Yalda, longest night of the year

Yalda…a sacred night…Time of celebrating Yalda…The longest night of the year. An opportunity to be together… this night is one of the most beautiful customs of Persia. We believe that it is in this very night that Ahriman is defeated by the great god Ahura Mazda. The moment that sun and warmth is victorious against evil and coldness.

Some say Yalda means ‘giving birth’. According to legends, it was in this night that great god Mehr was born. Mehr is a very powerful and respectable god of ancient Persia. 

In this night, people gather and stay up all night. They eat, drink and laugh. celebrating Yalda is an ancient  tradition. They mostly gather in house of elders. Almost all kind of goodies are served in this night!

All this for just a minute longer. Winter solstice will give us a chance to stick together a bit longer and hold hands.

So many traditions are performed in Yalda night. Most of it is about delicious stuff but there is some moral behaviors too. Let’s have a memorable night and know more about celebration of this night.


What is on the table in Yalda?

Like we said earlier, most of tasty goodies are on the table.

Main menu of this night is melon, pomegranate, and nuts, especially pistachio and chocolate.

All cities of Iran has their own particular deserts for Yalda. 

Be careful about eating them and try to enjoy the night!

Reading Hafez Poems

A very respectful part of customs of Yalda night is reading Hafez poems out loud. 

The elder of family, usually grandmother or grandfather is taking the responsibility. All family gathers and listen.

Hafez is a very popular person among Persians and all over the world. Reading his poems is some kind of paying respect to this great poet. 

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