Yalda – Celebrating the longest night of the year

18:00 - 20:30
Dec 21st 2022

Come and join us for an evening of poetry, storytelling, nuts and pomegranates to celebrate Yalda, the annual tradition of Iran and Afghanistan to mark the longest night of the year. Everyone welcome!

For more information contact Jo Winsloe Slater on jo.winsloe@stethelburgas.org
Feeling Generous



Refugee, Asylum Seekers Guest Ticket

Across Iran and Afghanistan family and friends gather every year for the cherished festival of Yalda Night, marking the longest night of the year and the start of winter.  It is a time for friendship, to share stories and recite poems, including the works of the renowned Persian poet, Hafez.  We’ll be celebrating with customary foods of nuts, dried fruits, watermelon and pomegrantes – their redness the colour of love and life!   Come and join us as we travel with our host to Afghanistan for the evening.

Join us

This is an event for those who celebrate Yalda and those who are reading about it here for the first time.  The event will be in English and Persian/Dari (with translation) everyone is welcome to bring stories, poems and musical instruments for an intimate night of celebration in St Ethelburga’s Bedouin Tent. This is a mixed event for men and women.


Included in the cost of the ticket are refreshments and snacks during the evening.  Places are limited so please book even if coming as a guest.


Hashmat Sarvari

Hashmat Sarvari is freelancing with People of the Earth, a project of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. Born in Afghanistan, Hashmat previously worked as a TV political anchor for Noor TV in Afghanistan. He later continued his work as the media and strategic communications officer at Afghanistan Embassy in London. He holds an MA in Peace-Building and Reconciliation from the University of Winchester. Currently, he is pursuing his second MA in Politics and International Relations in the UK. He is a recipient of the 2016 AILA fellowship at the Centre of Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He also completed a project with the British and Irish Agencies for Afghanistan (BAAG) on the 2020 Afghanistan conference-Geneva to ensure that the peace advocacy messages are reflected in the conference.

Jo Winsloe Slater

Jo is Project Manager of People of the Earth at St Ethelburga’s, a strand of work that seeks to build relationships between refugees and asylum seekers and local people, and raise awareness of the plight of displaced people.  She has a background in managing projects in the fields of interfaith, social justice and social care in the non-governmental sector.