“The person who abstains from food, or takes insufficient food, has neither enough strength to practice active virtues, nor can he till the earth, nor beget children, nor is he able to withstand hardship and pain.”
Vendidad: Chapter 3, Verse 33
The Zoroastrian approach to life is filled with practical wisdom perfected by centuries of practice. This sense of grace and wisdom reaches its full fruition with the festival of Navroze which celebrates the beginning of spring. The followers of Zoroaster, or Zarathustra, are members of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions and their traditions may be seen within the community of Bombay based Parsis and the still present Zoroastrians of modern day Iran. They have moved out into the world and are a relatively small but hugely influential group of people.
The Haft Sin table is a central tradition of Nowruz. This table includes seven specific items starting with the letter 'S'. The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals called Amesha Sepanta protecting them. The seven elements of Life that are represented include Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Plants, Animals, and Humankind. They also have Astrological correlations to five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, together with the Sun and the Moon. Setting the Haft Sin table acknowledges the ancient roots of Zoroastrianism and hints of it are still present in the ceremonies seen today.