"the longest night of the year"

Yalda feast
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeYalda feast - Credit: Eliza Tasbihi
The Shab e Cheleh festival, or Yalda, is a Persian event held on the shortest day of the year to celebrate the victory of light over darkness as the days once again begin to get longer.  Yalda predates Islam, and consequently is seen as nothing more than a social occasion now, at which families come together.  By tradition, watermelons and other fresh fruits are served.