Yalda is one of the most celebrated traditional events in Iran which marks the longest night of the year.
Every year, on December 21st, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness on Yalda Night.
Family members get together (most often in the house of the eldest member) and stay awake all night long in Yalda.
Watermelon, pomegranate and dried nuts are served as a tradition and classic poetry and old mythologies are read in the gathering.
Getting a ‘Hafez reading’ from the book of great Persian poet Shamsu d-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi is also practiced in this night.
Central Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and some Caucasian states such as Azerbaijan and Armenia share the same tradition as well and celebrate Yalda Night annually at this time of the year.