Cultural programs to highlight Yalda Night

December 21, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – A wide variety of cultural programs have been arranged inside and outside the country to celebrate Yalda Night, the longest night of the year.

Yalda Night, which falls on December 21, is considered the longest night of the year when the ancient Iranians celebrated the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light. It is also known as the Chelleh Night.

Iranians considered night and darkness as evil forces. The night of December 21 is the longest night of the year with evil at its zenith, and is considered unlucky. But after that, the nights grow shorter showing light’s triumph as the days grow longer and thus give more light.

Family members get together at the home of the elders and stay until after midnight to celebrate this night. They serve dried fruits, nuts and winter fruits like pomegranates and watermelons, which are said to symbolize the red color of dawn in the sky.

The Book City Institute will be hosting a book-reading program with writer and director Sorush Sehat and actress Pantea Bahram attending.

The book “Yalda”, containing the latest collection of poetry by Saeid Biabanaki, will be introduced in Tehran’s Sureh Mehr Bookstore during a ceremony tonight, to be attended by a number of poets including Alireza Qazveh, Naser Feiz and Mahmud Akrami.

IRIB Nasim TV Channel has also a set of entertainment programs arranged to celebrate the night.

A selection from the children’s program Kolah-Qermezi (The Red-Hatted One) is scheduled to be aired for children on Nasim.

Kolah-Qermezi is a cute naughty puppet who wears a red hat. He is famous for his speaking with a strange accent, and making weird actions and decisions, all of which drives the host Iraj Tahmasb crazy most of the time.

The channel will also air a selection from “Khandevaneh”, a popular Iranian TV entertainment program, on Yalda Night.

There is also a charity concert by singer Davud Azaad at the Kahrizak Charity Nursing Home for the handicapped and patients suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis).

Moreover, the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) has set up a series of art and cultural programs and concerts for Iranians residing in the countries of Austria, Germany, Spain, Cyprus and Belorussia.

The programs include a musical concert by traditional singer Salar Aqili in Cyprus, as well as naqqali, a style of storytelling dedicated to epic stories from Ferdowsi’s masterpiece Shahnameh, in Austria and Germany.