This is my daughter Meltem, holding samani, symbol of spring
The month of March holds a very special place for Azerbaijanis. It is the month when Novruz, a spring holiday, is celebrated.
I wrote about Novruz last year and there was a paragraph about this holiday in my interview to the Arab Times.
Today I would like to talk about Samani, a symbol of Novruz. Samani is sprouted seeds that symbolize the beginning of new life, prosperity and abundance. Every family grows one. Bazars (farmer markets) sell them in abundance too. Azerbaijanis start growing Samani about 2 weeks in advance to have it ready on the table by March 20, the night of celebration.
My daughter and I grow Samani every year. We just started one a few days ago and can’t wait to see the sprouts already.
Today I would like to invite you to read the article below and enjoy step by step photos on how to grow Samani by two sweet Azerbaijani kids, adopted by an American family. The article appeared in one of the issues of Azerbaijan International magazine and has been a great source for everybody interested in leaning how to grow Samani, especially for Azerbaijani kids living abroad. Enjoy!
By Rachel and Lucas Shryock
Published with the permission of Azerbaijan International Magazine
Day 1 – Getting Started
If you want to celebrate spring in Azerbaijan, here is what to do.
Find a pretty plate.
Cover it with one, thick, single layer of seeds.
Wheat or lentils both grow very well.
But don’t mix them. Choose one or the other.
Water the seeds and cover them with a wet paper towel.
Place the plate in a place where the seeds will get sunlight – a place where it is warm and bright. Then wait for the “samani” to start growing.
The seeds are already starting to grow. When the green sprouts are about one fourth of an inch high or as long as your fingernail, take off the paper towel so that the wheat can grow even taller.
Make sure the seeds have plenty of sun and water. Wait some more.
The “samani” is already one inch tall. It is growing fast now. Check for water and sun.
Don’t let your cats get too close. They might want to eat the grass!
Keep checking the seeds to make sure they have water and sun. Watch and keep waiting.
The wheat grass is four inches tall. Awesome! It’s growing so fast right in front of our eyes!
The wheat grass is now at least six inches tall. It’s ready to decorate.
Now tie a bright-colored ribbon around your “samani”.
We picked red for Azerbaijan. They use red, too. Now place the “samani” in the middle of your table to celebrate the coming of Spring! Happy First Day of Spring!
Above: The Samani is ready! Kathleen Shryock with her children, Lucas and Rachel with the red ribbon tied around the “samani”.
Great post about our culture. You know, we also celebrate Nevruz in Turkey.
And I love the article about that American family. They are so thoughtful to celebrate the children’s Nevruz in a traditional way. Happy Nevruz!
Happy Novruz, Farida (though this wish is well in advance).
This occasion is celebrated in India too, by a community of people called the Parsis who originally came om from Persia.
You may check this link, about Navroze in India.
Amiga, much like this plant. I try to do here in Brazil.
Thousand kisses for you
Happy Spring Farida! That is such a beautiful way to celebrate & thanks for sharing the tradition & pictures with us. We celebrate Spring in the Eastern parts of India … its something called the Basanti Utsav.. but it’s nothing like this. next year I will make my kids do it.
Farida, thnks for sharing the information…that is such a novel way to welcome spring 🙂
awww wow! what a lovely way to welcome spring 🙂 thanks for sharing and thanks for helping me out the other day with my wordpress problems farida. manage to sort them out yay. xxx
Those kids are adorable! It is extremely heart warming to see how they were moved by being able to celebrate their cultural roots!
Such a lovely symbolic way to celebrate the forthcoming of Spring and new beginnings..! Beautiful! Mia
Navroze in India is bit different. Your Navroze celebrations look gr8 and beautiful.
Thanks for sharing this with us. I love the picture of the three of you.
Happy Novruz Farida!
We sprout wheat in Serbia for Christmas.
Farida this is such a beautiful tradition and one that most definitely captures the spirt of spring. Thanks for educating us about the traditions of your country. Thank you.
SALAM ALEYKUM.Ehsen size,gozel tebligdir.ALLAH SIZDEN RAZI OLSUN!!!
I like this story and we must all do that…
Actually our tradition is for Christmas we plant more than one kind of seed and let them grow enough and when its time to do the christmas tree and the Mangar we arrange the greens around .
I like this tradition, bring us close to earth and God’s Gifts.
this is so sweet. i love that this represents spring… it still feels like winter to me, so this post is getting me excited for what’s ahead.
What an interesting post! I always learn something new reading your blog. What a wonderful way to welcome spring.
This is a wonderful way to celebrate spring Farida! a beautiful photo of the three of you 😀
Thank you, friends, for your comments! Happy Beginning of Spring to all of you!
PS: The picture at the end of the post is not of my and my children. It is of the family who prepared the photo essay. I think they are lovely too.
Happy Novruz, Farida!
Hi Farida :
Thanks for sharing this wonderful celebration.
Fari, I love this wonderful tradition, but I love the facial expression on those adorable kids even more.
I’m Kurdish and we celebrate Newroz in a big way! I love all the food and dancing! Happy Newroz Farida!
Here is a Wikipedia link for Novruz, which I went to look up for more information.
Friends, thank you for your comments.
Merhaba abla! Thank you for sharing it about your tradition with us! My husband happens to be sitting beside me and he is very excited when he saw Samani!
Is the little girl in the first photo your daughter? She is so adorable! And I love her curly hair!
Feride senin ve ailenin Novruz bayramini tebrik edirem.Bir Azerbaycanli olarag seninle fexr edirem.Cox maragli bir sehifen var.Sene ugurlar arzu edirem
Farida, thank you for sharing. There’s little out there about Azerbaijan and I do like tradition, culture and history.
what an interesting tradition–I had never heard of it.
Hi this is hrangoli…
The wheat grass is now at least six inches tall. It’s ready to decorate…
It was a very intresting post. I shall try out the same.
I stumbled upon this post by accident; and am very glad that I did! It’s always amazing how similar traditions can be across cultures. I’m from northern India, and we celebrate the our fall harvest in a festival called Dussehra in a very similar way. We plant millets (Jowar) or wheat 10 days before the festival, and the length of the wheat grass is meant to signify our abundance during the cold winter months. Naturally, taller the grass, more yield from the last harvest of the year. As children we used to enjoy watering the seeds and watching them grow everyday!
As Deepika said funny how similar cultures are … in my native Hungary we also sprout seeds for Easter ;;; it is called csiripesli. Interesting article love it!
Dear Farida. It was nice to see beautiful Maltam. Thanks for your nice work.
We cook so delicious Sumalak by this ‘ Samani ‘ SIMILAR CULTURES
Feride, ne gozel shekildir!! Ellerine saglyk Turkler demesin (not sure re spelling))
shirin balaidi ALLah saxlasin
Hi, I would like to use some of your pictures for my article on Azerbaijan. Also it’ll be very helpful for me if you can suggest a list of articles on Novruz. Please email me your permission and thanks for the nice article. Sunny
Hi Sunny, you are welcome to use my pictures provided you give credit to my website. Do a search on the site for Novruz, a few blog posts should pop up. Good luck!