Yalda Night, also known as Shab-e Yalda, is a traditional Iranian festival that is celebrated on the longest night of the year, which falls on December 20 or 21 in the Gregorian calendar. It is a celebration of the winter solstice, marking the beginning of the return of the sun and longer days.
During Yalda Night, family and friends gather together, usually at the home of an elder family member, to eat, drink, and read poetry. The traditional foods of the night include pomegranates, watermelons, and nuts. The red color of the pomegranate is said to symbolize the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life, while the green rind of the watermelon represents the green shoots of new growth. Eating these foods is thought to bring good luck and health for the coming year.
The poetry of Hafez and other great Persian poets is often read aloud, and games and storytelling are also popular activities. The celebration continues until well past midnight, when the longest night of the year finally comes to an end.
Yalda Night is an important cultural event in Iran and is celebrated by many Iranians around the world. It is a time for family and community to come together, reflect on the past year, and welcome the new season with hope and joy.
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