The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Shab-e Yalda: A golden opportunity to come together

20 December 2018

For Iranian families and friends, Shab-e Yalda (Yalda Night), has long been a treasured time to come together and celebrate in honor of the longest night of the year!

On that graceful night, the winter chill is vanquished and the warmth of love embraces the entire family. Hearts move closer to one another in the company of loved ones on Yalda.
The event, which falls on December 21 this year, also presents an excellent opportunity for Iranians living abroad to include people from different nationalities and cultures. Sharing traditions and customs is a way to forge lasting connections and to foster better mutual understanding in our interconnected world.

A peek into the bustling streets, grocery and confectionery stores show that people from all walks of life are preparing in advance to have fun.

People on Yalda Night are usually served with fresh fruits and colorful Ajil (a mixture of dry fruits, seeds and nuts) in floral bowls. To Iranians, fruits are reminders of abundance in summer. Watermelon and pomegranates, as symbols of bounty, are the traditional fresh fruits of this night. It is believed that eating watermelon before the arrival of winter can immunize the body against illness.

Following a hot dinner, many people often recite poetry, narrate stories, chant, play musical instruments or just chat cozily until midnight or so.

The feast is also famous as “Shab-e-Chelleh”, literally meaning the night of the forty. In fact, “Shab-e-Chelleh” refers to the first forty days of winter that are often the coldest and toughest to bear.

In the ancient Iranian calendar, winter is divided into two parts, Chelleh Bozorg (literary meaning the bigger forty) from 22nd of December to 30th of January and Chelleh Koochak (the smaller forty), which starts from 30th January to 10th of March.

Narratives say that Yalda Night marks the birth of winter and the eventual triumph of the sun as the days grow longer. The word Yalda, meaning birth, was imported from Syriac into the Persian language by the Syriac Christians.

Though it is not even an official holiday, Yalda still stands head and shoulders above some other ancient traditions. By the way, television and radio programs fully cater to it by airing special programs.

The story of Yalda may be interpreted as a tale of courage and effort during darkness, a triumph of light and human warmth that ultimately causes the spring to bloom in hearts.

Embassy of Iran in South Africa

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

February/March 2020

 
 
.
_________________________________________________

Translater


 

 

  
 
 
 
 

 
 
                                                     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

<|> <|> Indonesian Tourism responds to Millennials and wins Award 8 October 2019 "The challenge to the tourism world is not getting easier. It is not only the global economic slowdown, but also a change in... <|> A MEMORIAL, CORONATION, ENGAGEMENT AND A WEDDING: A ROYAL AFFAIR by Stella Sigcau 15 October 2019 September and October months were very busy in the royal calendars throughout South Africa... <|> Culture and Heritage Tourism Boost the Economy of the Mpondo Kingdom Mbotyi and Mngazi 15 October 2019 By Stella Sigcau Mpondo Kingdom is known for its cultural richness, beautiful... <|> SADC enhances cooperation with Indonesia 15 October 2019 ”Indonesia is ready to be part of the African development, especially in the southern African region” Photo: Ambassador of the Republic... <|> A rising star ready to make it internationally by Stella Sigcau 16 October 2019 Azemahle Lwanda Matebese a 13 year old, grade 8 scholar from Durban Girls High School has had a passion for dancing... <|> Korea calls for ease of doing business in SA 2 October 2019 This year marks Korea’s 4,352nd anniversary since its national foundation, and the 71st anniversary of its Armed Forces Day. In South... <|> Russia-Africa look to deepen scientific ties 14 October 2019 With a week to go until the first ever Russia-Africa Summit, Russia has emphasised the need to expand and deepen scientific ties between... <|> SA, Nigeria commit to condusive business environment 4 October 2019 The governments of South Africa and Nigeria have committed to creating a conducive business environment that will make it easier... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.