Shab-e Yaldat Moborak!

21st December, the longest night of the year.

It is the eve of the birth of Mithra, the Sun God, representing the defeat of the powers of darkness. It has been celebrated in many cultures across the world and for Iranians it symbolises light, goodness and strength. Shab-e Yalda (the night of Yalda) is a time of joy, referring to the rebirth of the sun.

Shab-e Yalda  is a night spent with family and friends when they come together to eat, drink and read poetry throughout the night. Pomegranates are particularly prominent during the celebrations and the redness of the fruits is a reminder of the crimson tones of dawn and the splendour of life.

For Iranians, Shab-e Yalda is the coldest and darkest night and in Persian poetry has come to be symbolic of loneliness and separation from loved ones. However, it is not a time of sorrow, but a time of hope and of new beginnings as representative of the rising sun following Shab-e Yalda.

This time of the year, regardless of your culture, your nationality, your religion, is a time for new beginnings, resolutions, and the end of  hardship. With the fear of Christmas ever-growing, perhaps Shab-e Yalda, a purely secular celebration, could in its own way bring with it “good tidings” to all. For this reason, I do not hesitate to wish you all: “Shabe Yaldat Mobarak”, “Have a lovely Yalda night” and may the morning bring with it hope and happiness.

Borrowing words from Sa’adi: with all your pains, there is still the hope of recovery, like the eve of Yalda, there will finally be an end.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PJ
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 13:03:53

    May this also brings an end to the long dark night in Iran… Maybe a green morning tomorrow?


  2. Saeid Behboodi
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 15:42:11



  3. Saeid Behboodi
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 15:43:48

    shabe yalda bar dostane irane mobarak bad,


  4. Maryam Allahyari
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 05:38:42

    shab yalda bar hameh dostan irani mobarak


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