Yalda (Birth of Sun After the Darkest Night) Picture

Since beginning of civilization there were ceremonies and celebrations coincident on natural and universal events among the tribes of the humankind. There are thousands of years which Iranians and many neighboring countries of Iran who have been touched by archaic traditions of this region, celebrate the Yalda Night or the Chele Night on the last night of the month Azar (9th month of Persian Calendar).

Since ancient Iranian calendar is precisely coincident on universal movements of the earth and the exact natural change of the seasons. In this night (30th Azar) the winter solstice happens and sun in its yearly change of position, at the end of the autumn, reaches to the lowest point of south east horizon itself and this make the length of the day short, and length of the night long.

This makes the Yalda’s night the longest and darkest night of the year. Some of the people mistakenly believe we Iranians celebrate this night because of avoiding the omen this long dark night but the fact is we actually celebrate the birth of the sun on this night. Cause after this night Sun starts to come up from north east and days start to grow longer until they reach to their longest length in summer solstice.

Yalda is an ancient word which means Birth. In this longest night, Sun will be born again; The Sun that was dead in the end of the Autumn. It will be child in Winter and a young in the Spring and at the peak of the Summer it will be in its strongest state. After that will Autumn come the oldness and again with the end of the Autumn, Sun dies and gets reborn at the first day of the Dey (10th month of Persian Calendar). That day is called (Khorram Rooz) which means Joyous Day. It’s called Khorram Rooz because of the first day of baby Sun.

That’s why the presence of all generations is essential in the Yalda’s Night. We Iranians mostly gather around each other in the house of the eldest of the family and celebrate the night together.

So in Yalda night, we stay awake with the Mother of Sun in her giving birth to let her know we stay by her side and we are thankful of her.
We use special treats and foods in this special night. We eat pomegranate and slices of watermelon and drink red wine because of their color similarity to red of the sun. We also eat special Yalda nuts.

And get Hafez’s Faal to see what our subconscious has to tell us via Hafez’s beautiful poems in this very special night.

In ancient beliefs of this region specially among the Mithraic and Zurvani rites, Moon symbolizes Anahita (the Universal Mother) and Sun symbolizes Mehr (the Universal Son).

In other religions and beliefs around the world, this special night gets celebrated by many local names which two biggest of them is Christmas (the Birth of the Son (Jesus)) and of course the Yule.


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