Shab e Yalda

My informant is an Iranian immigrant to the United States. She is a classical pianist and teaches piano.

“So there is Yalda Night, Shab e Yalda, which we celebrate the last night of the fall – winter solstice! Which it is the longest and darkest night of the year! And in our calendar is the last day of the 9th month, which is the last night of autumn! We get together as friends and family and eat fruits, especially watermelons and pomegranate, and dried fruits and nuts and stuff and while we sip on hot tea we read Hafez the Persian poet till after midnight. Basically it’s the celebration of the lights overcome the darkness! And it is my favorite festivity by the way.”


This is a tradition that my informant still celebrates every year, even though she has been in the US for 12 years. It reminds her of where she came from and her family that is still in Iran. She gets together with her Persian community here in the United States and celebrates this holiday to remember her identity.