Call for Countries to Join Yalda Dossier

Call for Countries to Join Yalda Dossier  Call for Countries to Join Yalda Dossier

Countries that share cultural rituals related to Yalda Night with Iran have until March 30, 2018, to start a joint effort on preparing a multinational dossier for the inscription of the event on UNESCO's list.

Commonly known as "Chelleh", Yalda Night is a Persian festival celebrated on the longest and darkest night of the year, sometime between Dec. 21 and 22.

The ritual was enlisted as National Heritage List in 2008 and suggested for a global status on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2015, Mehr News Agency reported.

"Calls have been issued for countries to join and help strengthen the event," Mohammad Hassan Talebian, deputy for cultural heritage at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said.  

Most countries that celebrate Norouz, the Persian New Year held late March, also share this ceremony with Iran.

According to Farhad Nazari, director general of the Office for Inscriptions and Preservation and Revitalization of Intangible Cultural Heritage, it has been almost three years that the dossier has been open on UNESCO's website without a nation's claim so that countries that share Yalda ritual could join.

"Apparently, the item is not interesting enough for other nations, for no country has so far shown any interest in joining the dossier," he said.

Nazari noted that the process of preparing the file would be different if data came from various sources.

"However, Iran will continue working on the documents to register the ritual independently, if other countries refuse to collaborate until early 2018," he said.

The celebration takes place 40 days prior to the Zoroastrian fire festival of Sadeh.

Going well into midnight, Yalda is a social occasion, when family and friends get together for fun and merriment, eating, drinking tea and reciting poetry.

Dried fruits, nuts, sweets and fruits such as watermelon and pomegranate are served. 


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