Yalda Tree

Yalda Tree Ancient Iranians celebrated Yalda by decorating an evergreen tree, the Sarve. The Sarve, Rocket Juniper (what a name!), also known as the cypress tree, being straight, upright, resilient and resistant to the cold weather (all signs of strength and upright of character) was thought appropriate to represent Mitra, the omnipotent and ubiquitous deity. The younger girls had their "wishes" symbolically wrapped in colorful silk cloth and hung them on the tree as offerings to Mitra with an expectation, no doubt, that their prayers would be rewarded (remnants of this traditions can still be seen in Iran at remote villages where some young girls tie colorful bundles to trees to answer to their "wishes") . Thus the tradition of decorations of the tree with lights and gifts on or beside the tree was born. http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-LLOUQOAwcqKDCMs6oNDYWl91Ug--?cq=1&p=883