I love Toronto's rich tapestry of diverse cultures as we keep embracing new immigrants who bring with them unique their customs, traditions, and best of all, their delicious food and drinks. I truly believe Toronto still lives up to its name given by one the First Nations tribes, the Hurons. Toronto refers to the "Meeting Place" because of the land between present-day the Don River, the Humber River and Lake Ontario. It was about four hundred years ago that the various tribes met to trade. Over the centuries, we've seen influx of immigrants from around the world settle and make this beautiful metropolis their new home.
Born and raised in Toronto in early 1960s, as a CBC (Canadian Born Chinese) I've always savoured embracing another culture's holidays in general, and their foods and customs wholeheartedly! Spring time gives us so much to celebrate - re-birth of the Earth, March Break (do we hear all the kids cheering in the background?), St Patrick's Day, Persian New Year and more to come!
On Sunday, exactly a week prior to Persian New Year I went up to Yonge/Finch area with hubby to soak up a bit of the excitement in preparing for the festivities. I was exhausted after my tour, but nevertheless, I instantly perked up upon arriving at one of my favourite Persian grocery stores. Hubby's always amazed how I go instantaneously from tuckered to alive like a firecracker, or Energizer Bunny Rabbit!
Outside of the store, we're greeted with the first New Year items for decoration: Sabzeh - wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in tray (transfer to dish when you get home) which symbolizes Re-Birth. If you carefully, you can see that inside, right by the window, they had an array of white, pink and purple Hyacinth plants.
The special Nowruz cookies and other treats are in!
|Nugets flavoured with Rosewater and walnut|
I felt like Noah as I ordered the cookies and kept saying "Two" and pointing at everything on the cookies table. Yes, hubby and I went to the gym several times this week to make up for "tasting" each type of treats I ordered. Sigh!
So if you're invited to a Persian New Year's eve party tonight or New Year's Day party tomorrow, you now have an excellent excuse to pop into any Persian shop today (be forewarned: it will be like a mad house like Chinese New Year's eve in any Chinatowns in Toronto) and pick up as a "hostess gift" a plant (Hyacinths or Tulips) and or a box of pastries.
Happy Nowruz where ever you are and whether you're Persian or not! On that note, this little CBC is going to try another Persian New Year cookie from this box we picked up and then go visit my Persian family members! Happy Nowruz or Persian New Year! So how are you celebrating and participating in in the New Year festivities?