In Summary
  • The group that advocates for this change got all their statistics right to prove the amount of grain and water wasted following this tradition. One can only imagine tens of millions of families, each growing about 300 grammes of grains, if not more, and then watering it with tens of litres of water till it’s full growth, then throwing it away.
  • Instead, they are suggesting that families can plant greens that can be consumed, and if they insist on growing these grains, it can be given to birds or feed animals instead of making them rot in water.

On the second of April, Persians celebrated the last day of 30 days of their New Year celebrations. This spring festivity that is full of traditions, ends with a picnic.

One with the whole family packing food, drinks and choosing a green spot, preferably near water, to enjoy the beginning of spring time.

I have previously written a few columns about this celebration that is called Nawruz ( New day), and one of the traditions that comes with it includes preparing a spread of seven items that start with the letter S, each signifying a good quality and hope for the new year, this includes prosperity, health, wealth and love. One of these items is called (Sabzeh) which is green sprouts made out of wheat, barley or lentils, this is is grown as we were taught in elementary school, soaked, covered and watered constantly until sprouts show up and then put in the sun to grow.

This green will, at the end of the 13 days of celebrations be taken to the picnic and thrown in water. Traditionally this means sending away all the bad luck with flowing water and making place for good luck in the new year.
All the above, I have for the first time, came across some articles that discourage Persians from growing seeds in this manner, and throwing them away.

The group that advocates for this change got all their statistics right to prove the amount of grain and water wasted following this tradition. One can only imagine tens of millions of families, each growing about 300 grammes of grains, if not more, and then watering it with tens of litres of water till it’s full growth, then throwing it away.

Instead, they are suggesting that families can plant greens that can be consumed, and if they insist on growing these grains, it can be given to birds or feed animals instead of making them rot in water.

For all the years that I have been following this tradition, it never crossed my mind that I am joining hands with so many people, in wasting these precious grains. And the equally precious water, for no other reason but blindly following a tradition.

This reminds me of how important information is and more important what we do with it.

Are you keeping it for yourself or sharing it with others? What steps will you take to remedy a situation that is wrong?
In my case, this article, that I share with as many as possible, is only the beginning. From next year, I will think of new ideas to create greens that will adorn my spread, a lemon or avocado seedling is the first to come to mind, I can then plant these and they will grow into trees.

Who said we cannot change some traditions to have better outcomes?