Khidir Alyas_ young boys and girls keep them­selves thirst at night dur­ing the feast day

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Has­san Shin­gali

The Yazidi have started fast­ing for the Khidir Alyas feast. The fast will last for three days. Hunt­ing is for­bid­den over these three days be­cause Khidir Alyas, an im­por­tant Yazidi re­li­gious fig­ure who was fond of hunt­ing, stopped for these days and ate only veg­eta­bles.

Lo­q­man Su­laiman, a Yazidi ac­tivist, ex­plained the fes­ti­val. The Yazidi put a ves­sel con­tain­ing flour in a high place in the house, he tells us. Then, if the house­hold­ers see some traces in the flour in the morn­ing, this in­di­cates that Khidir Alyas has passed by their house, bless­ing it.

Su­laiman also men­tions some sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the Yazidi feast and other reli­gions which also pay homage to Khidir Alyas.

Many young Yazidi men and women nei­ther drink nor sleep on the night of the feast, since keep­ing them­selves thirst will lead them to drink in an­other house-if a boy drinks wa­ter in an­other house, he will marry a daugh­ter of that house and vice versa. There is a tra­di­tion that Khidir Alyas makes these young people’s wishes come true.

On the days of fast­ing, the Yazidi mix wheat, sun­flower seeds, corn and take it to the mill to be ground into a spe­cial flour the Yazidi call pekhon in Kur­dish. Pekhon means ‘with­out blood’ and in­di­cates their tol­er­ance and the sense of peace and for­give­ness they fell for other reli­gions. Some houses mix pekhon with mo­lasses, mould the mix­ture into dif­fer­ent shapes and give it to the chil­dren.

Ma­jid Esa, a Yazidi young man, ex­pressed his hap­pi­ness at the up­com­ing feast and fast: “This feast strength­ens the al­ready strong ties among Yazidis and teaches us a sense of for­give­ness and peace. The Yazidi do not wash be­fore this feast, be­cause it weak­ens our sense of hear­ing, and ev­ery Yazidi has to cut a lock of hair and plant trees to make the ground green in this month”.

On the day of the feast, the Yazidi dis­trib­ute food-and spe­cially meat—to their neigh­bors as well as con­grat­u­lat­ing each other on the com­ing of the feast.

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