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12/20/12

Happy Yalda: The longest and darkest night of the year!

Photos by Mehr News Agency & Jame Jam


People shopping in Kerman in preparation for the Yalda Night

Yalda Night is the Persian Winter Solstice Celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice which falls on December 20th or 21st. Known as the longest and darkest night of the year, Yalda is celebrated in the memory of the victory of light over darkness. 'Yalda' (in Syriac, a dialect of old Aramaic language, means 'birth') marks the birth of winter and the triumph of the sun as the days grow longer and colder.

Yalda Night as called in the Persian solar calendar is a night with especial ceremonies. Families get together on Yalda Night at the home of the elders until after midnight. They are served with dried fruits, nuts, and winter fruits like pomegranates and watermelons, which are said to symbolize the red color of dawn in the sky. They also recite poems of highly respected mystic Iranian poet, Hafez (read more)





People shopping in Kerman in preparation for the Yalda Night



People shopping in Tehran in preparation for the Yalda Night






 


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