Yazidi Cejna Cemaiya "Feast of the Assembly"

The Yazidi is one of most old region, dates back more than 6000 years ago, is a monotheist religion that counts about one million of Yazidi in the world. They refer to themselves as the People of the Peacock Angel, a deity who came to Earth in extremely ancient times to help create our planet and all the life forms upon it. The same Peacock Angel is considered, because of a historical misunderstanding, as the Evil for the Muslim. That is the cause of the genocide perpetrated by ISIS, because the yazidi people were considered as faithfulness and heretics. 

The Ceina Cemaiya is the most important festival for the Yazidi religion, is an annual seven-day pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir in Lalish, north of Mosul, Iraq. The rite last seven days and on every day there’s a specific rite. The one you see in photos is the most important because is the first day of opening. This is also the first time they celebrate it since the 2014, due to the ISIS genoiced applied to the Yazidi people. So this year was one of the most important for all its religion.

In the morning the celebrations start at the Baba Sheikh house, the old man in white who is the spiritual leader of all the Yazidi (something like the Pope for the Christians or The Prophet for the Muslim). Then the rite continue in the holiest city of Yazidi (Lalish), where in the night a beautiful rite with music and candles celebrates the end of summer. During the rite is not possibile, absolute forbidden, take photos of the man who is dressen in black because he’s the representation of their God. So I made some videos of the music and voice only.

The rite consists in seven old men, who are the seven angels, who walk for three round circles around the seven candles at three steps one time after the another, touching the black man hair every three steps, All the rite is followed by a deep music and special screams. At the end of the rite the people eat a soup made of all the summer vegetables, because they will not be available anymore.

If you want to see and understand more, here’s the videos page I’ve made: Ceyna Cemayia Videos, and the wikipedia page about Yazidi.

The photos of the Yazidi genocide are available here: Yazidi genocide. The street photos of my Iraqi reportage are available here: Iraq 2018 - Street photos. And other photos made with the iPhone to document the trip are available here: Iraq 2018 trip reportage