Tehran’s District 2 opens ‘Fun Street’ for Yalda

Yalda-time 'Fun Street' and events

A street has been recently redecorated with humorous items like emojis in celebration of the ancient Iranian festival of Yalda, according to a press release by Tehran Municipality on December 18.

Called “Laughter Street” in Persian but written as “Fun Street” in English on the main drag, the intention behind the project was to cheer up those in the run up to the wintertime sensational festival.

Located around Dadman and Khovardin Boulevards including the parks in the local neighbourhood, the artwork looks to send cheer to residents with funny items including cartoon characters of yesteryear.

Tehran Municipality is going all-out this year with celebrating Yalda night, so do keep an eye out for special events across the capital city.

Where to go?

To find the location of the District 2 interesting items, check out the map below;

What’s Yalda?

Did you know Iran has a unique wintertime festival going back thousands of years called Yalda? Yes, that’s right there is one festival which occurs on the winter solstice each year where families and friends come together to celebrate the official beginning of winter.

Known in Persian as Shab e-Yalda (Yalda Night) or Shab e-Chelleh (40th Night), the night is usually on December 20 or 21 (but this year the 22nd) depending on the calendar.

The origins of Shab e-Yalda date back centuries back to the pre-Islamic times in Iran, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan according to most sources.

How do Iranians celebrate Yalda?

For more than 1,000 years, Iranian peoples across Central Asia and the Near East have celebrated this night with particular rituals, including attempting to stay awake through the night and reading poetry, these days usually Hafez and enjoy each other’s company. But don’t forget about the food, I hear the locals saying. Yes, that’s right, expect to be stuffed with food and drink (non-alcoholic of course) to your heart’s content.

Some believe that if you eat summer fruit on Yalda Night, you are unlikely to fall sick throughout the rest of the cold season, but that is probably an old wives’ tale.

There is one fruit which takes precedence over all others, and that is humble pomegranate which is native to the country. And also don’t forget buying a juicy watermelon, which is a must-have part of the night’s celebration!

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