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”.