-->
-->

Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty-Shab'e Yalda - Shab'e Chelle

Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty-Shab'e Yalda - Shab'e Chelle

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:40 am

Name:Y Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty (Persian: شب یلدا Shabe Yalda‎)

ِDiscibtion:Iranians around the world celebrate Yalda, which is one of the most ancient Persian festivals. The festival dates back to the time when a majority of Persians were followers of Zoroastrianism prior to the advent of Islam.

On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

Considered the longest night of the year, Yalda eve is the night when ancient Iranians celebrated the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light.

Yalda, which means birth, is a Syriac word imported into the Persian language. It is also referred to as Shab-e Chelleh, a celebration of winter solstice on December 21--the last night of fall and the longest night of the year.

Ancient Persians believed that evil forces were dominant on the longest night of the year and that the next day belonged to the Lord of Wisdom, Ahura Mazda.

In addition to Iran, Central Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and some Caucasian states such as Azerbaijan and Armenia share the same tradition and celebrate Yalda Night annually at this time of the year.

On this night, family members get together (most often in the house of the eldest member) and stay awake all night long. Dried nuts, watermelon and pomegranate are served, as supplications to God for increasing his bounties, as well classic poetry and old mythologies are read aloud.

Iranians believe those who begin winter by eating summer fruits would not fall ill during the cold season. Therefore, eating watermelons is one of the most important traditions in this night.

Pomegranates, placed on top of a fruit basket, are reminders of the cycle of life--the rebirth and revival of generations. The purple outer covering of a pomegranate symbolizes birth or dawn, and their bright red seeds the glow of life.

As days start lengthening, ancient Iranians believe that at the end of the first night of winter which coincides with December 21 this year, darkness is defeated by light and therefore they must celebrate the whole night. As the 13th-century Iranian poet Sa’di writes in his book Boustan: “The true morning will not come until the Yalda Night is gone.”

Early Christians linked this very ancient Persian celebration to Mithra, goddess of light, and to the birth anniversary of Prophet Jesus (PBUH). In birth, sun and Prophet Jesus (PBUH) are close to each other, says one Iranian tale of Yalda.

Today, Christmas is celebrated slightly off from Yalda Night. However, Christmas and Yalda are both celebrated in a similar fashion by staying up all night and celebrating it with family and friends, and eating special foods.

In most ancient cultures, including Persia, the start of the solar year has been marked with the celebration of the victory of light over darkness, and the renewal of the sun. For example, 4,000 years ago, Egyptians celebrated the rebirth of the sun at this time of the year. Their festival lasted for 12 days to reflect the 12 divisions in their solar calendar.

The ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia (god of agriculture, Saturn) and Sol Invicta (sun god) are amongst the best known celebrations in the western world.

Iranians adopted their annual renewal festival from the Babylonians and incorporated it into the rituals of their Zoroastrian religion. The last day of the Persian month Azar is the longest night of the year, when the forces of evil are assumed to be at the peak of their strength.

The next day, which is the first day of the month ‘Dey’ known as ‘khorram rooz’ or ‘khore rooz’ (the day of the sun), belongs to Ahura Mazda, the lord of wisdom. Since days become longer and nights shorter, this day marks the victory of the sun over darkness. The occasion was celebrated as the festival of ‘Deygan’, which is dedicated to Ahura Mazda on the first day of ‘Dey’.

Fires would be burnt all night to ensure the defeat of the forces of evil. There would be feasts, acts of charity and prayers performed to ensure the total victory of sun--essential for the protection of winter crops. There would be prayers to Mithra (Mehr) and feasts in his honor, since Mithra is the Eyzad responsible for protecting “the light of the early morning”, known as ‘Havangah’. It was also assumed that Ahura Mazda would grant people’s wishes, especially those desiring an offspring if all rites are performed on this occasion.

One of the themes of the festival was the temporary subversion of order. Masters and servants reversed roles. The king dressed in white would change place with ordinary people. A mock king was crowned and masquerades spilled into the streets. As the old year died, rules of ordinary living were relaxed. This tradition persisted till the Sassanian rule and is mentioned by Birouni, the eminent scientist and traveler, and others in their recordings of pre-Islamic rituals and festivals.

Its origin dates back to the Babylonian New Year celebration. They believed that the first creation was order, which was born out of chaos. To appreciate and celebrate the first creation, they held a festival and all roles were reversed. Disorder and chaos ruled for a day and eventually order was restored at the end of the festival.

The Iranian Jews, who are amongst the oldest inhabitants of the country, in addition to Shab-e Chelleh, also celebrate the festival of Illanout (tree festival) at around the same time.

The celebration of Illanout is very similar to Shab-e Chelleh’s. Candles are lit and a variety of dried and fresh winter fruits are eaten. Special meals are prepared and prayers are performed. There are also festivals in parts of southern Russia, which are identical to Shab-e Chelleh with local variations. Sweet bread is baked in the shape of humans and animals. Bonfires are lit, around which people danced and made movements resembling crop harvesting.

Comparisons and detailed studies of all these celebrations will shed more light on the forgotten aspects of this wonderful and ancient festival, where merriment was the main theme of the festival.

One of the other traditions of Yalda night, which has been added in recent centuries, is the recitation of the classic poetry of Hafez, the Iranian poet of 14th century AD. Each member of the family makes a wish and randomly opens the book and asks the eldest member of the family to read it aloud. What is expressed in that poem is believed to be the interpretation of the wish and whether and how it will come true. This is called Faal-e Hafez (Hafez Omen).

Coinciding with the beginning of the winter, Yalda is an occasion to celebrate the end of the crop season. It is today an event to thank the Lord for all blessings and to pray for prosperity in the next year.

http://www.iranreview.org/content/Docum ... alda_2.htm


Pictures:

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:41 am

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:42 am

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty

Postby Parvaneh » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:10 pm

Shab'e Yalda or Shab'e Chelle is an Iranian festival originally celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice. Following the Iranian calendar reform of 1925, which pegged some seasonal events to specific days of the calendar, Yalda came to be celebrated on the night before and including the 1st day of the 10th month. Subject to seasonal drift, this day may sometimes fall a day before or a day after the actual Winter Solstice.


Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the subsequent rise of Islam, the religious significance of the event was lost, and like all the other Zoroastrian festivals Yalda became merely a social occasion when family and close friends would get together. Nonetheless, the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter is reminiscent of the ancient customs of invoking the divinities to request protection of the winter crop.


The winter solstice has been celebrated for centuries and refers to the birthday or rebirth of the sun. Yalda is a Syriac word and means birth. The ceremony is traced to the primal concept of Light and Good against Darkness and Evil in the ancient Iranian religion. This night with Evil at its zenith is considered unlucky. The last day of the Persian month of 'Azar' is the longest night of the year. From this day forward, Light triumphs as the days grow longer and give more light. This celebration comes in the Persian month of 'Day', which was also the name of the pre-Zoroastrian creator god (deity).


The Persians adopted their annual renewal festival from the Babylonians and incorporated it into the rituals of their own Zoroastrian religion. The occasion was celebrated in the festival of 'Daygan' dedicated to Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom. Fires would be burnt all night to ensure the defeat of the forces of Ahriman. There would be feasts, acts of charity and a number of deities honored and prayers performed to ensure the total victory of the sun that was essential for the protection of winter crops. There would be prayers to Mithra (Mehr) and feasts in his honor, since Mithra is the deity responsible for protecting "the early morning light", known as 'Havangah'. It was also assumed that Ahura Mazda would grant people's wishes.


In the evening of Shab’e Yalda bonfires are lit outside, while inside the home, family and friends gather in a night-long vigil around the korsi. A brazier with hot coals is placed under the table. In the past, fruit and vegetables were only available in season and the host, usually the oldest in the family, would have carefully saved grapes, honeydew melons, watermelons, pears, oranges, tangerines, apples, and cucumbers. These were then enjoyed by everyone gathered around the korsi, or a fireplace.


On this night, the oldest member of the family says prayers, thanking God for previous year's blessings, and prays for prosperity in the coming year. Then he cuts the melon, and the watermelon and gives everyone a share. The cutting symbolizes the removal of sickness and pain from the family. Snacks are passed around throughout the night: pomegranates with angelica powder and Ajil-e shab-e yalda, a combination of nuts and dried fruits, particularly pumpkin and watermelon seeds and raisins. This mixture of nuts literally means night-grazing; eating nuts is said to lead to prosperity in days to come. More substantial fare for the night's feast include eggplant stew with plain saffron-flavored rice, rice with chicken, thick yogurt, and halva. The foods themselves symbolize the balance of the seasons: watermelons and yogurt are eaten as a remedy for the heat of the summer, since these fruits are considered cold; and halva is eaten to overcome the cold temperatures of winter, since it is considered hot. On into the night of festivities the family keeps the fires burning and the lights glowing to help the sun in its battle against darkness. They recite poetry and play music, tell jokes and stories, until the sun, triumphantly reappears in the morning.

http://historicaliran.blogspot.com/2010/01/yalda.html

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Yalda- Shab-e Yalda -Zayeshmehr-Night of Birth- Shab-e Chelleh-Night of Forty-Shab'e Yalda - Shab'e Chelle

Postby Parvaneh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:10 pm

Yalda, a Syriac word imported into the Persian language by the Syriac Christians means birth (tavalud and melaad are from the same origin). It is a relatively recent arrival and it is refereed to the "Shab-e Cheleh Festival", a celebration of Winter Solstice on December 21st. Forty days before the next major Persian festival "Jashn-e Sadeh"; this night has been celebrated in countless cultures for thousands of years. The ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia (God of Agriculture, Saturn) and Sol Invicta (Sun God) are amongst the best known in the Western world.

