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What is Yalda Night?
The longest night of the year or Yalda was celebrated among different groups of Iranians on the last day of autumn. This celebration is coming from the time when the majority of Persians were followers of Zoroastrianism prior to the advent of Islam.
Why Iranian Celebrate Yalda Night?
The red color of these fruits symbolize the cycle and glow of life. This evening is filled with different types of food, nuts, cakes and drinks. Without them, there is no Yalda night. These days you can find everything in the shape and color of these fruits such as cakes, cupcakes or even home accessories. Yalda, which means birth, is the night in which the tide of darkness began to turn back in favor of light.
How do Iranians celebrate Yalda?
It is a tradition to go to their grandparents’ house for gathering around fire and dancing at night. At this long night, Iranians set and design tables, eat, drink and read Hafez to pass this one minute longer night of the year with laughter and joy. Iranians believe those who begin winter by eating summer fruits would not get sick during the cold season. So, the most important fruits of the evening are pomegranate, apples, and watermelon.
As for foods, Iranians prefer to cook traditional foods. For example, in Isfahan, people cook Koofteh, Ghermezeh Nokhodchi or Fesenjan. In other cities, the variety is endless but to mention a few: Mahi polo (fish and rice), Bademjan Stew and rice, (eggplant stew), Ash-e Reshteh (a kind of noodle soup), and traditional desserts such as Fereni and Shole Zard may be prepared for this night.