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Celebrating Yalda this December

Ways to celebrate Yalda in London this December

London has a rich and really vibrant Iranian culture, with a range of things to do for people who identify as Iranian, both young and young at heart.

Now, 2014 has absolutely flown by and no one at Call2Call can quite believe it is December again already. This means that, not only do we have a nice holiday to look forward, there are also festivals to enjoy that are dedicated to commemorating both Christmas and other celebrations of the longest night of the year that originate from countries such as Iran and India.

Shab-e Yalda is one such festival and it brings much joy and happiness to Iranian homes through the world and in the UK.

Why and how do Iranians celebrate Yalda?

For those of you not familiar with Yalda, Shab-e-Yalda is celebrated as the longest night of the year and is typically observed on or just before the Winter Solstice that occurs in the Northern Hemisphere in December. This is usually on or around the 21st December.

Families usually get together at this time and eat foods such as pomegranates (the colour of which symbolize the dawn of life), chat, laugh together and drink wine. It is also common for family members to gift each other with dried fruits and nuts.

Where can Iranians celebrate Yalda in London?

There are a few things going on in London that the Iranian community can attend and enjoy, whether you are looking for something traditional or want to party with your friends.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and you may find something nearer your area that is better suited, but here are some of the exciting events being put on to celebrate Yalda in London this December.

Yalda Night Celebrations – A night of Iranian and Italian music – 13th December

Monthly Persian Cinema Meetup – December 14th

Yalda Party Chelsea - A night of Persian and Arabic hiphop and funky house.  – 21st December (this one might be a bit tongue in cheek).

Persian Gathering In London – You have to be a member of the site to register for the event but it is worth signing up.

City University London also has its own Iranian Society and runs various events around Yalda.

UK wide Yalda celebrations for students

Leeds and Sheffield University both have clubs and societies for Iranian students looking to celebrate Yalda on and off campus.

The Persian Society at Southampton is having a Yalda night on the 18th December. Join the event here.

Celebrate Yalda around the world

You can celebrate with your family in Iran by inviting them to your home or flying out there to spend time with them. If this is something that is not possible this year, you can use our service to call your loved ones and friends for over an hour; this will cost little more than the cost of a magazine.

Find out more about this here.

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