TFS Instructor Helps Students Celebrate Nowrouz with Haft-seen Display

Film Production instructor Zahra Faraji is sharing her Nowrouz celebrations with the Toronto Film School community this year by putting up a Haft-seen display at the 460 Yonge St. campus.


“Nowrouz is not just a nostalgic celebration for me as an Iranian-Canadian. I look at it as the best option to start a new year,” she said.


TFS instructor Zahra Faraji is pictured here celebrating Nowrouz last year with her in-laws


Celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, Nowrouz (which means ‘new day’) marks the beginning of the new year for more than 300 million people all around the world – including the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.


According to the United Nations, it is a celebratory day that promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families, as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.


“Personally, I take Nowrouz as my pivotal source of hope in life. The rebirth happening in nature every spring reminds me of the fact that no hardship will last forever,” Faraji said.


“And I wanted to share that feeling with TFS students, faculty, and staff. I think we all deserve that reminder after two years of dealing with the chaos changing our lifestyles. Winter is never to stay forever. Spring is here, and we must welcome it.”



The Haft-Seen table Faraji’s now put on display at TFS’s downtown campus consists of an arrangement of the seven primary symbolic items typically used during Nowrouz, as well as a few additional ones, including:


  • Sabzeh (سبزه) – sprouts grown in a dish as a symbol of rebirth and growth
  • Samanu (سمنو) – wheat germ sweet pudding as a symbol of power & strength
  • Senjed (سنجد) – Oleaster as a symbol of love
  • Serkeh (سرکھ) – vinegar as a symbol of patience
  • Seeb(سیب) – an apple as a symbol of beauty
  • Seer (سیر) – garlic as a symbol of health and medicine
  • Somāq (سماق) – sumac as a symbol of sunrise and the beginning of another fresh day
  • a mirror as a symbol of self-reflection
  • a candle as a symbol of enlightenment
  • a painted egg as a symbol of fertility
  • goldfish as a symbol of progress


Toronto Film School’s Haft-Seen table will remain on display until the end of March.


For more information about Nowrouz, visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-nowruz-day