Different Yalda for Iranians in COVID-19 era
The winter solstice, which is the longest night of the year, is known as “Yalda Night” and is annually celebrated by Iranian but due to coronavirus outbreak upcoming Yalda will be different.
"Shab-e Yalda" or "Shab-e Chelleh" (Yalda Night) is the time when family members get together to celebrate the winter solstice. At the ceremony, people eat different kinds of foods, ranging from watermelon and pomegranate to nuts and sweets.
Reading the poems of renowned Persian poet Hafez is among the customary traditions in which Iranians are interested. They open the divan of Hafez and make a wish.
After thousands of years, Iranians still have kept the tradition of gathering at the elders’ homes, particularly their parents, to celebrate any happy gatherings, including the Yalda feast.
However, the upcoming Yalda is quite different, and gatherings are not only a good symbol, but also it is a symbol of irresponsibility towards the health of the family members.
The World Health Organization has stated that the world's total COVID-19 deaths mounted to over 1,644,578 so far.
It has been noted that over 73,930,456 people in the world have been confirmed infected with the COVID-19 until now.
Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari has said that the country’s total COVID-19 deaths mounted to over 53,448 at this time.
Sadat Lari has noted that over 1,108,269 Iranians have been confirmed infected with the COVID-19 so far.
While the uninvited guest of coronavirus does not intend to go and shows up every day in a different way, it will not allow human beings to be with their family members, especially grandparents, as in previous years because elders are less capable against COVID-19, besides children who are silent carriers of the disease can pose a lot of risks for the longest night of the year.
The winter solstice, the longest night of the year, falls on December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and June 20 or 21 in the Southern. Since ancient times, people all over the world have recognized this important astronomical occurrence and celebrated the subsequent “return” of the Sun in a variety of different ways.
Yalda is not just for Iranians; some other nations, including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, celebrate the longest night of the year for centuries.
Yalda Night was officially added to Iran's list of National Treasures during a special ceremony in 2008.
Iran submitted the Yalda portfolio to be registered on UNESCO's list on 19 March 2015.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA