Last year I wrote a post highlighting the type of Ajil, Persian Trail mix, enjoyed on Shabeh Yalda also known as Winter Solstice. Shabeh Yalda either falls on the 21st or 22nd of December and it is regarded as the longest night of the year. Winter Solstice celebrates the transition of fall into winter. It is not surprising that Iranians celebrate this transitional time in nature as many of the cultural Persian celebrations coincide with the change of seasons.
This year I would like to focus on Korsi, pronounced Kor-see. Anyone who has lived in Iran will have very fond memories of cold nights spent sitting around a Korsi to keep warm. A Korsi is incredibly easy to make, it is simply made from a short square table covered with a large comforter or thick blanket. In modern days an electric heater is placed underneath the table. Comfortable cushions are arranged on the floor around the Korsi for people to sit on. The idea is to sit on the cushion and cover the bottom portion of your body with the comforter that lays over the table.
Last week I asked those who follow My Persian Kitchen’s Fan page over on Facebook if anyone had a personal picture of a Korsi to share. No one seemed to have their very own picture but one of the readers Bahar sent over a picture from an email forward that she had received. Said picture is the first image on this blog post. I actually loved the picture the second I saw it just because it’s such a beautifully put together Korsi. I also found the image above online and I think it best describes the spirit of Shabeh Yalda where families gather together and sit around the Korsi. The idea is to spend the night chatting away, reading poetry all while eating nuts, pomegranates, and the last of the watermelons available.
I have very fond memories of being in Tehran during the cold months of winter and spending evenings under the Korsi. It’s so comforting and warm that you never want to leave. Sometimes, I even slept right there under to Korsi and never made it to my bed in my room!
I miss having the same type of gatherings here in Los Angeles. I suppose I could move the furniture around in my living room and crate a Korsi area, but the space is not big enough and it would be a big hassle. But I know one thing, when and if a Korsi is built in our house, there is one member of our family who will enjoy it just as much as I would, and that would be our dog!!!
I would like to share another picture that I found online along with an article that I loved:
I found this picture and a series of others that are worth while checking out on Mianeh.
As I mentioned last year Shabeh Yalda has a very special significance for me. My mom was born during Shabeh Yalda a few moons ago when it fell on the December 22nd.
Doostaneh aziz Shabeh Yalda mobarak!
Wishing you all dear friends a very happy Winter Solstice!