IBNA- Iranian literature professor and poet, Mir Jalal al-Din Kazzazi said that what is reflected on Yalda Night (winter solstice) in Persian literature has an aesthetic function.
In an interview with IBNA, Kazzazi said: “Yalda celebration and rituals date back to the Iranian ancient history and is indeed a popular feast. But, since it wasn’t one of the official feasts like Norouz, Mehregan and Sadeh, it is less pointed out in the ancient Persian literary texts.”
He added that what is widely reflected in Persian discussions is Yalda’s aesthetic function. Since this is the longest night of the year and the darkest one, it symbolizes both length and darkness. Persian lyric poets have likened the long, dark locks of their beloved to this night. Anywhere one speaks of something long and dark, Yalda is mentioned as it symbolized both aspects.
Kazzazi added that since Yalda night is indeed the birth of light which is associated in Iranian culture with the sun, the need for the rising of the sun in the heart of this night is felt warmly. Iranians love the sun and the light, and they feel it wise to be awake and alert at sunrise. Yalda’s nuts, along with poetry, is one of the symbols of this night which apart from the traditional beliefs, keep the company of those who stay up the whole night.
The writer of the book ‘The Child of Iran’ said: “As I said in the beginning, Yalda is the birth night of the sun and is a popular feast with its beginning lost in the history. In a verse by Sanai, the ambiguity of this ritual is clearly observed. In the same verse, Sanai knows Yalda, which is an Aramaic word, to be the equivalent of ‘Zayesh’ who was one of the servants of Jesus Christ.”