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What makes Yalda Night pretty special

Yalda Night is a Persian festival falling on the longest and darkest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Yalda Night is a Persian festival falling on the longest and darkest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The longest night is an Iranian Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice festival that embodies a good number of symbols and concepts.

The fest celebrates the fact that after a long battle, the light will prevail over darkness and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Friends and family get together and re-enact some rituals commonly practiced by their forefathers, including reading the Quran and poetry until well after midnight.

Iranians also eat watermelons and pomegranate for the night, listening to stories narrated by senior family members. Fruits are the embodiment of summer and have a spceil place on the Yalda table, conjuring summer days.

What makes this night very much special is that you eat the same foods that your ancestors did on the same night. 

There are plenty of snacks on the Yalda table such as raisin and saffron keshmeshi cookies, and the chewy pistachio nougat candy called gaz.

There are bowls of nuts and dried fruits and you can drink endless hot black tea.

Remember when you are in Iran, don’t stop at one when it comes to tea. Never say, “thanks, but no thanks” to an offer for a refill. This way, your guest makes sure you are having a great time at their house.  

This year, the longest night is celebrated tonight on December 21. Happy Yalda Night and wishing you all the very best. 

AG/AG

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