In pictures: Yazidis celebrate New Year at ancient temple
Iraqi Yazidi women gather outside the ancient Temple of Lalish, about 50km north of Mosul, during a ceremony marking the Yazidi New Year (AFP/Safin Hamed)
During the new year celebrations, Iraqi Yazidis light candles and paraffin torches to commemorate the arrival of light into the world (AFP/Safin Hamed)
At Lalish Temple, worshippers light 366 flames, to mark each day of the Yazidi calendar (Reuters/Ari Jalal)
Worshippers dress in their traditional clothing and adorn their homes and robes with red flowers on "Chwarshama Sur" or "Red Wednesday". The event marks the day that Tawuse Melek, the Peacock Angel, descended to bless the earth with fertility (AFP/Safin Hamed)
Yazidis, who number about 1.6 million worldwide and have been persecuted for centuries, try to hold onto their traditions in the hope that they will be passed down through the generations (Reuters/Ari Jalal)
Iraqi Yazidis hold candles outside the Temple of Lalish, in a valley near the Kurdish city of Dohuk (AFP/Safin Hamed)
Iraqi Yazidi women sit outside the temple, the holiest temple in the Yazidi faith (AFP/Safin Hamed)
An Iraqi Yazidi woman holds a candle outside the Temple of Lalish which is believed to contain the tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, the religion’s chief saint (AFP/Safin Hamed
Iraqi Yazidi women hold candles outside the temple, which it is believed was first used by the ancient Sumerians and other early Mesopotamian civilizations (AFP/Safin Hamed)
This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.
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