Yazidi Cel­e­brate the Be­lende Feast

The Kurdish Globe - - WEATHER - By Has­san Shin­gali

The Yazidi re­li­gion is con­sider one of the most an­cient in the Mid­dle East. The Yazidi have been farm­ers and stock rais­ers since an­cient times, which is why most Yazidi feast re­late to nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena.

The Be­lende feast is a cel­e­bra­tion which takes place on the first Fri­day of winter ev­ery year. Ev­ery fam­ily cooks a spe­cial kind of food and dis­trib­utes it to their neigh­bors. Then, on the se­cond Fri­day, ev­ery Yazidi cel­e­brates the feast and bakes a spe­cial kind of bread called sewk, a kind of small round loaf which tastes de­li­cious and is dis­trib­uted to rel­a­tives and neigh­bors. On the fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day, ev­ery fam­ily brings a plant called reshk. Sweets, can­dies and figs are pre­pared for the Be­lende Feast. While she waits for the men­folk to re­turn from the fields, the house­wife stands the reshk at the en­trance to their home to greet them.

When live­stock were still used for plough­ing, the an­i­mals would be made to jump over the fire, but nowa­days mod­ern agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery is used, so the house­wife sets fire to the plant and dis­trib­utes the can­dies to the as­sem­bled peo­ple and neigh­bours to the sound of ac­cla­ma­tion as the women and chil­dren jump over the fire three times in joy and ju­bi­la­tion over the feast.

Lo­q­man Suleiman, a Yazidi me­dia ac­tivist, says the pur­pose be­hind the fire and the pass­ing of the oxen over it is that the ox is a sym­bol of fer­til­ity while the fire is the sym­bol of the sun and warmth. The ox thus rep­re­sents the seeds, which are in need of the sun’s warmth to grow in fields and sur­vive the frost.

Ev­ery fam­ily keeps some of the ash from the fire, which the farmer sows on his farm­land to bless it.

Af­ter cel­e­brat­ing the Be­lende Feast, ev­ery fam­ily pre­pares a loaf of thick bread (called khewler in Kur­dish) and puts one raisin in­side the loaf. Then the head of the fam­ily starts to split the bread into smaller pieces which are dis­trib­uted to ev­ery mem­ber of the fam­ily. The one who finds the raisin in­side his khewler will be the lucky one within the fam­ily for the whole year.

A women dis­trib­utes sweets, can­dies and or­anges dur­ing the Be­lende Feast.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.