1133 GMT May 21, 2022
The winter solstice, which is the longest night of the year, is known as “Yalda Night” in Iran and is annually celebrated by Iranians in form of family gatherings.
The longest night of the year falls on December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and June 20 or 21 in the Southern. Since ancient times, people all over the world have recognized this important astronomical occurrence and celebrated the subsequent “return” of the Sun in different ways.
Pakistanis in some cities of the country also consider this night as the first night of winter and celebrate the cold season by holding a traditional celebration, IRNA wrote.
Yalda Night rituals are held in different parts of the northern Pakistani province of Gilgit-Baltistan and some cities in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They observe the night with a ceremony known as the ‘Mah Feng’ festival.
Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Pakistan Ehsan Khazaei, in the ceremony held in Rawalpindi, congratulated the people of the two neighboring countries on the arrival of this night and said that holding these rituals is an opportunity to be together and spread friendships and kindness.
He also talked about the philosophy of Yalda Night and the beginning of the dominance of light over darkness.
The official pointed out the importance of the role of Iranians abroad in preserving and spreading Iranian and Islamic culture.
A number of Iranian diplomats, a group of Iranians living in Islamabad, professors and students of Persian language and literature of National University of Modern Languages attended the ceremony.
Faramarz Rahmanzad, the new director of Iranian Culture Center in Rawalpindi, highlighted the importance of Yalda Night in Iranian culture.
In addition, another ceremony organized by Iran’s Embassy and Imam Hussein (PBUH) Educational Institute was held at the Iranian residential complex in Islamabad.