Monday, December 22, 2014

Yalda

We Persians celebrate winter solstice (which was last night) or Yalda, as we call it (which means the longest and darkest night of the year), with family get-togethers every year. It's been a tradition for centuries, and it's such a lovely night. Traditionally, we read poems from Divan-e-Hafez we have some certain fruits/snacks on Yalda such as pomegranates, cotton candy, watermelon, nuts, and sweets. Other optional snacks and fruits are served too.


This is how I set our table for the night.


Some details.


Strawberry snowmen! Cute, right? You can use whipped cream or yogurt. Super easy to make.


I love love love Yalda so much, and get excited for it every year. I painted my nails like this as a result.

Last but not least, I would like to quote Wikipedia to end this post with some more description of Yalda:

In Zoroastrian tradition the longest and darkest night of the year was a particularly inauspicious day, and the practices of what is now known as "Shab-e Chelleh/Yalda" were originally customs intended to protect people from evil (dews) during that long night. People were advised to stay awake most of the night, lest misfortune should befall them, and people would then gather in the safety of groups of friends and relatives, share the last remaining fruits from the summer, and find ways to pass the long night together in good company. The next day (i.e. the first day of Dae month) was then a day of celebration, and (at least in the 10th century, as recorded by Al-Biruni), the festival of the first day of Dae month was known as Ḵorram-ruz (joyful day) or Navad-ruz (ninety days [left to Nowruz]). Although the religious significance of the long dark night have been lost, the old traditions of staying up late in the company of friends and family have been retained in Iranian culture to the present day. 

Goodbye autumn 1393/2014, hello winter! :) 
Noushin



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