Monday, February 26, 2024

Iranians, Persian-speaking communities celebrating Yalda or Shab-e Chelleh, welcome winter

Iranians are preparing to celebrate the last night of the fall and the longest of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, known as Yalda or Shab-e Chelleh, with a host of traditions until midnight.

Iranian families and friends get together to cheer and chatter, eat fruits and nuts and recite poems of great Iranian poet, Hafez.

Watermelon, pomegranate, nuts, and dried fruit are commonly served during Yald celebrations. In some areas it is customary that forty varieties of edibles should be served during the ceremony of the Shab-e Chelleh.

Yalda, meaning ‘birth’ in Persian, is a reminder that every minute counts to share their moments with their loved ones.

According to ancient mythology, the Persian god of light and truth was born the morning after the longest night of the year to rid the world of darkness and unpleasant experiences.

The millennia-old tradition is officially registered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The event is celebrated in Iran and across the Persian-speaking communities in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.

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