IHF Gala Event (March 16, 2019)
This original and elaborate sofreh-ye haft sinn, entitled Seven Scales, was designed and executed by the author for the Nowruz gala event of the Iran Heritage Foundation in London, on March 16, 2019.
In the past, and in some areas and villages in Iran up to the present day, scales (tarazoo) are part of the sofreh-ye Nowruz. They are believed to be a symbol of harmony, reflecting an aspiration for a balanced and harmonious year ahead. This idea was the inspiration for this design. The hand-picked vintage scales have been adorned with symbolic elements of Nowruz. The following images show the details of this intricate sofreh.
The focus of this image is the statuettes of fish, which are substitutes for live goldfish that signify a number of things including plenitude and blessing, as well as gilded coins, which are symbols of wealth and prosperity, and germinated seeds (sabzeh), which herald spring and rebirth.
This image focuses on an impressive display of hyacinths, representing beauty and announcing spring and rebirth, as well as the fruit of jujube (senjed), a symbol of love and rebirth.
Sugared almonds and crystal sugar (noql o nabat), which in the Persian culture are synonymous with joy and celebration and here herald a sweet year, are the focus of this image.
This image focuses on apples, which in the Persian culture are considered a heavenly fruit and a symbol of health, growth, rebirth and fertility.
This is the heart of the sofreh incorporating the mirror, poems about spring and Nowruz from the divan-e Hafez, as well as candelabra, which are symbols of reflection and light, and an impressive block of germinated seeds (sabzeh), which is the essence of this spring festival, symbolizing growth and rebirth.
This image focuses on eggs, which are symbols of life and fertility, as well as pomegranates, which are considered sacred and also represent fertility.
The focus of this image is grapes of different colours, representing vinegar, and vinegar itself which is a symbol of patience, and is believed to have medicinal merits.
This image focuses on another impressive display of hyacinths, representing beauty and announcing spring, and bulbs of garlic, which are included in the Nowruz sofreh for their evil-averting power and medicinal value.
The focus of this image is branches of sumac, together with ground sumac, which is a symbol of plenty, growth, peace and harmony, as well as rue in its pod. The smoke from burning the rue seeds is believed to have curative and evil-averting powers. Another block of germinated seeds (sabzeh), a symbol of spring and rebirth, is also included in this section.