20 December 2013
On December 20, with the joint organization of the Department of Eastern Languages and Religious Studies and the Center for Iranian Studies, an event entitled "Shebi Yelda - Chile Night" was held. This event is part of the "Iranian Culture Days" series. Along with the staff and students of the university, Iranian Cultural Center staff and other guests attended the meeting.
The event was opened by the Head of the Department, Elnura Azizova. She emphasized that this night, symbolizing the end of the longest night of winter and known as "Shebi Yelda" in the Iranian culture, is marked as "Chile Night” in various regions of Azerbaijan and it is common between the two cultures. She noted the special role of Persian language instructors Zivar Huseynova, Nahid Shefiyev and Rustam Lazimov in the organization of the event. University students who are learning Persian language have a great interest in organizing various cultural programs related to the field.
Then students made presentations covering Shebi Yelda – Chile Night’s history, its essence, forms of its celebration in different regions of Iran and Azerbaijan, and similarities and differences in its customs. Then they recited poems in Persian relating to Shebi Yelda.
Persian language and literature instructor of the university, Dr. Rustam Lazimov, gave information about the importance of Shebi Yelda in the ancient Zoroastrian beliefs and noted the role of this holiday in symbolizing the advantage of heat over cold and light over darkness. After giving a brief overview of the "Hafiz horoscope," which constitutes an important part of Shebi Yelda celebrations and is known as an interpretation of someone’s intent, Head of the Iranian Cultural Center Ibrahim Nuri read a couplet from the Divan of Hafiz. Then the couplet was interpreted by Rustam Lazimov. After the positive interpretation of the couplet, the participants were in high spirits and were invited to the second part of the event, the Shebi Yelda tea party prepared with Iranian and Azerbaijani sweets. The event emphasized the similarities and proximity between neighboring cultures and created a spring-like mood for the participants with its inclusion of watermelon, characteristic of the Shebi Yelda table, and other colorful dishes.