A Jour­ney into Lal­ish Tem­ple

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Has­san Shin­gali

Ac­com­pa­nied by Yazidi and Mus­lim friends who wanted to see Lalesh tem­ple and dis­cover the se­cret be­hind its sanc­tity, we set off from Duhok. Lalesh is a place which many Yazidi from all around the world, and many non-Yazidi, visit ev­ery year to re­ceive God’s bless­ing and be for­given their sins. While we were in the taxi head­ing to the tem­ple, we saw many beau­ti­ful places and high moun­tains. The road got nar­rower as we got closer to the tem­ple.

When we ar­rived, we loaded up with bags of food, our cam­eras and other es­sen­tials and headed to­ward the tem­ple. We were bare­foot, since that is the rule ev­ery Yazidi has to fol­low in re­spect for the tem­ple. The first place we stopped at for a while was the place of pu­rifi­ca­tion to which a pil­grim has to run and kiss the wall, then run back and kiss the other wall, three times. Af­ter we have fin­ished that, we headed to­wards the shrines, ad­mir­ing the beauty of the place: the leafy green and olive trees that cov­ered the area around the tem­ple, the smell of the fig trees be­side the oak trees.

As a group, we en­tered the shrine and saw the jars filled with olive oil and the tomb of Sheikh Adi, a re­li­gious fig­ure. While tak­ing pic­tures in the shrine, we no­ticed a piece of cloth and one of our friends asked about why some people were throw­ing it. The an­swer: when you throw that piece of cloth with your eyes closed, if the cloth stays on the rock your wish will be granted. Then we moved to­ward'' Kanya spi'' the white pool in which the Yazidi bap­tize their chil­dren. Af­ter that, we moved on to the Dara Mu­raza, or “mar­riage tree”--a rounded tree around which a bach­e­lor or spin­ster wrap their arms: if their fin­gers touch, they will soon get mar­ried. There was an­other place, too, called Zamzam into which wa­ter flows. Here, the Yazidi wash their faces and hands while be­seech­ing God to save the Yazidi and hu­mankind. There were many sym­bols and scripts in the tem­ple, in­clud­ing the im­age of the black snake on the wall, which rep­re­sents wis­dom and ref­er­ences Noah sav­ing hu­mankind. In­side the tem­ple, there are seven pil­lars in­di­cat­ing the seven an­gels in Yazidi mythol­ogy, as well as old in­scrip­tions rep­re­sent­ing the sun and tools men have used for work.

Af­ter a long day ex­plor­ing the tem­ple and en­joy­ing our time find­ing out more about it, we had lunch and headed back to Duhok.

Lalesh tem­ple: a view of the trees and shrines.

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