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​Shab-e Yalda

Take that Mithra
On the “longest and darkest night of the year,” Iranians around the world celebrate Shab-e Yalda (شب یلدا.), or Yaldā Night. We know this time as the winter solstice. Shab-e Yalda is an ancient Persian festival that commemorates the triumph of Mithra, the Sun God, over darkness.
 

Farsi fruits
Pomegranates and watermelon are symbolic of this time. There is a Farsi saying that goes something like: “I wish you a long and happy life like Shab-e Yalda, wet as watermelon and fruitful as pomegranates.” Both fruits are said to protect you from the summer heat of the next year.
 

Gather ‘round the korsi
A ornate display is created, which is put on top of a korsi, a low, heated sitting table for families to gather around. This table is covered in a decorative cloth and topped with fruits (like the aforementioned pomegranates and watermelon), nuts, and a book of poems called Hafez.
 

More than just poems
For this celebration, it’s traditional to read poems from Hafez. Family members then take turns asking the Hafez a question, and flipping to a random page to “divine,” get an answer. This is more of a reflection tool than fortune telling, as it promotes critical thinking about their lives and the text.
 

Greetings
Wish someone a “Happy Yalda!” by saying “Shab-e Yalda Mobarak!”

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© Fairland x Boxmaker Inc.

Shab-e Yalda 

Take that Mithra
On the “longest and darkest night of the year,” Iranians around the world celebrate Shab-e Yalda (شب یلدا.), or Yaldā Night. We know this time as the winter solstice. Shab-e Yalda is an ancient Persian festival that commemorates the triumph of Mithra, the Sun God, over darkness.
 

Farsi fruits
Pomegranates and watermelon are symbolic of this time. There is a Farsi saying that goes something like: “I wish you a long and happy life like Shab-e Yalda, wet as watermelon and fruitful as pomegranates.” Both fruits are said to protect you from the summer heat of the next year.
 

Gather ‘round the korsi
A ornate display is created, which is put on top of a korsi, a low, heated sitting table for families to gather around. This table is covered in a decorative cloth and topped with fruits (like the aforementioned pomegranates and watermelon), nuts, and a book of poems called Hafez.
 

More than just poems
For this celebration, it’s traditional to read poems from Hafez. Family members then take turns asking the Hafez a question, and flipping to a random page to “divine,” get an answer. This is more of a reflection tool than fortune telling, as it promotes critical thinking about their lives and the text.
 

Greetings
Wish someone a “Happy Yalda!” by saying “Shab-e Yalda Mobarak!”

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