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Yalda Night: Traditional Persian Celebration of Winter Solstice

December 18, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Join us in celebrating Yalda night, the Persian celebration of the Winter Solstice in our community of Moscow and Pullman. There will be live music, Persian cuisine, dance and other festivities.
What is YALDA?

Iranians around the world celebrate Yalda, which is one of the most ancient Persian festivals. The festival dates back to the time when the majority of Persians were followers of Zoroastrianism prior to the advent of Islam.

On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

Considered the longest night of the year, Yalda eve is the night when ancient Iranians celebrated the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light. Ancient Persians believed that evil forces were dominant on the longest night of the year and that the next day belonged to the Lord of Wisdom, Ahura Mazda.

In addition to Iran, Central Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and some Caucasian states such as Azerbaijan and Armenia share the same tradition and celebrate Yalda Night annually at this time of the year.

On this night, family members get together (most often in the house of the eldest member) and stay awake all night long. Dried nuts, watermelon, and pomegranate are served, as supplications to God for increasing his bounties, as well classic poetry and old mythologies are read aloud.

Iranians believe those who begin winter by eating summer fruits would not fall ill during the cold season. Therefore, eating watermelons is one of the most important traditions in this night.

Pomegranates, placed on top of a fruit basket, are reminders of the cycle of life-the rebirth and revival of generations. The purple outer covering of a pomegranate symbolizes birth or dawn, and their bright red seeds the glow of life.

One of the other traditions of Yalda night, which has been added in recent centuries, is the recitation of the classic poetry of Hafez, the Iranian poet of 14th century AD. Each member of the family makes a wish and randomly opens the book and asks the eldest member of the family to read it aloud. What is expressed in that poem is believed to be the interpretation of the wish and whether and how it will come true. This is called Faal-e Hafez (Hafez Omen).

Coinciding with the beginning of the winter, Yalda is an occasion to celebrate the end of the crop season. It is today an event to thank the Lord for all blessings and to pray for prosperity in the next year.

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Ticket Prices:

Students: $18
Public: $22

***Early Bird Discount till Dec. 12***
Students: $12
Public: $16

***Dress to impress!!!***

***Admission is free for children under 6 years old***

For Tickets Please Go to: https://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/130649/chk/ca22

Sponsored by ASWSU

Venue

SEL Event Center
Pullman, WA United States + Google Map