A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Greetings for Yalda

When I offer holiday greetings, I intend to include the whole range of winter holidays celebrated in the Middle East. Hanukkah is already past for this year but more are rapidly approaching: Christmas of course, all three of them (Western, Eastern, Armenian) and, purely by a coincidence of calendar this year, Mawlid al-Nabi as well. So tonight I'd offer Yalda greetings to Iranian and other readers from the Persian influenced world.

Yalda (Aramaic/Syriac for "birth") is the ancient Persian celebration of the winter solstice, which falls today. It originally marked the celebration of the Birth of Mithra, marking the rebirth of the sun at the solstice. I've blogged about Yalda before, and herewith offer greetings yet again.)

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