A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Aiming for the PETA Vote? Rouhani Replaces Nowruz Goldfish with an Orange

Traditionally the Persian New Year Nowruz is celebrated with the Haft Sin table of seven items beginning with the letter "s," plus other traditional items such as the poetry of Hafiz and a live goldfish in a bowl. The goldfish are usually released into the wild at the end of the feast, where they are unlikely to live long. Many have called for a symbolic substitute, such as using a plastic fish.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's Nowruz greetings on Twitter included a photo of himself standing next to a Haft Sin table adorned with a goldfish bowl containing what appears to be an orange in place of the goldfish.
On her Twitter feed, Vice President Massoumeh Ebtikar also called attention to the substitution, and to the fact that the bowl contains very little water.
Rouhani will be eligible for a second term in the 2017 Presidential elections.  Is he vying for the PETA and Save Water vote?


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