Yalda Night (Chelleh night) is an Iranian traditional feast on the longest and darkest night of the year. Itthe first night of the first month of winterin The Solar Hijri calendar. It has been said that Iranian gather together at this night to celebrate the end of dark and long nights, since the night after is shorter then this is the beginning of days getting longer, they celebrate the victory of light over darkness.
The longest and darkest night of the year is a time when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and read poetry until well till the midnight. The poems of Hafez, who is the most famous Iranian poet, are read or recited usually by someone who is the oldest one in family.Special fruits that are the symbols of Yalda are pomegranate and watermelon. The adults talk and laugh. The Youngers play games, dance, sing and etc… .
The other name of Yalda Night is Chele Night. Chele in Persian means “fortieth”, there are all together three 40-day periods in Iranian ancient year, one in summer, and two in winter. Chele (or Yalda ) night is the first night of first one in winter.
Yalda Nights was officially added to Iran’s List of National Treasures in a special ceremony in 2008.