In the Persian tradition there is a special night coming up it is called Yalda night.
You might have grown up calling it the winter solstice this will fall on December 21st at 11:11 AM CST this year. The December solstice is also known as the “summer solstice” in the southern hemisphere. It is the winter solstice only in the northern hemisphere. It will be the shortest day of the year and longest night of the year and celebrated by the Persian community because from here on the days start to become longer.
As days start lengthening, ancient Iranians believe that at the end of the first night of winter which coincides with December 21 this year, darkness is defeated by light and therefore they must celebrate the whole night. As the 13th-century Iranian poet Sa’di writes in his book Boustan: “The true morning will not come until the Yalda Night is gone.”
Family and friends get together normally in the house of the eldest member and stay awake all night long for a good time and eat different kinds of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and fresh winter fruits and read aloud classic poetry and old mythologies.
Having dried and fresh fruits at this time reflects ancient feasts that would be held to ensure protection of winter crops. Eating watermelons is one of the most important traditions to begin this winter time to help insure not to fall ill during the cold season. Pomegranates, on top of a fruit basket are a reminder of the cycle of life, the purple outer skin color symbolizes the birth or dawn and the red seeds the glow of life.
Happy Holidays from Behnam Persian Rug Cleaning.