Years and years, people of all around the world celebrate winter solstice (shortest day of the year and its longest night). In Iran we call this night Yalda.
Why we celebrate Yalda night:
It is the longest night in year and it means from now on the days will be longer and the darkness will be shorter. In ancient Persia (now Iran) this night regarded as the birth night of the Sun.
How we celebrate Yalda:
Well… this night would be a gathering of family members together, especially in our elders' house. We can also spend night with our friends too but the custom is the same:
Fall Gereftan: in Iran we have a really great poet called Hafiz or Hafez (1325 - 1390 AD). At this night (or many other special occasions) we take his Divaan (the collection of his poems), close our eyes and open one page randomly. It is believed that the poem that we see tells our fortune; we call this: Fall Gereftan.
You are very welcomed visiting his beautiful Tomb in Shiraz and even see what is your Fall (fortune) according to Hafez poems.
But this night is not only about poetry. It is a celebration full of delicious fruits and nuts. An Iranian person would not spend Yalda night without eating those especial foods.
Yalda has its own special fruits; the two most important ones are pomegranate and especially watermelon.
Tonight (21 December) is the last night of autumn in Iran and also Yalda night. Our staff at incredibleiran.com, wish you a happy Yalda Night and hope to be your host here in Iran next Yalda.
No matter which tour you have chosen and in which city of Iran you are next December 21, we offer you to spend Yalda night with Iranian family or friends and share in their ancient custom.
Hope to be your host next December 21, in Yalda, a night full of poetry, chatting and eating.