Yalda Night

Written by: Wajiha Sayar

Shazia and her brother, Maiwand go to the castle and wait in the yard of the castle for Lalo Mama. They see some trucks full of foodstuffs. Lalo Mama comes and welcomes his guests. Maiwand asks Lalo Mama about the eating staff. Lalo Mama asks them to think about these foodstuffs and then he takes them inside the castle. In the castle, Maiwand says that he thinks that the king might have a feast and Shazia says that the king might celebrate the birthday of his baby. Lalo Mama says that all these preparations are for celebrating Yalda night. Maiwand asks about Yalda night.

Lalo Mama opens a window about Yalda night.


In the window, the reporter of the castle talks to some juveniles about Yalda night.

A girl, Laila says, “I don’t have information about Yalda night.” Marwa says: “We do not celebrate this night but I know that this is the longest night of the year.”

 “Mansoura says, “Yalda is the name of the last night of the autumn and beginning of the winter.”

The reporter of the castle says, “Yalda is a Syriac word which means birth. People also called it Shabe Chella. Yalda is the last night of the autumn and the beginning of winter. Yalda night is an ancient Aryan tradition and it is celebrating from 7000 years back. In addition to some provinces of Afghanistan, this night is widely celebrating in Iran and Tajikistan too.”

Then the reporter talks to some juveniles about the customs of this night in their areas.

Fawzia, a resident of Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh province says: “Some people in our area are soothsaying during celebrating this night. They break a walnut. If it has nuts, their horoscope is positive or if it is empty, their horoscope is empty.”

Husain says, “When there was no television, people were sitting around the Sandali and the grandmothers were telling old stories in the Yalda night. The custom is especial for Dari language areas.”

Madina says: “We prepare a variety of foods and put pomegranate and watermelon on the tablecloth which are the symbols of health, blessing, affection, and abundance.”

Then then the guests go to Hakim Baba’s house and they want more information about Yalda night from him. Hakim Baba welcomes them and then he talks about Yalda night, “ Yalda Night is a natural event that occurs every year, but has become part of the historical identity of people living in large geographical areas like Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and several other countries. Yalda night is the celebrating of the arrival of the winter. Most youths make fire, jump from it. Some people read Shahnama (a book written by Firdausi) on this night ….”

Lalo Mama closes this window. Shazia and Maiwand thank him for giving information about Yalda night.

Maiwand asks his sister to prepare some of these things for Yalda night. Shazia says that she doesn’t know to bake these things.

Lalo Mama opens another window for themږ


In the window, the reporter of the castle is talking about  Nargis kebab. He says that the ingredients of Nargis kebab are 10 boiled eggs; ½ kg Lamb; 2 cups of Flour (may need more); ¾ cup coriander powder; ½ cup red chili powder; 2 teaspoons cumin;2 teaspoons cumin; ½ teaspoon ginger; 2 tablespoons minced garlic; 1 tablespoon salt and 4 tablespoons black pepper.”

Lalo Mama closes this window too.