The Yalda ceremoney will be held on 15th of December at aeFEUP.

The Yalda ceremoney will be held on 15th of December at aeFEUP.

Upcoming Events:

Yalda Celebration on 15th December at aeFEUP

Previous Events:

NOWRUZ-2012 at aeFEUP

Yalda 2011 at aeFEUP

Shab-e-Yalda, (Yalda night, in Persian) a traditional Iranian celebration of the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, has remained popular since ancient times. This traditional Persian winter Solstice celebration is commemorated on or around December 20 or 21 each year. According to Iranian mythology, from Yalda night forward, light triumphs over darkness as days grow longer. This celebration, based on the Iranian calendar, comes in the Persian month of Day, the pre-Zoroastrian creator god (Deity). Later he became known as the god of creation and light. It should be noted that the English word “day,” is derived from this word and its symbolism of 'Good'.
Yalda has a root in Zoroastrian belief, to be exact, Mithraism religion. The Mithraists believed that Mithra, the Persian god of light and truth, was born to a virgin mother in the morning of the longest night of the year. In other words, Mithra was born on Yalda. It was said that Mithra was born out of the light that came from within the Alborz Mountains, symbolizing the Sun god overcoming the powers of darkness. Having this belief, ancient Iranians gathered in caves throughout the night to witness this miracle together at dawn. They were known as 'Yar-e Ghar' (Cave Mates). Therefore the ceremony is traced to the primal concept of light and good against darkness and evil in the ancient Iranian religion.
Shab-e Yalda, the longest and darkest night of the year, symbolizes many things in Persian poetry, such as the separation between loved ones, loneliness and waiting. Many believe waiting would be over after this night as the light would shine and goodness would prevail. Previously, Iranians, like other people around the world, were more loyal to their traditions and ancient customs. In the evening of Yalda, they lighted bonfires outside, and invited each other to their houses, where they gathered around the Korsee, a traditional warmer table covered with a thick cloth.
Nowadays, Yalda has become a social occasion when friends and family gather to eat, drink and read poetry (especially Hafiz) until after midnight. Fruits, particularly pomegranates and watermelons, and nuts are served in this night. The fruits signify the hope for having a fruitful spring and summer. The red-colored fruits symbolize the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life, invoking the glory of Mithra. Pomegranates with angelica powder are believed to protect individuals against the Devil.
According to ancient tradition, the oldest member of some families thanks God for the previous year's bumper crops on this night, asking him for prosperity in the next year. Then with a knife, he cuts the melon/watermelon and gives everyone a share. The cutting symbolizes the removal of sickness and pain from the family. The 13th century Persian poet, Saadi, wrote in his Bustan (collection of poems), "The true morning will not come, until the Yalda Night is gone."

Nowruz 2011:

When the nature starts to blossom and breeze of spring starts to blow, Iranian people celebrate the start of their New Year. The celebration is called Nowruz which literally means 'new day'. Iranians (Persians) clean everywhere and everything specially their hearts from sorrow and anger and try to rebuild relations and make them stronger. ISPorto (Iranian Students in Porto) celebrated Nowruz in University of Porto on March 20th in 2010 and 2011. We will try to hold it every year. Our main goal is to share the happiness of coming New Year with you and also give you some brief information about our history, culture and traditions especially Nowruz and simply to have fun!)

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