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UNESCO puts Yalda Night on its 'Cultural Heritage' list

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, Tehran

Iranians have for 3 millennia stayed up on the longest, darkest and coldest night of the year, marking the occasion with beautiful long-held traditions; and now Yalda Night is officially registered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, as a cultural heritage shared by Iran and Afghanistan.

Yalda is the last night of the fall in the Persian calendar and the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere.

To celebrate the occasion, Iranians get together in groups of relatives or friends to cheer and chatter, eat fruits and nuts and recite poems until dawn.

Yalda means birth in Persian. In ancient mythology, it is believed that the Persian god of light and truth was born the morning after the longest night of the year to rid the world of darkness and wash away unpleasant experiences.

The tradition is marked in Iran and across the Persian-speaking communities in several other countries, including Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

Iranians have been celebrating Yalda Night for centuries as a reminder that every minute counts to share their moments with their loved ones.

And this beautiful message is one reason why the ancient tradition has now been added to the UNESCO list of cultural heritage.

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