Tehran, Dec 15, IRNA – The last night of autumn in Iran, coinciding this year with December 22, is a special occasion for the nation as it marks the longest night of the year.
According to thousands-year old traditions, Iranian families come together for the night which is called Yalda in Persian, meaning “night of birth”.
The occasion also means ˈnight of Fortyˈ in the Persian and coincides with winter solstice celebration which has been popular since ancient times.
Depending on the shift of the calendar, Yalda is celebrated on or around December 22 or 21 each year.
Yalda Night has been officially added to Iranˈs List of National Treasures in a special ceremony in 2008.
Yalda has for centuries served as a social occasion when family and close friends get together with the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter. Traditionally, pomegranate, watermelon and Trail mix are consumed on Yalda.
The 13th century Persian poet Saˈdi wrote in his Bustan:
ˈThe true morning will not come, until the Yalda Night is goneˈ.
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