Showing posts with label Shab-e Yalda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shab-e Yalda. Show all posts

Dec 24, 2018

Winter Solstice or Shab-e Yalda 2018

I have never participated in or celebrated Shab-e Yalda, but every year, when I go to Philly, my American family and I go to winter solstice concert. Shab-e Yalda is the same as winter solstice, the longest and darkest night of the year.
The concept of Shab-e Yalda has been alien to me even though I grew up in Afghanistan, which we used to call it Shab-e Chellah. Nothing was especial about it, as far as I remember, but it has been growing on me.

This year, I wanted to celebrate it, but it didn't happened. Instead, I went to American Shab-e Yalda, where traditional music drawn hundreds of people together. I truly enjoyed it. It was a celebration of nature with chorus, soloists, jazz instrumentalists in harmony with world rhythms and the beautiful sounds of Alaskan timber wolf and the humpback whale. It was more meaningful I thought than what I have heard about Afghan Shab-e Yalda. In Afghan tradition, Shab-e Yalda is inundated with eating big meal and then gathering around reading poetry, divination with Diwn-e Hafez and palm reading - common superstitions.

Where we celebrated the the winter solstice, it was more about love of our planet earth and the sun. Attention was paid more on our planet and appreciation was made to the nature, nothing sounded egotistic.

"The dark night is ending, down has begun.
Arise, hope of the ages, arise like the sun
All speech flows to music, All hearts beat as one.
The dark night is ending, and dawn has begun." 
                       By John Greenleaf Whittier