Kurdistan Regional Government Marks Yezidi New Year


Today I released the following statement in commemoration of Red Wednesday, the Yezidi (Ezidi) New Year:

On behalf of the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, I congratulate Yezidis the world over on the Yezidi New Year, or Red Wednesday. In Yezidi tradition, today marks the day Melek Taws descended upon earth as a peacock to endow it with beauty and new life. Just like the multiform colors of the peacock’s tail, the Kurdistan Region is vibrant and diverse, and the Yezidi Kurds have made an important contribution to Region’s collective culture. As a day of rebirth, I hope this Yezidi New Year brings with it greater openness and stability for all people throughout Iraq.

Yezidi Background

  • The Yezidi Kurds live principally in the Dohuk and predominantly Kurdish areas of Mosul Provinces.  Lalesh, the Yezidi Holy Temple is in Shexan.
  • Within the Kurdistan Region, there are more than half a million Yezidis, with close to a million settled in other parts of the world.
  • Throughout history, Yezidis have been an oppressed people, but possess a rich spiritual tradition that they contend is the world’s oldest.
  • Red Wednesday is considered to be the holiest day of the year for the Yezidi people.

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