By Kayhan Life Staff
The U.S. State Department has issued a video wishing Iranians around the world a happy Yalda. It also said that the U.S. would continue offering its support to Iranians calling for a democratic Iran.
Shabe Yalda or Yalda Night is an ancient festival held in several Middle Eastern countries including Iran, in which communities celebrate the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. The celebration often involves families staying at home, lighting candles and reading poetry to one another, and welcoming back lighter days as winter moves on.
“On this Yalda night, we want you to know that the United States will continue to support you and your aspirations in shaping a free and democratic future for Iran,” Abram Paley, Deputy Special Envoy for Iran at the State Department said in the video.
“Yalda is a time for joy and celebration. Unfortunately, Iranian people are still facing indescribable hardships and suffering from the regime. From executing protesters and imprisoning opponents and human rights activists, to the intimidation of journalists and other first-hand reports of gross human rights violations, the Iranian regime will stop at nothing to silence the Iranian people,” Paley added.
Another video segment showed State Department officials Paley, Vedant Patel, Matthew Miller and Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson slicing pomegranates, a symbolic food representing light and hope. The fruit is often found on tables in Persian homes celebrating Yalda night.