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Winter Celebration For Iranians Costs Double This Year

Tehran fruit market. File photo
Tehran fruit market. File photo

Iranians have to pay almost double this year compared with 2017 to celebrate winter in their tradition called Night of Yalda, or the longest night of the year.

Iranian families gather at home on the last night of autumn and celebrate Yalda, telling stories, reading poetry and ancient epics. They also enjoy fruits, nuts and sweets. But this year a basket of goodies will cost 97 percent more due to the devaluation of their currency rial.

Oranges will cost 26 percent more this year compared with last December, apples 78 percent and baklava 130 percent. Almonds will be the most expensive in terms of inflation, costing 215 percent more this year, based on prices published by Iranian media.

But prices in dollars seem to be relatively cheap. A kilogram of oranges and a kilo of red apples each is less than one U.S. dollar. A kilo of baklava comes to about $6. But ordinary Iranians do not earn dollars and the price tag of most items is too high for them.

According to a calculation by Economic World published in Tehran, a small basket of food for the Night of Yalda for three people will cost more than $13 (about 5 percent of a worker’s monthly salary). In local currency this is 1,280,000 rials, while last year it was only 650,000.