For Iranians, the last night of autumn and the beginning of winter is a ceremonious night. Known as Yalda, the longest and darkest night of the year is celebrated for the victory of light over darkness. Days become longer and nights shorter, a triumph of the sun.
Families get together on Yalda Night until after midnight. They eat pomegranates and watermelons, said to symbolize the red color of dawn. Happy Yalda!
(Excerpts from Payvand Iran News, 20 December)
People shopping in Kerman in preparation of the Yalda. (Mehr News Agency/Hamid Sadeghi)