Yalda & you

Iranian Christmas

A lecture in English by Dr. Esmail Nooriala.


more from Esmail Nooriala

Impressive talk! Thanks Dr. Nooriala!

by Anonymous-she on

Impressive talk on the history of religion in Iran. Thank you Dr. Nooriala!


It would be nice.....

by Vanak123 (not verified) on

It would be nice to see the day when Iranian Americans celebrate Yalda, during the Holiday season, instead of pretending to be Christians by putting up Christmas trees.
Jews, Indians and other non-Christian Americans after many generations in this country, still celebrate thier own ethnic occasions. Many Iranians, however, have such an ancient and beautifull ocassion (Yalda) to celebrate and instead pretend to be followers of Christ (just so they look cool in front of thier Christian neighbors)....what a shame.



by Vanak 123 (not verified) on

Good stuff. Than you.


I enjoyed it. Thank You

by Mehrazar (not verified) on

Very informative.



by Farbors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

YALDA = THE VICTORY OF LIGHT OVER DARKNESS. Please acknowledge the following as a modest appendix to the valuable speeches in the Video:
Yalda, the victory of light over darkness

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.

Every 21st of December Iranians celebrate Yalda which means birth in Syriac. It is believed that when this night ends, days become longer as light (Sun) has defeated darkness.

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.

The Persians would burn fires all night to ensure the defeat of evil. They would hold feasts, raise charity, honor their deities and pray to the goddess Mithra.

As Yalda coincides with the beginning of winter, people also celebrated the end of the previous harvest by eating dried and fresh fruits and praying to the deities for a bumper winter crop next year.

One of the main features of the Yalda festival was the temporary subversion of order, which lasted up to the Sassanid period.

Masters served servants, children headed the family and a mock king was crowned.

Today the Yalda festival is a time when family members gather at the home of the elders until after midnight.

Guests are served with dried fruits, nuts, and winter fruits like pomegranates and watermelons, which symbolize the red color of dawn in the sky.

They also practice bibliomancy with the poetry of the highly respected mystic Iranian poet Hafez.

Persians believe whenever one is faced with difficulties or has a general question, one can ask the poet for an answer.

Hafiz sings to the questioner in his own enigmatic way and allows individuals to look in the mirror of their soul through his poems.Mahmoud Farshchian has analysed the poems of Hafez newly and has worked out new and nice ideas about Hafez out of his poems.
it is - to my opinion - also a nice idea to identify YALDA as Christmas festivity of the Iranian Christians. In tehran they sell in these days behinf the british embassy on the Boby Jones street Christmas trees. So every body knows: Aha it is christmas. Boby Jones wasa irish young man who died in the british jail. On His honoure changed the respectable Government of the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of IRAN the name of that street. In the times of devils the street was called Churchil street. all the important streets in tehran were named after strangers who ransacked the country. First class street were named Kennedy bolevard, Bolevard of queen elisabth and so on. The second class streets were named after his majesty and his relatives. Thanks God those devilish days are over for the Iranians - I mean the ones who live in Islamic republic of Iran, have founded it and are willing to protect it. In the same manner as the last 30 years. So that the Moslems, jews and christians can live in peace and freedom. and the not any more great satan can do only a damn thing and may be not even that. Greeting


Thanks Jenab Doctor

by Hamed Haeri (not verified) on

Thanks Jenab Doctor Nooriala for a profound depiction of ancient Iranian history and cotribution to current western culture and religion. My admiration to you because you didnot in anyway intend to criticize the current regime and our miseries. You kept focus on the history. Though I knew most of it I enjoyed your defenition and distinction of Natural and obscure religion. More power to you.


زنده باد آقاي

Democracy (not verified)

زنده باد آقاي دكتر اسماعيل نوري علا, ميگن سخن كه از دل برآيد لاجرم بر دل نشيند, سخنان و مقاله هاي ايشون از نگر جامعه شناسي بسيار جامع و مفيد براي ماايرانيان كه جامعه پيچيده امون را بسختي ميشناسيم,مي باشد.