Tehran (IP) - Yalda, one of the most popular ancient traditions which Persian-speaking people worldwide celebrated every year. In past years, coronavirus pandemics created restrictions for Yalda night celebrations including family gatherings in which people avoided observing healthy protocols.

Iran PressIran news: Tuesday night (December 21, 2021) is the last night of Autumn and the longest night of the year in Iran. It is called Yalda Night, and its ancient tradition is celebrated with family gatherings which, after the pandemic, people avoided having healthy Yalda.

Iranian and the most Persian-speaking people worldwide consider reading historical poems, especially Hafez poems, as auspicious in Yalda night or "Shab Chelleh," which literally means the night of the forty.

This refers to the first forty days of Winter that are often the coldest and harshest to bear.

Yalda night which in Persian culture means the "Birth of new Sun," is the second most popular ancient tradition after Nowruz (New Year), which Persian-speaking people worldwide celebrate every year. 

Yalda has such importance and is so famous for Iranian that people observed it in the past two years amid the coronavirus pandemic by keeping healthy protocols and avoiding one of the most interesting Yalda night traditions, which are family gatherings.

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Falling on December 21 this year, Yalda arrived simultaneously when Iran Health Ministry reported that detected the first case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Due to the high transmission rate of the Omicron variant, it seems that Yalda night will be celebrated more privately than in the past years, or family gatherings will be done through social video app meetings.

The story of Yalda is the triumph of light against darkness.

"Yalda means birth, brightness overcomes deep darkness and some believe mainly is Jesus's nativity," Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel,  former Parliament Speaker, current Head of Saadi Foundation which is a distinguished expert in the field of Persian language, Iranian culture, and civilization.

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Other experts believe that Yalda night has a 7,000-year history, and its ancient traditions and customs have changed over time.

The tradition of Yalda includes eating nuts, watermelons, pomegranates, and this has been the custom for centuries.

Fruits of Shab-e-Yalda have symbolic significance as well. Some believe that watermelon symbolizes the sun by its spherical shape, while others believe that eating watermelon keeps one safe from being hurt by winter diseases.

Pomegranate is also a symbol of birth, and its bright red seeds symbolize the glow of life.


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