History of the pomegranate tree and its benefits and Yalda night in Iran
Pomegranate tree and Yalda night: Pomegranate is scientifically known as Punica Granatum, and it is a type of fruit that grows mainly in dry areas, such as: California and Arizona, and pomegranate trees grow to a height of about 5 meters, and the pomegranate fruits have a round shape, and contain many red encapsulated grains. (English: Arils), in which the seeds and edible pulp are included, and those grains are separated by white inedible pulp, and the pomegranate has attractive flowers that bloom for a long period of time; It starts from late spring through summer. Pomegranate fruits are high in water, in addition to protein, fats, sugars and acid.
It is worth noting that pomegranate fruits need good care. Where it can spoil if it is exposed to a lot of rain in the fall, or to high humidity, or poor irrigation, or strong winds, or even when it ripens greatly, and it should be noted that the juiciness and smell of the pomegranate fruits become better the longer the storage period of the fruits, and the pomegranate can be preserved. A period of a month or two at ambient temperatures, and it can be stored for a longer period of up to seven months within a temperature ranging between 0 to 5 degrees Celsius, and a humidity of between 80 to 85%.
The pomegranate tree is a perennial deciduous tree that is native to Iran. Its cultivation has spread in many Arab countries for its warmth, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, the most famous of which is Yemen, the United States of America and some European countries. The pomegranate tree has beautiful white and red flowers that turn into delicious fruits with crimson or reddish-yellow skin. The shell of this fruit contains hundreds of watery, bright red or white grains, and each seed contains a hard or soft seed according to the quality and variety.
Types of pomegranate Many people confuse the types and varieties of a particular plant, and in fact there is a difference between them, as the types exist in nature, and have the same distinctive characteristics as the original plant, for example there are only two types of pomegranate in the world, namely: the well-known and common pomegranate Use, and its scientific name (in Latin: Punica granatum L), while the second type is what is known as the Yemeni pomegranate, and its scientific name (in Latin: Punica protopunica, which is a type that is neither eaten nor sold. As for the varieties, they are usually produced due to mutations in the plant, or as a result. For human intervention, such as hybridization of two types of plant together, as the germination of a plant from seeds produces a different new variety, not a type, and it is worth noting that pomegranate has very many varieties, and it cannot be limited to this article, as it is grown on all continents of the world – except for Antarctic – therefore, we will mention in the following points some of the common pomegranate varieties.
Varieties of pomegranate common in Egypt: We mention the most important pomegranate pomegranate, and the pomegranate of the camel’s canine, the pink, and the girl, and the Hijazi, and the baladi, and the yellow pomegranate, and the pomegranate Granada.
Varieties of pomegranate common in Iran: including pomegranate Sawa, pomegranate Fares and pomegranate Julfa, Kohdasht, Ghilan, and pomegranate Firouzkoh
Varieties of pomegranate common in Morocco: including: the evergreen dwarf pomegranate, Granada yellow pomegranate, Granada red pomegranate, Gordo de Javita pomegranate, Zheri pomegranate, Sefri pomegranate, and others Varieties.
Varieties of pomegranate common in Tunisia: We mention, including: Tunisian pomegranate, and Zehri (in English: Zehri), and Jabali, and Shalfi, and Al-Grosi, and Andalusian, and Zaghouani, and Al-Balahi.
Varieties of pomegranate common in Jordan: including: vegetable pomegranate, and bardi, and Hassassi, and Alqrati, and Shami, and Farsi, and Halawi, and Taif, and Mawardi, and others.
Varieties of pomegranate common in Syria: We mention among them: Al-Wardi, Al-Melissi, Al-Banati, Al-Arabi, Al-Manfalouti, Al-Taifi or Al-Hijazi, Al-Lafani, Al-Aswad, Al-Sousa pomegranate, and others.
Varieties of pomegranate common in Yemen: including: Al-Taif pomegranate, Al-Araqi, Melissa, Al-Hada, Al-Khazmi, Al-Samati, Al-Khodari, Al-Chinese, Al-Rawda, and others.
Benefits of pomegranate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving diabetes cases
- Enhancing athletic performance
- Reducing weight
- Contribute to relieving arthritis
- Fight gum infection
- Improve the cases of people with sexual dysfunction
- Contribute to treating patients with liver disease
- Improve digestion health
- Treating heart disease and a lot of benefits
Iran is the largest producer of pomegranate, a country with a record production of over one million tons per year. Most of Iran’s products are exported to other countries. It is estimated that one kilogram of pomegranate in Iran is worth 9 to 10 dollars. Most of this production is exported abroad, especially to European countries and some Arab countries such as the UAE, Iraq and East Asian countries.
Yalda night: Yalda is a Syriac word meaning birth, and in this context it refers to the birth of the sun that defeats the night or a symbol of light that defeats darkness.
In the Iranian calendar, which coincides with the natural calendar, the winter solstice corresponds to the night of the 30th of the Iranian month of Azar (corresponding to December 21) and the morning of the first day of the Iranian month (corresponding to December 22).
Iranians celebrate this night since ancient times and hold a special ceremony there, which is the night of brotherhood and communion, when all families gather to celebrate it.
Celebration rituals that focus on family reunification led by the elderly as a symbol of the old age of the sun in the fall season, telling stories and reading poetry throughout the night and until the dawn of day are passed down to generations.
This night will witness many activities such as reading the Shahnameh (Biography of Kings) by the epic poet Abu Al-Qasim Al-Ferdousi and the poet of the slogan Hafez Al-Shirazi, which the Iranians are optimistic about. As well as telling stories and tales by parents and grandparents.
Watermelon is an important part of Yalda’s customs, as people believe that eating watermelon, even in small quantities, on this night will protect them from catching colds and flu during the winter. As well as pomegranate, grapes, nuts and others.
Other activities such as cooking and telling stories for children and the like are also held, as well as reading the Quran, and some get married on this night.