Yalda Night
Iranian Customs

Yalda Night

Yalda Night

One of the most honored traditional ceremonies in Iran is Yalda Night, also known as Shabe Chelleh. The last night of autumn is celebrated because the winter comes that brings the rebirth of sun and days to become longer.

 This night plays an important role among Iranian Families. All of the family members get together and praise a night which is one minute longer than the others. 

The main part of this gathering is its goodies. Pomegranate, watermelon, medlar are popular fruits for this night. Cooked pumpkin and beetroot have their own fans in this familial meeting. 
The other favored edible goodies are sweet nuts such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, dried fruits, chickpeas, and raisins. 

This night seems to be just a reason for Iranian to read Hafez's poetries in order to predict what will happen to them based on his poems. Confectioneries, candies, and chocolates are the main part of this celebration. Mostly young people accompany their parents to grandparents' houses with their relatives, cousins and they will visit people who may not have seen for a long time.

So many years ago, when using Korsi, a type of low table with a heater underneath it and blankets were thrown over it, was so popular, family members seat under the Korsi and warmth themselves meanwhile they celebrate Yalda Night. Grandparents tell the stories of their youth and childhood or the bravery of the Iranian heroes. 

In different parts of Iran, special food is cooked for this night but mostly Fried Fish with Vegetable Rice (Sabzi Polo ba Mahi), Cooked Chicken with Rice and Barberry (Zereshk Polo ba Morgh), Pomegranate Pottage( Ashe Anar), and Vermicelli with Rice and Special Seasoning (Reshteh Polo). 


Iranian are famous for their familial ties. Yalda Night works as a symptom to reveal their love towards their family by spending the longest night in the whole year together.

Written by: Najmeh Haghi

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