Yazidis visit holiest temple during Autumn Assembly: Photo Story

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A Yazidi female worshipper kisses a doorway at the Temple of Lalish, the holiest temple of the faith, in the Lalish valley near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Dohuk in Iraq. (Photo: Ismael Adnan/AFP/Getty Images)
A Yazidi female worshipper kisses a doorway at the Temple of Lalish, the holiest temple of the faith, in the Lalish valley near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Dohuk in Iraq. (Photo: Ismael Adnan/AFP/Getty Images)

Autumn Assembly is the highest and most important Yazidi holiday. It takes place in the holy city of Lalish, which is believed to be the place where creation began and where the seat of God descended to rule the earth. It also houses the tombs of Sheikh Adi and other holy figures. The town is considered so sacred that you are not allowed to enter while wearing shoes, especially during the assembly.

People gather at the Yazidi Temple of Lalish, the holiest temple of the faith, in the Lalish valley near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Dohuk, during Autumn Assembly celebrations. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
People gather at the Yazidi Temple of Lalish, the holiest temple of the faith, in the Lalish valley near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Dohuk, during Autumn Assembly celebrations. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Yazidi women stand at the Temple of Lalish. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Yazidi women stand at the Temple of Lalish. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Children stand behind the fence of a window at the Temple of Lalish. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Children stand behind the fence of a window at the Temple of Lalish. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Yazidi women pray by layers of knotted prayer cloths at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Yazidi women pray by layers of knotted prayer cloths at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Worshippers walk around a dome structure at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Worshippers walk around a dome structure at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

A Yazidi woman knots together layers of prayer cloths. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
A Yazidi woman knots together layers of prayer cloths. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Yazidi youths walk past layers of knotted prayer cloths. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Yazidi youths walk past layers of knotted prayer cloths. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Yazidi female worshippers walk inside the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Yazidi female worshippers walk inside the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

An elderly Yazidi woman sits next to a small tower. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
An elderly Yazidi woman sits next to a small tower. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

A male worshipper kisses a doorway at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
A male worshipper kisses a doorway at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

A woman exits through a temple doorway. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
A woman exits through a temple doorway. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

A man with his snake. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
A man with his snake. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Yazidi women wearing traditional clothing stand in a courtyard at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Yazidi women wearing traditional clothing stand in a courtyard at the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

A female worshipper kisses a temple doorway. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
A female worshipper kisses a temple doorway. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

Members of the Yazidi religious community share a meal together as they visit the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
Members of the Yazidi religious community share a meal together as they visit the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)

 

People walk towards the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)
People walk towards the temple. (Photo: Ismail Adnan/AFP)