What does Yalda mean?

history of yalda night

Yalda night, starting at sunset on the last day of autumn and ending with the first light of winter, coincides with December 21st. Iranians hold Shab-e Cheleh dear as the longest night of the year, and it’s a bustling affair in streets and markets. Car rentals provide a convenient way to enjoy this occasion in Iran. “Yalda” traces its roots to Syriac, a language of early Christians who found refuge in Iran, adding a cultural touch to the festivities. The night marks the sun’s farthest point from its celestial orbit, resulting in the year’s longest night, differing by just one minute from  You can use a car rental in Iran to visit this country on this beautiful night.others.

Reasons for holding Yalda Night celebration

Ancient Iranian beliefs are based on myths and knowledge of cosmic events.

•The first narration: The victory of light over light and darkness

In ancient times, people’s lives were based on agriculture and animal husbandry; and the effects of the weather were very important to them. By observation and experience, people understood the constant changes of night and day and seasons. They influence light and darkness, and they saw heat and cold in their lives in this way, they celebrated the last day of autumn, which is the longest night of the year. Because the next day, the days get a little longer and the Creator triumphs over the devil of light over darkness.

•The second narration: the night of the birth of Mehr and Mitra (the sun) and the beginning of creation

The religion of Mehr or Mithraism was prevalent in Iran before the Zoroastrian religion. This ritual was based on the worship of Mitra (Mehr). Mitra is an Indian and Iranian deity. On the one hand, he represents love and affection; On the other hand, he is a mediator in concluding contracts.

Mehr worshipers consider Yalda night to be the birthday of Mitra (God of Mehr). As in a long and cold night, the god of love appears in a low and low cave and brings the sun.

Traditions and rituals of Iranians on the night of Yalda

Yalda is one of the most important nights for Iranian people. The people of Iran spend this long night together until dawn with all kinds of fun programs together so that the darkness, cold, and sorrow of the absence of the sun do not weaken their souls and they go to bed easily with a bright sky. Yalda celebration is celebrated today by Iranians with relatives and family spending the night together, so that family members gather on this important night and the elderly members of the family begin to tell ancient stories.

yalda night table is so important for iranians

Lighting a fire in Yalda

Since lighting a fire was a symbol of light and the sun in the eyes of the ancients, and some also knew it to remove the darkness and evil of the devil, so to escape the darkness and the forces of the devil, they lit a fire to create a warm circle together. Today, candles are lit instead of fire.

Storytelling and parables on Yalda night

On the night of Yalda, families gather together and listen to poetry readings and stories by older and older people. Unreal and small stories whose heroes are fairies, demons, and animals, and it is sure to be heard by everyone. It is pleasant and attractive. On this night you can wear red clothes because red is the color of this night.

Hafez fortune-telling and Shahnameh reading on Yalda night

Reading Shahnameh and divination of Hafez on the nights of Yalda is another entertainment of Iranians and it has long been customary for the intended audience to cast a spell on Hafez, and the great member of parliament who is about to speak asks him to say this sentence. To repeat to himself: Hafez Shirazi, you are the discoverer of every secret, I want a fortune, comment on me…

reading Hafiz is an important part of yalda night

Fruits for Yalda Night

  • Watermelon

This fruit is one of the main symbols of Yalda and is reminiscent of summer heat in the middle of winter.

you should eat watermelon for yalda night
  • Pomegranate

Pomegranate is considered sacred in the Zoroastrian religion and is one of the Minoan trees. Pomegranate is a symbol of happiness and the sun because of its red color. Eating pomegranate on Yalda night was due to the belief in the effect of its contagious magic. That is, by taking pomegranate and eating it, they received the blessing from its many seeds and increased their fertility.

you should eat pomegranate in yalda night

Yalda night snacks and nuts

In the past, it was not easy to store fruits for a long time; many fruits were dried for storage and consumption in other seasons.

  • Yalda Night Nuts

Nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are the main components of nuts for Yalda night. Snacks have also been added to Yalda night nuts. Today, baslaq and pashmak are also among the sweets of this table.


Yalda night customs are different in all cities. Yalda night is one of the most beautiful nights in history. You can rent a car, from rentkonim and enjoy this beautiful night in a historic country.

Last Words

Yalda Night, celebrated in Iran, marks the transition from autumn to winter, spanning from sunset on the last autumn day to sunrise on the first winter day, coinciding with December 21st. Known as Shab-e Cheleh, it holds deep cultural significance for Iranians, invoking memories of the longest night of the year. The event enlivens streets and bazaars, with people eagerly preparing for this ancient celebration, often using car rentals to explore the country. The term “Yalda” originates from Syriac, a language shared among early Christians, suggesting cultural ties between Iran and Christian communities. Yalda symbolizes the sun’s farthest point from its celestial orbit, resulting in the year’s longest night, differing by a mere one minute from others.