A banquet of song and dance. Artist is Ibrahim Jabbar-Beik (1923-2002) - Iranian Yalda night celebration - Ask An Iranian

Each year, Light conquers Dark. It’s not even a competition! Light is truly a bad-ass battler, and Dark’s heart is really never in it. It’s for this reason that the bookies will never give you good odds. This is 2020 however, and things could end up going the other way. To help prepare you for a possible Team Light lights-out, we tell you all you need to know about the Night of Yalda, while also foreseeing what 2021 holds. To do this, we use the age-old Iranian practice of reading poems by the Persian poet, Hafez and interpreting the meaning. We couldn’t do this alone though, so we called on a friend of the show. Shanay bails us out by telling us the history behind this popular Iranian celebration. So if you’re wondering, “should I spend a night with a Persian poet?”, listen here.

Questions we also get answers to in this episode

  • What’s the history behind the Iranian occasion known as Yalda?
  • Which is deeper, Deepak Shukla, or quantum physics?
  • Where can I get my Hafez poem fortune told?
  • Is there a better place to go to learn about Hafez poems?
  • What is a ‘korsi’ and what exactly can I do under it?
  • Where is Majid Laboo Foroosh at any one moment?
  • Who are the Sufis in Iranian history?
  • Who is the most famous Persian poet?
  • Do Iranians read each other’s fortune, using Hafez poems?
  • How big is Lebron James’ little fella?

How do I follow this episode’s guest, Shanay, online?

If you’d like to follow our guest and maybe see how her restoration project is going, you can follow Shanay on Instagram, here.

Probably the world’s biggest ‘korsi’ blanket. Shanay remembers her childhood ‘korsi’ being this big.

Translations of Persian (Farsi) words used in this episode

PersianEnglish translation
Do nafareh:“For two people”, or “for a couple”
Lahaaf korsi:“Korsi blanket” – the blanket placed over the ‘korsi’ table
Khodaa nakoneh:“God forbid”
Chetori:“How are you?”
Kam nemiyaram:“I won’t come short”
Laahaaf dooz:“Blanket stitcher”
Shahrivari:“Born on Shahrivar month” – August-September
Afiat baasheh:“Bless you” – said after a Persian sneeze
Baseh:“Enough” – as in, “quit it”
“a” appearing alone, will be pronounced as a short-a — double ‘aa’s are long, as used in the word “water”

Image credit: A banquet of song and dance. Artist is Ibrahim Jabbar-Beik (1923-2002), edited by Ask An Iranian.