Yalada and the ceremonial traditions of this night are ancient Persian custom. In old times when agriculture was the basic part of people’s life due to experience and passing of time became able to manage their activities with solar circulation, change of seasons and length of daytime. They have seen that in some days and seasons the length of daytime becomes longer and they could use sun and light more for their work. According to this they assumed that light and sun was a sign for goodness and in combat with darkness and night.
The ancient people like Iranians found that the shortest of days was the last day of fall and first night of winter and after that days grow longer and nights become shorter so they called this night the birth of light and made it the beginning of year.
Since Yalda night was the longest night of year it could be a sign of demon Iranians thought it was unlucky and to scape its misfortune they light fire and spend the night eating and drinking and partying with special treats and food. They used to provide fresh and dried fruit and also different kinds of nuts, in addition to praying utensils like thurible and fireboxes.
Yalda night ceremony is one of the ancient traditions which is still celebrated among Iranians.In every parts of Iran families prepare a fancy table consisting of fruits specially watermelon and pomegranate also nuts like pistachio, almond, walnut and hazelnut and dried fruits.
Another famous custom of Yalda night is divination (Tafao’l)from Hafez poetry and asking him about their future.