Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement on Yalda, the Iranian celebration of solstice:

“As tonight’s sunset ushers in the longest and darkest night of the year, people from Iranian, Afghan, Azeri, Kurdish, Tajik and Uzbek communities in British Columbia and around the world will celebrate Yalda.

“For thousands of years, Yalda has marked the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the triumph of light over darkness. Today, families gather for the winter solstice to share food, like pomegranate and watermelon, recite poetry and tell stories. Homes throughout British Columbia will light up with laughter, joy and hope for brighter days ahead.

“These celebrations and opportunities for renewal are even more important after another challenging year. I encourage everyone to celebrate safely today by keeping your groups small, so we can look forward to coming together for many more celebrations in the weeks and months to come.

“On behalf of all British Columbians, I wish all those celebrating Yalda an evening of joy and light.

“Shab-e Yalda Mobarak.”

For Farsi and French translations: