Life and rebirth in Iraq: Yazidis celebrate New Year

Published April 20th, 2017 - 19:34 GMT

Rate Article:

 
PRINT Send Mail
comment (0)

The Yazidi New Year festival is celebrated on the first Wednesday after April fourteenth and honors the day when God’s representative, the ‘Peacock Angel’ Tawûsê Melek descended to earth at Lalish to fill earth with life and renewal.

This year’s celebration marks the biggest gathering since the Yazidis faced persecution by Daesh in 2014.

Candle-lit processions, painted eggs, and special dishes are all part of the visual feast that makes up this ancient holiday celebrating the rebirth of spring. Continue reading below »

View as list
The Yazidi new year is welcomed with candles and lamps in the Lalish Vallley, Iraq. The celebrations announce the birth of spring and a new cycle of life, commemorating the creation of the universe and honoring nature.
Reduce

Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10The Yazidi new year is welcomed with candles and lamps in the Lalish Vallley, Iraq. The celebrations announce the birth of spring and a new cycle of life, commemorating the creation of the universe and honoring nature.

(Source: (AFP/Christophe Simon))

Enlarge
Yazidis kiss the Lalish temple, the place where it is believed that the Peackock Angel, God's representative on earth, descended to bless the earth with fertility and renewal.
Reduce

Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10Yazidis kiss the Lalish temple, the place where it is believed that the Peackock Angel, God's representative on earth, descended to bless the earth with fertility and renewal.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed) )

Enlarge
Yazidi women dress up on Charshema Sor or ‘Red Wednesday’ and visit cemeteries to offer presents to the dead whose spirits are believed to return to their graves. Presents include dishes, sweets, lamps and other things.
Reduce

Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10Yazidi women dress up on Charshema Sor or ‘Red Wednesday’ and visit cemeteries to offer presents to the dead whose spirits are believed to return to their graves. Presents include dishes, sweets, lamps and other things.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed))

Enlarge
Thousands gathered on Wednesday, April 19, at the holy shrine of the Lalish Temple, to welome the new year.
Reduce

Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10Thousands gathered on Wednesday, April 19, at the holy shrine of the Lalish Temple, to welome the new year.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed))

Enlarge
A Yazidi woman in the Khanke refugee camp in Iraq is boiling eggs to celebrate the new year. Eggs symbolize the earth, which is said to have been transformed from a liquid to a solid status, marking a new beginning of life.
Reduce

Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10A Yazidi woman in the Khanke refugee camp in Iraq is boiling eggs to celebrate the new year. Eggs symbolize the earth, which is said to have been transformed from a liquid to a solid status, marking a new beginning of life.

(Source: (YallaIraq/Zina Salim Hassan))

Enlarge
Painting eggs after they are cooked is an old Yazidi tradition during the new year celebrations. The colors of the eggs resemble the colors of the rainbow, created by God’s representative when he descended to earth.
Reduce

Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10Painting eggs after they are cooked is an old Yazidi tradition during the new year celebrations. The colors of the eggs resemble the colors of the rainbow, created by God’s representative when he descended to earth.

(Source: (YallaIraq/Bushra Qasim Khalaf))

Enlarge
Yezidi kids hit their eggs against each other until one wins by breaking the other’s egg. The game is played before the eggs are eaten and the shells are kept for the following day.
Reduce

Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Yezidi kids hit their eggs against each other until one wins by breaking the other’s egg. The game is played before the eggs are eaten and the shells are kept for the following day.

(Source: (YallaIraq/Zina Salim Hassan))

Enlarge
Broken egg shells, mud and anemone flowers are placed above the door of Yazidi homes, providing its residents with luck and fertility for the following year.
Reduce

Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10Broken egg shells, mud and anemone flowers are placed above the door of Yazidi homes, providing its residents with luck and fertility for the following year.

(Source: (YallaIraq/ Manal Barkat Alias))

Enlarge
Gifts offered to visitors by Yazidi families during the Red Wednesday.
Reduce

Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Gifts offered to visitors by Yazidi families during the Red Wednesday.

(Source: (YallaIraq/ Zina Salim Hassan))

Enlarge
Fire is considered sacred by Yazidis, as it is regarded to be the earthly form of the divine energy. During the new year celebrations, God’s representative, Tawûsê Melek, is asked to return as the sun.
Reduce

Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Fire is considered sacred by Yazidis, as it is regarded to be the earthly form of the divine energy. During the new year celebrations, God’s representative, Tawûsê Melek, is asked to return as the sun.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed))

Enlarge

1

The Yazidi new year is welcomed with candles and lamps in the Lalish Vallley, Iraq. The celebrations announce the birth of spring and a new cycle of life, commemorating the creation of the universe and honoring nature.

Image 1 of 10The Yazidi new year is welcomed with candles and lamps in the Lalish Vallley, Iraq. The celebrations announce the birth of spring and a new cycle of life, commemorating the creation of the universe and honoring nature.

(Source: (AFP/Christophe Simon))

2

Yazidis kiss the Lalish temple, the place where it is believed that the Peackock Angel, God's representative on earth, descended to bless the earth with fertility and renewal.

Image 2 of 10Yazidis kiss the Lalish temple, the place where it is believed that the Peackock Angel, God's representative on earth, descended to bless the earth with fertility and renewal.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed) )

3

Yazidi women dress up on Charshema Sor or ‘Red Wednesday’ and visit cemeteries to offer presents to the dead whose spirits are believed to return to their graves. Presents include dishes, sweets, lamps and other things.

Image 3 of 10Yazidi women dress up on Charshema Sor or ‘Red Wednesday’ and visit cemeteries to offer presents to the dead whose spirits are believed to return to their graves. Presents include dishes, sweets, lamps and other things.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed))

4

Thousands gathered on Wednesday, April 19, at the holy shrine of the Lalish Temple, to welome the new year.

Image 4 of 10Thousands gathered on Wednesday, April 19, at the holy shrine of the Lalish Temple, to welome the new year.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed))

5

A Yazidi woman in the Khanke refugee camp in Iraq is boiling eggs to celebrate the new year. Eggs symbolize the earth, which is said to have been transformed from a liquid to a solid status, marking a new beginning of life.

Image 5 of 10A Yazidi woman in the Khanke refugee camp in Iraq is boiling eggs to celebrate the new year. Eggs symbolize the earth, which is said to have been transformed from a liquid to a solid status, marking a new beginning of life.

(Source: (YallaIraq/Zina Salim Hassan))

6

Painting eggs after they are cooked is an old Yazidi tradition during the new year celebrations. The colors of the eggs resemble the colors of the rainbow, created by God’s representative when he descended to earth.

Image 6 of 10Painting eggs after they are cooked is an old Yazidi tradition during the new year celebrations. The colors of the eggs resemble the colors of the rainbow, created by God’s representative when he descended to earth.

(Source: (YallaIraq/Bushra Qasim Khalaf))

7

Yezidi kids hit their eggs against each other until one wins by breaking the other’s egg. The game is played before the eggs are eaten and the shells are kept for the following day.

Image 7 of 10Yezidi kids hit their eggs against each other until one wins by breaking the other’s egg. The game is played before the eggs are eaten and the shells are kept for the following day.

(Source: (YallaIraq/Zina Salim Hassan))

8

Broken egg shells, mud and anemone flowers are placed above the door of Yazidi homes, providing its residents with luck and fertility for the following year.

Image 8 of 10Broken egg shells, mud and anemone flowers are placed above the door of Yazidi homes, providing its residents with luck and fertility for the following year.

(Source: (YallaIraq/ Manal Barkat Alias))

9

Gifts offered to visitors by Yazidi families during the Red Wednesday.

Image 9 of 10Gifts offered to visitors by Yazidi families during the Red Wednesday.

(Source: (YallaIraq/ Zina Salim Hassan))

10

Fire is considered sacred by Yazidis, as it is regarded to be the earthly form of the divine energy. During the new year celebrations, God’s representative, Tawûsê Melek, is asked to return as the sun.

Image 10 of 10Fire is considered sacred by Yazidis, as it is regarded to be the earthly form of the divine energy. During the new year celebrations, God’s representative, Tawûsê Melek, is asked to return as the sun.

(Source: (AFP/Safin Hamed))

Reduce

Advertisement

Add a new comment

 avatar