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Yalda night

Today (December 21) is the longest night of the year on the Northern Hemisphere's.

When it comes to talk about Yalda, you’ll hear all the time about a religion called “Mithraism” from which Yalda was originated.
“Mithra” is the Iranian god of the sun, justice, contract, and war in pre-Zoroastrian Iran who was born in this night.
Depending on the shift of the calendar, Yalda is celebrated on or around December 20 or 21 each year.

What does the name Yalda mean?

Yalda is a Syriac word meaning birth in the 3rd century CE, Mithra-worshippers adopted and used the term ‘Yalda’ specifically with reference to the birth of Mithra. It is celebrated for the triumph of light over darkness.

How old is Yalda night?

Iranians have celebrated Yalda night in Iran since ancient times. Dating back to about 8000 years ago, this festivity, making the longest night of the year, is one of the ancient Iranian traditions.

What do we do in Yalda night?

As I said before, Yalda which means “birth” is celebrated for the triumph of light over darkness. We build fires on sundown of the last day in fall and keep them burning until the first rays of sun the following day. During this night we gather with our family and close friends, eat delicious food, drink, and sing happy songs all night and listen to stories about old times.

Like Pumpkin which is followed by Halloween, watermelon is recently carved and decorated for this night. pomegranate, nuts, and dried fruit are the common Foods to celebrate Yalda.

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