Star Iranian musicians and leading personalities from Europe and the U.S. came together on Dec. 20th to ring in the winter solstice’s arrival and celebrate the ancient Persian festival of Yalda.
The program, presented online in English and Persian by Bita Milanian, was produced by Kayhan Life and the Persia Educational Foundation. It featured moving performances and compositions from stars such as Faramarz Aslani, Sussan Deyhim, Arash Sobhani, Reza Rohani, Sara Naeni, Sanaz Sotoudeh, Shahin & Sepehr, and Tara Mehrad. The duo Hero and Frya performed in Kurdish.
One of the evening’s highlights was a surprise appearance by Prince Reza Pahlavi, who offered his outlook on life. The pianist Faranak Shahroozi could barely hide her amazement while she introduced her latest work, “I’m absolutely speechless after hearing our Royal Highness Reza Pahlavi. I’m honored to be closing the show.”
Dori Dana-Haeri, a Trustee of Persia Education, said, “Sharing the nuggets of our culture and the positive message of Yalda — the birth of the sun — with everyone, especially in these dark days of forced negativity, isolation, and gloom, made the gathering extra-special.”
Watch the video on YouTube here