In most ancient cultures, including Persia, the start of the solar year has been marked to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and the renewal of the Sun. For instance, Egyptians, four thousand years ago celebrated the rebirth of the sun at this time of the year. They set the length of the festival at 12 days, to reflect the 12 divisions in their sun calendar. They decorated with greenery, using palms with 12 shoots as a symbol of the completed year, since a palm was thought to put forth a shoot each month.

The Persians adopted their annual renewal festival from the Babylonians and incorporated it into the rituals of their own Zoroastrian religion. The last day of the Persian month Azar is the longest night of the year, when the forces of Ahriman are assumed to be at the peak of their strength. While the next day, the first day of the month "Day" known as "khoram rooz" or "khore rooz" (the day of sun) belongs to Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom. Since the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, this day marks the victory of Sun over the darkness. The occasion was celebrated in the festival of "Daygan" dedicated to Ahura Mazda, on the first day of the month "Day".

Fires would be burnt all night to ensure the defeat of the forces of Ahriman. There would be feasts, acts of charity and a number of deities were honored and prayers performed to ensure the total victory of sun that was essential for the protection of winter crops. There would be prayers to Mithra (Mehr) and feasts in his honor, since Mithra is the Eyzad responsible for protecting "the light of the early morning", known as "Havangah". It was also assumed that Ahura Mazda would grant people's wishes, specially those with no offspring had the hope to be blessed with children if performed all rites on this occasion.

One of the themes of the festival was the temporary subversion of order. Masters and servants reversed roles. The king dressed in white would change place with ordinary people. A mock king was crowned and masquerades spilled into the streets. As the old year died, rules of ordinary living were relaxed. This tradition persisted till Sassanid period, and is mentioned by Biruni and others in their recordings of pre-Islamic rituals and festivals. Its' origin goes back to the Babylonian New Year celebration. These people believed the first creation was order that came out of chaos. To appreciate and celebrate the first creation they had a festival and all roles were reversed. Disorder and chaos ruled for a day and eventually order was restored and succeeded at the end of the festival.

The Egyptian and Persian traditions merged in ancient Rome, in a festival to the ancient god of seedtime, Saturn. The Romans exchanged gifts, partied and decorated their homes with greenery. Following the Persian tradition, the usual order of the year was suspended. Grudges and quarrels forgotten, wars would be interrupted or postponed. Businesses, courts and schools were closed. Rich and poor became equal, masters served slaves, and children headed the family. Cross-dressing and masquerades, merriment of all kinds prevailed. A mock king, the Lord of Misrule, was crowned. Candles and lamps chased away the spirits of darkness.

Another related Roman festival celebrated at the same time was dedicated to Sol Invictus ("the invincible sun"). Originally a Syrian deity, this cult was imported by Emperor Heliogabalus into Rome and Sol was made god of the state. With the spread of Christianity, Christmas celebration became the most important Christian festival. In the third century various dates, from December to April, were celebrated by Christians as Christmas. January 6 was the most favored day because it was thought to be Jesus' Baptismal day (in the Greek Orthodox Church this continues to be the day to celebrate Christmas). In year 350, December 25 was adopted in Rome and gradually almost the entire Christian Church agreed to that date, which coincided, with Winter Solstice and the festivals, Sol Invicta and Saturnalia. Many of the rituals and traditions of the pagan festivals were incorporated into the Christmas celebration and are still observed today.

It is not clear when and how the world "Yalda"; entered the Persian language. The massive persecution of the early Christians in Rome brought many Christian refugees into the Sassanid Empire and it is very likely that these Christians introduced and popularized "Yalda" in Iran. Gradually "Shab-e Yalda" and "Shab-e Cheleh" became synonymous and the two are used interchangeably.

With the conquest of Islam the religious significance of the ancient Persian festivals was lost. Today "Shab-e Cheleh" is merely a social occasion, when family and friends get together for fun and merriment. Different kinds of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and fresh winter fruits are consumed. The presence of dried and fresh fruits is reminiscence of the ancient feasts to celebrate and pray to the deities to ensure the protection of the winter crops.

The Iranian Jews, who are amongst the oldest inhabitants of the country, in addition to "Shab-e Cheleh", also celebrate the festival of "Illanout" (tree festival) at around the same time. Their celebration of Illanout is very similar to Shab-e Cheleh celebration. Candles are lit; all varieties of dried and fresh winter fruits will have to be present. Special meals are prepared and prayers are performed.

There are also very similar festivals in many parts of Southern Russia that are identical to "Shab-e Cheleh" festival with local variations. Sweet breads are baked in shape of humans and animals. Bon fires are made; dances are performed that resemble crop harvesting. Comparison and detailed studies of all these celebrations no doubt will shed more light on the forgotten aspects of this wonderful and ancient festival, where merriment was the main theme of the festival.

"Happy Shab-e Yalda"

http://iranchamber.com/culture/articles ... _yalda.php
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times


Return to Iranian Ceremony

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron