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And the Pearl Became an Egg: The Yezidi Red Wednesday and Its Cosmogonic Background

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

The paper presents a structural reading of the events accompanying the Yezidi feasts of the New Year (Serê Salê) and the Red Wednesday (Çarşemiya-sor), which can be collated with the outlines of the cosmogonic order reconstructed on the basis of the content of the Yezidi hymns. The New Year festival, especially the moment of transition from Tuesday night to Wednesday, can be seen as a representation of the initial cosmogonic stages–the transition from the dark of indefiniteness into the first steps of the new world associated with the appearance of the luminous Pearl, which takes colours and breaks apart. This paper describes the interaction between the descriptions of the Pearl in the hymns and the festival rituals associated with eggs (colouring, breaking, mixing them with clay and flowers).In addition to the relevant literature, the author refers to his own field research conducted during the Çarşemiya-sor in Lalish in 2014 and in Ba’adra and Sheikhan where he lived in April 2015.

Affiliations: 1: Jagellonian University


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