In the high of this festive season, there is no doubt that it i most prominent feature remains: food!
From the lavish tables of the rich and mighty, to the poorest spreads of the less privileged, everyone tries to eat something special to celebrate the season.
Restaurants and hotels compete in attracting customers with colourful and scrumptious menus priced much higher than usual, taking advantage of the festive mood and the somehow fuller wallet after receiving the end of the year bonus.
Apart from Christmas and the New Year parties that are celebrated by many in the world, different cultures also have their culinary feasts ready for special occasions.
One such feast is the Persian New year celebration. It is customary for the families to get together on the 21st of March, the first day of Spring, exchange gifts and eat a special meal made from fish and rice with green herbs. Traditional sweets that are made just for this occasion, and one rarely finds them after March.
In my childhood
I remember as children we waited for Naw Ruz ( the new year ) to come, just for the sweet part of it, and there was no trick left that our mother didn’t use to hide the sweets from us, we would still find them and get to them before our guests arrived.
Our neighbours who were Muslims, had their celebrations after Ramadan ( the month of fasting) and again, as children we loved it. The best part was that during these days, all neighbours shared food and sweets and all this combined with school holidays meant heaven on earth for us.
For some reason, I have a feeling that these days, there is no more flavour in the festivities, especially for the young generation who find it more interesting to spend time with their phones and tablets than engaging in boring conversations with adults.
Few Neighbours are sharing food and most of them don’t even know one another, heads are busy with social media, and virtual friends have replaced real ones.
We can bring back life into our festivities, real life, one that breaks away from the past that focused on family and friends, to one that includes others, especially less advantaged people, ones without families, elderly people, orphans, and any human being that needs that touch of warmth and love.
There is nothing as rewarding as sharing that touch of kindness with others, if done, there is more than one receives than what one gives.
After all “we are all fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch and the flowers of one garden”.
Have a wonderful New Year.