We've got about a week until Norooz, the Persian New Year, which means only a few days left in the year 1395 and just enough time to begin planning the feast and setting the table.
Norooz marks both the beginning of a new year and the beginning of spring for Iranian families and others all over the world; thirteen days of celebrations follow, filled with lots of visiting of family members and friends, spring cleaning, good luck-wishing, and eating.
Though not a food-centered holiday, fragrant rice, sticky baklava, roasted fish, and bright herbs fill feast tables—including the one that our test kitchen duo, Sara Jenkins and Josh Cohen dreamed up with the help of Louisa Shafia, Persian cooking expert and author of the Piglet-winning The New Persian Kitchen, and Food52 community member shayma.
Celebrate with us! Read about our Advertising Coordinator Zoe's favorite Norooz traditions, make a big pan of rosewater-slicked baklava, and eat very well with your favorite people (out of doors, if springy weather has arrived in your neighborhood).
Need a refresher? Those are sofreh (a dining cloth), sabzeh (wheat, barley, or herbs) for rebirth, samanu (a sweet pudding) for affluence, senjed (oleaster) for love, sir (garlic) for medicine, sib (apple) for health, somaq (sumac) for patience or the red of the sunrise, and serkeh (vinegar) for satisfaction or fortitude.
Are you celebrating Norooz? Share your traditions (and menu!) in the comments!