Sofreh-ye aqd & Shab-e Yalda
For December 2022, inspired by the sofrehs to celebrate winter solstice (Shab-e Yalda), an original marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd) was designed for a private exhibition. Shab-e Yalda is the longest night of the year, and falls around 21 December.
This is the overall view of the marriage sofreh, which incorporates an impressive display of pomegranates, flanked by apples and decorated eggs—all symbols of fertility. A mirror takes centre stage and tea light holders are paired with bouquets of flowers in red tones. The sofreh also includes sweets, Persian sugared almonds, crystal sugar, gilded coins and a volume of an antique hand-written Qur’an.
This image focuses on a variety of apples, embellished with foliage and gold-painted walnuts, which are on displayed in and around an antique silver-plated basket. Both apples and walnuts are symbols of fertility, with apples numbered among the divine fruits (miveh-ye beheshti). The shiny, bright red fruits echo the traditions of the sofreh to celebrate winter solstice (Shab-e Yalda).
The focus of this image is a pair of miniature trays containing Persian nougats (gaz), crystal sugar (nabat) and Persian sugared almonds (noql)—representing sweetness and harmony—specked with gilded coins (sekkeh), which represents wealth and prosperity. A volume of an antique hand-written Qur’an is displayed on top of its box and silk pouch, embellished with fine gold tassels.