• Shabe YALDA. is the Persian Winter Solstice Celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemispher’s longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Wintwr Solstice. Depending on the shift of the calendar, Yalda is celebrated on or around December 20 or 21 each year.
Yalda has a history as long as the Mithraism religion. The Mithraists believed that this night is the night of the birth of Mithra , Persian angel of light and truth. At the morning of the longest night of the year the Mithra was born.
• Yalda is a social occasion when family and close friends would get together. Nonetheless, the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter is reminiscent of the ancient customs of invoking the divinities to request protection of the winter crop.•
The 13th century Persian poet Sa’di wrote inhis Bustan: "The true morning will not come,until the Yalda Night is gone
In Zoroastrian and ancient Iranian traditions, the wintersolstice with the longest night of the year was an auspicious day,and included customs intended to protect people from misfortune.On that day, people were advised to stay awake most of the night.To commemorate, people have small parties and gatherings andeat the last remaining fresh fruits from summer
Foods common to Yalda celebration include watermelon, pomegranate, nuts, and dried fruit.Activities common to celebration of Yalda include staying up past midnight, conversation, eating, reading poems out loud, telling stories and jokes, smoking "Ghelyoon" (water pipe), and for some dancing
The Eve of the Yalda has great significance in thePersian/Iranian calendar. It is the eve of the birth ofMithra, the Sun God, who symbolized light, goodness andstrength on earth . Shab-e Yalda is a time of joy.
Yalda is a Syriac word meaning birth . Mithra-worshipers used the term yalda specifically with reference to the birth of Mithra. As the longest night of the year, the Eve of Yalda (Shab-e Yalda) is also a turning point, after which the days grow longer. In ancient times it symbolized the triumph of the Sun