Iranian Holiday Traditions

By Rosa Ghaderi, Period 3, Janaury 8th 2016, Mrs. Wasser

How can I create a presentation that will inform people about Iranian Holiday Traditions?

Norooz and Shabe Yalda are both the best and happiest holidays, both welcoming a new season or a new year. The reason I chose this topic is because whenever Norooz or Shabe Yalda come around, I always have the most fun! Norooz is the Iranian (or persian) New Year, and also a huge holiday for all iranians.Families gather around the haft-seen table, and invite friends over. There is traditional dancing, food, and lots of people. They share traditionals food like nuts, pomegranates, and lots of fruit. Shabe Yalda is a holiday where we welcome the season of winter. To have a safe, warm winter, we like to eat summer foods on Shabe Yalda, such as watermelon. To me, they're both the best holidays!

Shabe Yalda

Shabe Yalda is an ancient iranian holiday, going all the way back to 5000 years. It is the longest night of the year and the first day of winter! On that night, iranians of all religions and countries stay up late and invite family and friends over to celebrate! Some traditional foods are nuts, berries, and the traditional dish, fesenjan. Everyone gathers around the korsi, (a four sided table with a heavy cloth draped over it with a heater or a metal dish with hot coals under the table so that when you put your feet in it, it's warm), and talk and eat until the dawn comes. After dinner, the host peels fruits and vegetables to serve everyone. Some families may listen to iranian pop star Googoosh until the dawn arrives.

My opinion on this holiday

My opinion on this holiday, Shabe Yalda, is that I love how families have a time to come together and celebrate as one. Shabe Yalda is a time to spend with family and friends, and a time to enjoy winter. I love all the interesting traditions that go on during this holiday, and the enjoyable poetry that Hafiz wrote. It's all an awesome experience.


  • Also known as the winter equinox
  • Carving watermelon sculptures
  • Lots of music and dancing
  • Hafiz, adored iranian poet is commonly read on Shabe Yalda

"The most enchanting part of Yalda Night parties, is the reading of Persian poetry and Moshaa-ereh or debate poetry." Parisa Saranj

Farsi / Persian Lesson: Yalda Night (10)
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On the first day of Norooz, families gather around a table called Haft-sin, or the seven S's table. They symbolize the hopes for a succesful and happy new year. Then, there is the countdown. 5....4....3.....2....1! Happy new year! As iranian music plays in the background, everyone hugs and kisses and wishes each other a happy new year. Adults give gifts to children, and children make cards for adults. Everyone shares pastries, cookies, nuts, and ESPECIALLY tea. If you look over at the table, you will see painted eggs, candles, garlic, apples, vinegar, and many other things starting with S in farsi. Even at the white house, the first lady and President Obama celebrate Norooz with dancing, a huge feast, and lots of fun! Norooz marks the very first day of spring, on March 21. On the 12 days of Norooz, the table stays, but on the 13th day, families go outside and have picnics to chase away the bad luck that happens on the 13th day. Norooz overall is filled with lots of fun, dancing, traditional foods, and happiness!
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Babak and Friends - A First Norooz - The Story of Norooz - English
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  • Norooz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years
  • Lasts 12 days
  • Sizdeh Bedar literally means chasing bad spirits away
  • Table remains for 13 days

"Norooz is the celebration of joy and happiness." -Ali Niazi

My opinion on this holiday

To me, Norooz is the happiest time of my life. From the picnic, to the beautiful decorations, to the whole point of it, Norooz is the best! Every year, my whole family waits for Norooz, until it's here. All my friends and family have lots of fun with us every Norooz! There are lots of things to be done at this time. In my opinion, Norooz is the best!