Monday, December 21, 2009

Shab e Yalda شب یلدا

In the western world we think of the 21st of December as the Winter solstice. The night of the 21st is the longest of the year for the northern hemisphere.

In Iranian and to some degree Afghan culture the night of the 21st of December is Shab-e Yalda شب یلدا .

It is an Iranian festival whose origins go all the way back to Babylonian and Zoroastrian religious rights. It has been adopted over time and is still celebrated as a winter feast, when families will sit up all night around a fire telling stories and eating melons, pomegranate, and nuts.

Because Shab-e Yalda is the longest and darkest night, it has come to symbolise many things in Persian poetry; separation from a loved one, loneliness and waiting. After Shab-e Yalda a transformation takes place - the waiting is over, light shines and goodness prevails.

Shab-e Yalda is also a very special day to someone very close to me. Someone I hope to see soon. And while it may not be fast enough, sometime after Shab-e Yalda the waiting will be over. Light and goodness will prevail.


  1. "light shines and goodness prevails"

    Let us hope. Merry Christmas to you and thank you and the troops for all.

    Paul H

  2. mayerlancek@aol.comDecember 25, 2009 at 4:42 AM

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Merry Christmas. Thank you for your informative posts...I really appreciate them.