Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last night and night of Yalda

Shab-e Yalda or Shab-e Chelleh is an Iranian festival originally celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
The 13Th century one of our great poet Sa'di wrote in his Bustan: "The true morning will not come, until the Yalda Night is gone". Following the Iranian calendar reform of 1925, which pegged some seasonal events to specific days of the calendar, Yalda came to be celebrated on the night before and including the first day of the tenth month (Dey). Subject to seasonal drift, this day may sometimes fall a day before or a day after the actual Winter Solstice.
Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the subsequent rise of Islam, the religious significance of the event was lost, and Yalda became 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.
Today; Families continue to hold traditional gatherings on Yalda. Iranian radio and television offer special programmes on that night of Yalda.Watermelons, nuts, fresh fruits like pomegranate,orange and etc are placed on the Korsi, a traditional piece of furniture similar to a very short table, around which the family sit on the ground. On it, a blanket made of wool filling is thrown, people leave their legs under the blanket. Inside the korsi, heat is generated by means of coal, electricity or gas heaters.Grand parents tell old stories for their childs and grandchids and read Hafez’s poems.
It is also a custom that grooms give a gift to their brride and they celebrate this night before starting their new life together.
Text is written according to WikiPedia
Yalda means life is as much short as we must celebrate for just one minute more being together.Happy Yalda!