‘Yalda’ to be inscribed as UNESCO intangible Heritage

December 20, The Iran Project –Deputy Head of Iran’s cultural heritage, handcrafts and tourism organization says some countries are ready to join Iran to multinationally record ‘Yalda ceremonies’ in UNESCO world intangible heritage.

Attending a ceremony commemorating Yalda rituals in Tehran , Mohammad Hassan Talebian, a senior official at Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization stated that last year, Iran proposed ‘Yalda’ to be recorded in UNESCO world intangible heritage and some countries, having  common views about Yalda rituals, express their readiness to join Iran.

Like Nowruz, Yalda can be an intercultural dialogue which is held by many countries, he stressed.

He also noted that intangible heritage, like ‘Yalda’, always indicates the dialogue of religions and ethnicities.

Talebian went on to say that more than 1400 intangible works have been registered on Iran’s National Heritage List but ‘Yalda’ is one of our priorities.

Yalda Night was officially added to Iran’s List of National Treasures during a special ceremony in 2008.

People mark the festive occasion in Iran and Central Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and some Caucasian states like Azerbaijan and Armenia on December 21 every year.

Ancient Iranians celebrated the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light, on Yalda Night. The word Yalda means birth in Syriac and Persians believed that it marked the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

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