Yalda Night, the longest night of the year is one of the most popular celebrations in Iran and many neighboring lands.
The longest night of the year is celebrated on the last day of autumn by the people of Iran. On this night, families and relatives gather and stay up late. They decorate the table beautifully and place various dishes on it.
Fruits and sweets, pomegranate, persimmon, and especially watermelon are essential for Yalda's table. Poetry and divination, on this cold night when the objective is to make sure the winter is welcomed!.
This year our Yalda was very strange. The day started with a panicked rain, and early in the morning, a very terrible hurricane suddenly shook the city. Houses in the area, all of which have gabled roofs, were severely shaken by the storm, causing extensive damage to the roof tiles of rural homes.
The roofs of numerous houses collapsed due to strong winds. The trees were uprooted and the light poles were badly damaged. Electricity, water, and internet were cut off for several hours.
Frightened people prayed impatiently in their homes that the wind would finally pass.
At around noon, it suddenly became silent everywhere. It was as if nothing had happened. A deadly silence filled the city. I had promised my family to buy sweets for Yalda night and I had to walk to the city center. Although the night was supposed to be an exceptional evening, the streets were not too crowded. Big junks of branches were scattered everywhere.
I saw a woman who had bought sweets but was holding her scarf on the pastry dish so that it won’t be seen. I know many people may not be able to buy sweets these days. I might have been one of them but I decided to be generous!
We could not afford to buy pomegranates and watermelons this year, but we managed to have persimmons and kiwis from our friends' gardens.
We also had a lot of jellies and delicious sweets, but the sweet memories of poetry reading of Yalda night were the best part.