Yalda Night – The Longest Night of the Year!

Yalda Night, Shab-e Chelleh (Night of Forty) or Shab-e Yaldā is one of the most celebrated traditional events in Iran which marks the longest night of the year. Every year, on December 21st ( or on December 20, 21 or 22 – Night of the Winter Solstice) , Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness on Yalda Night.

Yalda Night, the longest and darkest night of the year is a time when friends and family gather together (most often in the house of the eldest member) to eat, drink and read poetry (especially Hafez) until well after midnight. Fruits and nuts are eaten and pomegranates and watermelons are particularly significant. The red color in these fruits symbolizes the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life. Holy Quran and the poems of Divan-e-Hafez, which can be found in the bookcases of most Iranians families, are intermingled with peoples’ life and are read or recited during various occasions like this festival and at Nowruz.

Danial Rassaf – Thanks to Alalam