Tehran (IP) - "Yaldā Night or Shab-e-Chella", practiced in Iran and Afghanistan, and the musical instrument "Oud" have been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Iran PressIran News: Yaldā Night or Shab-e-Chella refers to a traditional celebration of the sun and the warmth of life.

The event takes place on the last night of autumn when families gather at the houses of elders and sit around a table adorned with a series of symbolic objects and foods: a lamp to symbolize light, water to represent cleanliness, and red fruits such as pomegranates, watermelons, beetroots, jujube, and grapes to symbolize warmth.

Broth, sweets, dried fruits, and nuts that are used specifically for the occasion are also set on the table and consumed during the gathering.

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Activities range from reciting poetry and storytelling to playing games and music and giving gifts to new in-laws, brides, and children.

The event celebrates cultural identity, nature, respect for women, friendship, hospitality, cultural diversity, and peaceful coexistence. It is transmitted informally within families, although radio and television programs, publications, social media, and educational materials have also played an important role in transmitting the practice in recent years.

Events, conferences, training, workshops, and awareness-raising activities carried out by research centers, NGOs, cultural organizations and educational institutes have also had a significant impact on the proper transmission of the element to future generations.

Crafting and playing the Oud

During its seventeenth session, held in Morocco, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage also inscribed Crafting and Playing the Oud on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The oud is a traditional, lute-type instrument played in Iran and Syria. The musician places the short-necked instrument on their leg, fretting with one hand and plucking the chords with the other.

In both countries, the oud consists of a pear-shaped sound box made of walnut, rose, poplar, ebony, or apricot wood. Crafting an oud takes up to twenty-five days, during which the wood is left to dry and harden and is then treated with water and steam for fifteen days to build its durability.

Ouds are crafted in different sizes for different-sized bodies and decorated with wooden carvings and mosaic patterns.