• Sat / 21 December 2019 / 14:55
  • Category: Culture and Art
  • News Code: 98093022584
  • Journalist : 99999

Yalda in Khorasan

Yalda in Khorasan

Tehran (ISNA) - Ancient Persians believed that happiness is important, and life is based on happiness, but sadness is as a demonic act, so God doesn’t like it. According to this, people were gathered together in different ceremonies and trying to make others happy. Yalda Night is one of the examples of these ceremonies.

Yalda Night is the oldest Iranian celebrations. Yalda is celebrated as the longest night of the year followed by the longer days in the northern hemisphere, which is coincided with the winter revolution. The word Yalda means being born and it is believed that the sun is born again in Yalda night.

Iranians have always been in peace and friendship, and holding these celebrations indicated intimacy of the community and their unity.

Agriculture and ranching were the foundation of the life of ancient people, and most of the ceremonies were related to the earth and geographical conditions. The geography of Iran is extremely diverse allowing them to hold different rituals each month.

In Khorasan, families come together on December 21, to mark the Eve of Yalda, with certain rituals. In many parts of Iran, especially in Khorasan, this night is called Night of Chelle instead of Yalda.

People in Mashhad come together, and the elderly people tell the story and read the Shahnameh and beside it, they read Haidari attack book, and even the stories that have a special place among the public like the stories of the famous Amir Arsalan. This tradition has been reminded generation-by-generation and breast-to-breast and it is still magnificent.

They have spent the night eating, talking, and the rituals of the modern century reading the Divan of Hafez. This is usually done by the elder of the family. Reading Hafiz's Divan is not only common in Shiraz, but also it is one of the customs of Yalda Night in Mashhad, as well as being common throughout Iran.

Because the Yalda night is the longest night of the year, people bring hope and life to the guests by reading the Hafiz Divan and shorten this long night. Reading Hafiz is one of the inseparable traditions of Yalda Night.

Singing native songs, with themes of hope, intimacy, or romance, along with musicians, are of the most prevalent ceremonies among Khorasan Kurds (Kormanj).

Eating watermelon at this night is also a long-standing tradition in Khorasan Razavi and Mashhad. According to ancient beliefs in traditional medicine, human nature divides into two types: hot and cold, which combine the strengths and weaknesses of the four elements of blood, bile, soda, and humor.

The ancient people believed that if they eat some watermelons at Yalda night, it will balance and moderate human nature.

In the past in Mashhad, if the snow had fallen before the yalda night, the women of the family would have begun to prepare snow and grape molasses for this night so that attendees at the Yalda night would be able to relieve the winter cold by eating snow and grape molasses and to keep themselves happy by a mixture of winter precipitation.

Also because of the coming of the cold season, human needs more energy and power. So eating nuts including shelled almonds, walnuts and fruits grown in Khorasan, such as watermelon, melon and pumpkin is prevalent there and these nuts and fruits are prepared by women.

In the past people tried to use what they had harvested of their farms at this night, and throughout the fall season they have been collecting special snacks and food for that night. And a few days before Yalda night they began to bake sweets and homemade bread.

One of the special customs of the yalda night in the southern part of Khorasan is the "churning" ceremony. At this ceremony, the plant's roots named Acanthophyllum which is known “Beech” in this region, are soaked in water and boiled several times, then decanted in a large pot of earthenware called "trough”. Family men and young people churn this liquid with a bunch of thin pomegranate sticks named "Gaz” so that it becomes foamy, and this must be done in a cool environment to foam it. The prepared foam mixed by grape molasses is ready to be eaten. And it is brought to guests after being decorated with walnut and pistachio kernels. This ceremony is one of the special ceremonies of the people of southern Khorasan Razavi especially in Gonabad city, in which a root called 'beech' is soaked in water and boiled and poured into a large container called trough. Then, with a bunch of thorny sticks that grow in the south of Khorasan, they churn the molasses of the beech root so much that it becomes foamy, and it is mixed with sugar syrup and walnut and other things to be eaten.

Another celebration on this eve is the bridegroom’s sending a large tray of fruits to the bride's family. It contains at least seven fruits such as pomegranate, grape, orange, apple, pear, watermelon, etc. Other gifts such as cloth, bracelets or necklaces, are also included in a large tray for the bride.

These gifts are in copper trays, and people put these trays on their heads and send them to the bride's home. These men followed each other to the bride's house with joy and dances. The girl's family also put clothes or cloth to the groom's family in empty trays to express their gratitude.

The celebration will bring the elders and members of the two families closer to each other, and will further strengthen the same affection and fortune of the two families and deepen the bond between them as well as the joint life of the new couple.

Since ancient times Yalda night rituals have been popular among Iranians and have been celebrated in Iran, Central Asia, parts of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and some countries in the southern Persian Gulf .Since ancient times, stories, legends and folk tales have been told by old men and women at this night.

In Khorasan due to the wide land and godly economic resources, people's livelihoods were provided by agriculture and livestock. Therefore, after the end of planting and harvesting season, the people of this region started the cold season as a time of refreshment. Yalda Night ritual is also associated with waking that night and eating nutritious food.

Because there are many different ethnicities in North Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi, they have different ceremonies at each time of the year and during Yalda Night there are many similarities among different ethnic groups in the province.

In the past, every guest who went out to Yalda night ceremony took a light. So the term forty lights or lights night has been used because of the abundance of lights.

Yalda is not just a celebration but also a message of peace and friendship, a message of national unity. Yalda tells us to be together with sympathy and friendship. Yalda gives the message that the Iranians always live in peace and friendship.

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