It's December 21st again...the night when Iranians once again celebrate as the longest night of the year. Also known as Shab-e Chelleh, Yalda in Iranian tradition is the first and longest night of the beginning of Winter. It is rooted in Iran's history and demonstrates Iranians' eagerness in forging strong family ties and friendly relationships.
Yalda night has become to symbolize many things in Persian poetry: separation from a beloved one, loneliness and waiting. After the night passes, a transformation takes place: the waiting ends, light shines and goodness prevail.
This year, Yalda night coincides with the Islamic month of Muharram when Iranian Muslims commemorates the martyrdom anniversary of their third Imam...Imam Hussein AS. Hence the night is expected to be celebrated with simplicity and solemnly, in compliance with the ambiance of Muharram.
(More stories of Yalda can be read on my previous post dated 21 December 2009 (Yalda...Beginning of Winter).