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YALDA & YALDA NIGHT - Dec 21st/22nd this year

Yalda is the celebration of the re-birth of the Sun and birth of Mithra which occurs at the Winter Solstice.

Yalda Night is the longest night of the year - when the sun is at its weakest - and evil is at its strongest - and is a time of trepidation. Traditionally it is a time Persians will mark by staying up late in company with others and lighting fires against the evil power.

Modern Iranians now treat Yalda Night itself as a celebration, but correctly the celebration should not happen before the dawn that brings an end to Yalda Night - the actual time of Mithra's birth. This following day was traditionally known as Korram Ruz or Joyful Day.

A shadow casts across a closing sky
where crowds will meet to bid the night good-bye.
With hushed excitement, waiting now respite;
in silence but for night hawks eerie cry.

This winter solstice fires will burn all night,
with sparks cascading; messages in flight.
Ensuring then, defeat of Ahriman
with prayers to Mithra, bringing morning light

A night of celebration to Daygan
with festive food and dance, the night began.
Their prayers ensure protected winter grain.
They wait to see the new sun shine on man.

Yalda triumphant, light our darkened plain,
bring forth new life, your love with us remain.
Yalda: re-birth, arise new sun on high.
Shab-e yalda; our sun is born again.