Press TV – Yalda is an ancient Iranian tradition held on the first night of winter, the longest and darkest night of the year. The birth of the sun, which rises after this night, is celebrated as a symbol of light conquering darkness.
The Iranian cultural attaché in Vienna has invited Iranian families to partake in the festivities.
Iranian families decorate their tables with pomegranates, watermelons, and dried fruits resembling the summer time as a way to assure the family all will be well throughout the coming winter months.
Yalda always includes a recitation of the poems of Hafez, usually by a family elder.
Since ancient times, storytelling has been a great part of Yalda Night ceremonies, with Naqqali becoming a main feature. In a dramatic performance, the Naqqal recounts epic stories in verse or prose about ancient or mythical Persian kings and heroes.
Stories have always been a special and almost inseparable part of Yalda, for most of us choose to lose and find ourselves in them through the long dark nights, and Yalda of course is the longest of them all.