By Faranak Bakhtiari

Christmas celebrations going virtual in Iran

December 20, 2020 - 22:5

TEHRAN – In the light of the global pandemic, Christmas is celebrated virtually, unlike usual gatherings, among Iranian Christians to prevent the COVID-19 transmission chain.

COVID-19 prevented the New Year to be celebrated in the same way as in previous years, and only priests in churches will perform the prayers, which will be broadcasted on social media for Christian compatriots.

“Even gatherings like in previous years, which were organized to meet and visit personalities and clerics in the church, will not be held this year to prevent the spread of the disease,” Stanley Simmons head of the Assyrian Association of Urmia said.

The celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and the New Year start from December 25 until January 7.

The Assyrians celebrate December 24 as the birth anniversary of Jesus (PBUH), while the Armenians celebrate it on January 5.

Pandemic changes big celebrations 

Every year, the streets and shops in special parts of the cities across the country, including the Julfa neighbourhood of Isfahan, were decorated with the beginning of the New Year and Christmas celebrations, and the decorated pine trees appeared in the streets, concurrent with ancient Iranian ceremony of Yalda night.

Nationally called “Shab-e Yalda” or “Shab-e-Chelleh”, it literally means the night of the forty. This refers to the first forty days of winter that are often the coldest and toughest to bear, falling on December 20 this year.

But this year, due to the pandemic, people lost the opportunity to celebrate the big occasions as always in gatherings, from Noruz to different festivals or religious ceremonies which all held avoiding gatherings.

The outbreak reached its peak concurrent with the Iranian New Year celebration (March 21), which has made Noruz different from years and even centuries ago.

However, in Sizdah Bedar, people were also asked to stay at home and resist picnicking outdoor to break the chain of coronavirus transmission, and they were successful in curbing the disease.

Sizdah Bedar, also known as Nature Day, is an Iranian festival held annually on the thirteenth day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian calendar (falling on April 1 this year), during which Iranians reconcile with nature by spending time in resorts, gardens, and natural areas. It marks the end of the Noruz holidays in Iran.

So that people were also asked to stay at home and resist picnicking outdoor to break the chain of coronavirus transmission.

It can now be said that Iranian families who have been involved with coronavirus infection have come to the conclusion that they will not get rid of the disease except by observing healthcare methods and social distance.

Meanwhile, Armenian Christians, along with other Iranian compatriots, emphasized that this year no decorations or ceremonies will be held on the occasion of the New Year 2021 to curb the disease.

It is necessary for all people to join hands in the fight against coronavirus so that the virus is sooner eradicated.



  • 2020-12-22 22:44
    Marry x-mass day my brothers and sisters in the city of tehran of the iran greetings from kampala the of uganda

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