Yazidis head for the bazaars in prepa­ra­tion for the feast of Ezi

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By: Has­san Shin­gali

The Yazidi com­mu­nity is pre­par­ing to fast in prepa­ra­tion for the feast of Ezi. Ev­ery Yazidi has to fast for three days ev­ery De­cem­ber. The fast be­gins at about 4 am and lasts the whole day till dusk, be­ing bro­ken at sun­set. The fast lasts from Mon­day till Thurs­day, with a feast held on the Fri­day. Dur­ing the fast­ing days and on the first day they slaugh­ter a sheep and dis­trib­ute it to poor fam­i­lies, rel­a­tives and neigh­bours; fast­ing is con­sid­ered a duty for ev­ery Yazidi. If some­one can­not fast on these spe­cific days, be­cause he or she is sick or has to make a trip, they have to do it on an­other day.

The Yazidi do not dis­tin­guish be­tween the alms they dis­trib­ute be­cause if a poor fam­ily does not have enough to eat, even a loaf of bread will be enough to help them; it will count with God.

Dur­ing the Ezi, the Yazidi gather and dance in the streets while the clergy wor­ship God. The Yazidi have many other feasts, in­clud­ing Sheshms, Kho­dan, Khudir Alyas, and the Sum­mer and Winter feasts. The Ezi is con­sid­ered the se­cond big­gest feast in the Yazidi re­li­gious cal­en­dar. Be­fore the day of feast, the Yazidi head for the mar­kets and bazaars to buy new clothes for their fam­i­lies along with buy sweets and fruit (can­died and fresh).

On the day of the feast, peo­ple wake up early in or­der to pre­pare them­selves and wish each other a happy feast be­fore head­ing to the homes of their neigh­bours and rel­a­tives to wish them a happy Eid. Sweets are dis­trib­uted and food served to the visi­tors. The women visit fam­ily graves and dis­trib­ute sweets and food to wash away the sins of the dead, while in Ba'shika dis­trict in the south of Mo­sul, the Qawals (cler­gy­men) play tam­bourines and flutes to mark the com­ing of the Eid.

The tim­ing of the fast to co­in­cide with the short­est days of the year is linked to the tra­di­tions and agri­cul­tural prac­tices of the Yezidis’ an­ces­tors and of an­cient peo­ples. Da­ham Ali, a Yazidi young man, was very happy about the up­com­ing fast and feast: “I am happy be­cause the fast brings us closer to God; we wor­ship Him and He for­gives our sins. For Has­san, an­other Yazidi, De­cem­ber is con­sid­ered the month of for­give­ness: “Dur­ing the fast, I feel very happy be­cause I know that God will not for­get us be­cause we are fast­ing and wor­ship­ping Him. Also, on the day of the feast, peo­ple be­comes tol­er­ant to­wards each other”.

Cler­gy­men light­ing can­dles in Lalesh tem­ple

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