Shab-e Yalda is the Persian Winter Solstice Celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere’s longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
It is a time when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and read poetry (especially Hafez) until well after midnight. Fruits and nuts are eaten and pomegranates and watermelons are particularly significant. The red color in these fruits symbolizes the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life, invoking the splendor of Mithra.
Jag är speciellt förtjust i detta:
Because Shab-e Yalda is the longest and darkest night, it has come to symbolize many things in Persian poetry; separation from a loved one, loneliness and waiting. After Shab-e Yalda a transformation takes place – the waiting is over, light shines and goodness prevails.
”The sight of you each morning is a New Year / Any night of your departure is the eve of Yalda” (Sa’di)
”With all my pains, there is still the hope of recovery / Like the eve of Yalda, there will finally be an end” (Sa’di)