangled and embroidered ladies jacket, 1600-1620, VandA

Stomacher, 1720, English, Metropolitan Museum of Art


  1. Delicious, thank you dear one! So many beautiful things, indeed a blessing!

  2. Valerie says

    This was wonderful reading (and viewing). Thank you!

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