Shab-e-Yalda: Observing the Winter Solstice with Poetry and Pomegranates

December 21, 2020 | Filed Under Devotions, History | No Comments

If you are looking for new ideas to mark the Winter Solstice, this article by Elmira Jafari about Shab-e-Yalda (also called “Shab-e-Chelleh”) has some inspiration!

The festival was adopted by the Persians from the Babylonians, and is celebrated in modern times in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan as well.

In addition to keeping a fire lit all night (if you have a safe way to do so!), the holiday is marked with feasting on red foods (pomegranates and watermelon are favored), and wearing red, orange, and yellow clothing—the colors of fire and the sun. It is believed that, by eating summer fruits in winter, you can stay healthy through the cold months.

Parties last late into the night, and feature music and poetry reading.

Poetry and pomegranates—sounds like a wonderful evening to me!

A piece of pomegranate rind with seeds and piece of the outside rind are on a red tablecloth, next to a yellow bowl filled with pomegranate seeds.The caption reads "Pomegranate" photo by flickr user Meesh Rheault/creative commons".

[Image description:A piece of pomegranate rind with seeds and piece of the outside rind are on a red tablecloth, next to a yellow bowl filled with pomegranate seeds. The caption reads “Pomegranate” photo by flickr user Meesh Rheault/creative commons”.]

 

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