Lal­ish Tem­ple—the Yazidi pil­grim­age

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS | WEATHER FORECAST -

The Yazidi are a Kur­dish re­li­gious group who rep­re­sent an an­cient re­li­gious sect. The term Yazidism, Azda or Ezi in the Kur­dish Lan­guage means “God wor­ship­per”. Their pop­u­la­tion ex­ceeds 75 000, with most liv­ing in Iraq—pri­mar­ily in Mo­sul prov­ince in north­ern Iraq—and groups in a num­ber of other coun­tries in­clud­ing Ger­many, Ge­or­gia, Syria, Tur­key and the US, which is home to a very small pop­u­la­tion. The Yazidi be­lieve in God as the cre­ator of the world, which he placed in the care of seven an­gels.

Most of the Yazidis in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion live in dis­tricts like Shin­gal, Bashik and Bahzan near Mo­sul prov­ince, and Khanke, Sharya, Baadre and Shekhan near Duhok prov­ince. The Yazidi pil­grim­age is to Lal­ish, which is sit­u­ated 14 km from the cen­tre of the Shekhan dis­trict. Ac­cord­ing to Yazidi mythol­ogy, Lal­ish, which means “Di­vine High­ness”, is the most an­cient place in the world. The tem­ple there con­tains sym­bols that date back to an­cient eras. It was ren­o­vated and re­built by the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) af­ter it was de­stroyed by mil­i­tary cam­paigns. Yazidis from all over the world come to the Lal­ish tem­ple to prac­tice their rit­u­als in a spirit of brother­hood. The Yazidi per­form their cults twice a year: the Wed­nes­day feast on the sec­ond day of Au­gust, and the gath­er­ing feast on 6-13 Oc­to­ber. Dur­ing the lat­ter feast, they per­form their rit­u­als for seven days in Lal­ish tem­ple. Dur­ing the gath­er­ing feast, many non-Yazidi peo­ple pay vis­its to Lal­ish tem­ple to ob­serve their rit­u­als, tra­di­tions and cul­ture, and the tem­ple is very crowded dur­ing the seven days of rit­u­als. All pil­grims who come to the tem­ple must be bare­foot, ac­cord­ing to the sect's rules, and must pu­rify them­selves be­fore com­ing to the tem­ple. Many peo­ple ar­rive on the first day to se­cure a com­fort­able place to stay be­fore the tem­ple site be­comes crowded. In terms of pray­ing, the Yazidi have five daily prayers—at dawn, sun­rise, in the af­ter­noon, at sun- set and in the evening—but the main prayers are three: the morn­ing, sun­set and evening prayers in which the wor­ship­per takes the sun as an os­cu­la­tion and washes their hands and faces be­fore pray­ing. At dawn and sun­rise, they turn their faces to­ward the East; at af­ter­noon prayer, they turn to­ward the South; at sun­set, the prayer turns their face to­ward the West; and in the evening, they per­form their prayer in bed. The Yazidi have three fasts, which are fixed, un­like Is­lam whose pe­riod of fast­ing changes de­pend­ing on the moon. The pe­riod of fast­ing starts on the first Tues­day af­ter De­cem­ber 12 ev­ery year, and Yazidis ab­stain from eat­ing and drink­ing from dawn to dusk be­tween Tues­day and Fri­day. On feast days, they slaugh­ter a sheep and dis­trib­ute it to their neigh­bours. The Yazidis have seven holy fes­ti­vals: the New year feast, the Fast­ing feast, the win­ter and sum­mer feasts, the feast of Khidir Alyas, a holy fig­ure, the Gath­er­ing feast and Bairam or the great feast. The main pil­lars of Yazidi­ism are truth, which en­tails telling the truth, bene­fac­tion and good deeds, and knowl­edge, which means know­ing God, peo­ple and sci­ence.

This photo was tak­ing by the pho­tog­ra­pher, Thamer Alyas. It shows one of the Yazidi cer­e­monies at Lal­ish tem­ple

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.