Karina Kavanagh

Karina Kavanagh

Published: 23 Jul 2023

Source: Middleeasteye.net

The Yezidi, also known as Yazidis, are an ancient religious community with a rich and fascinating history. With their origins rooted in Mesopotamia, the Yezidis are considered one of the oldest religious communities in the world. Their unique faith, which combines elements of ancient pagan beliefs, Zoroastrianism, and Islam, sets them apart from other religious groups. The Yezidi people have faced numerous challenges throughout history, including persecution and displacement. Despite these hardships, the Yezidis have managed to preserve their distinct traditions, rituals, and culture. In this article, we will explore 14 intriguing facts about the Yezidi community, shedding light on their religious beliefs, cultural practices, and the challenges they face in the modern world.

Table of Contents

The Yezidi religion has ancient roots.

The Yezidi religion is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, with origins dating back thousands of years.

Yezidis worship a peacock angel.

The Yezidis believe in the existence of a peacock angel named Melek Taus, who is a central figure in their religious beliefs.

Yezidis face persecution due to their unique beliefs.

Due to their distinct religious practices and beliefs, Yezidis have faced persecution throughout history, particularly in the Middle East.

The Yezidi holy book is called the “Kitab al-Jilwa.”

The Kitab al-Jilwa is the primary holy book of the Yezidi religion, containing their religious texts and teachings.

Yezidis have a strong oral tradition.

Traditionally, Yezidi teachings and stories have been passed down through generations orally, rather than through written texts.

Yezidis believe in reincarnation.

According to Yezidi belief, individuals can be reincarnated multiple times until they attain spiritual purification.

Yezidis have a unique religious calendar.

The Yezidi calendar consists of both solar and lunar elements, reflecting their spiritual and cultural practices.

Yezidis have a strong sense of community.

Yezidi communities are tightly knit, and they prioritize unity and support for one another.

Yezidis have important pilgrimage sites.

The Yezidi religion recognizes several pilgrimage sites, including Lalish, which is considered the holiest site for Yezidis.

Yezidis have retained their cultural traditions.

Despite facing challenges and persecution, Yezidis have managed to preserve their unique cultural practices and traditions.

Yezidis place a strong emphasis on purity.

Cleansing rituals and acts of purity hold significant importance in Yezidi religious practices.

Yezidis have a hierarchical religious structure.

The Yezidi religious hierarchy is led by a spiritual leader known as the Baba Sheikh.

Yezidis celebrate an annual festival called Ezidikhan.

Ezidikhan is one of the most important festivals for Yezidis, celebrating their cultural heritage and religious traditions.

Yezidi migration has led to diaspora communities.

Due to historical events and conflicts, Yezidis have formed diaspora communities in various parts of the world, preserving their culture and religion.

The Rich Culture and Beliefs of Yezidis

The Yezidi religion, deeply rooted in history, offers a captivating insight into the beliefs and practices of this unique community. With their worship centered around the peacock angel, Melek Taus, Yezidis have faced persecution for their distinct religious beliefs throughout the ages. Their holy book, the “Kitab al-Jilwa,” guides their spiritual journey, shared through the rich tradition of oral storytelling.

Reincarnation holds a significant place in Yezidi faith, as individuals strive for spiritual purification across multiple lifetimes. Their religious calendar blends solar and lunar elements, reflecting their spiritual and cultural ties. Furthermore, the Yezidi community prides itself on unity and support, creating tight-knit communities that maintain their unique traditions despite the challenges they face.

The Yezidi pilgrimage sites, such as Lalish, hold immense significance and attract followers from far and wide. These sites provide a space for devotees to connect with their spirituality and reinforce their faith. Yezidis also place great importance on rituals of purity, recognizing the cleansing of the body and soul as essential elements of their religious practices.

Led by the revered Baba Sheikh, the Yezidi religious hierarchy provides guidance and leadership to the community. The annual celebration of Ezidikhan serves as a festive reminder of their cultural heritage and religious traditions. This vibrant event brings together Yezidis from all corners of the globe to celebrate their shared beliefs and strengthen their bond as a community.

Despite historical challenges, Yezidis have managed to preserve their culture and religion through their vibrant traditions. The resilience of this community is evident in their diaspora communities, which have emerged as hubs for preserving their cultural heritage in various parts of the world. The journey of the Yezidi people is a testament to their enduring spirit and commitment to keeping their beliefs alive.


Yezidi religion is a fascinating and ancient faith that dates back thousands of years. With its unique beliefs, practices, and traditions, it holds a significant place in the religious landscape of the world. The Yezidis’ adherence to their religious principles and their resilient spirit have allowed them to preserve their identity despite facing numerous challenges throughout history.

Through this article, we have explored 14 intriguing facts about the Yezidi faith, shedding light on their sacred texts, deities, and religious rituals. We have learned about their reverence for the Peacock Angel and their strong belief in a cosmic dualism between good and evil.

The Yezidis’ unwavering commitment to their religion and their deep-rooted connection to their community make them a vibrant and resilient religious group. As we continue to delve into the depths of different religious traditions, the Yezidi faith serves as a testament to the diversity and richness of religious beliefs around the world.


Q: What is the Yezidi religion?

A: The Yezidi religion is an ancient faith that originated in Mesopotamia. It is a monotheistic religion that believes in a cosmic dualism between good and evil and holds the Peacock Angel, Melek Taus, as its central figure.

Q: Who are the Yezidis?

A: The Yezidis are an ethno-religious group primarily located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. They have their distinct language, culture, and religious practices.

Q: What are the sacred texts of the Yezidis?

A: The Yezidis have several sacred texts, the most important of which is the Book of Revelation, also known as the Kitab al-Jilwa.

Q: How do the Yezidis view the Peacock Angel?

A: The Yezidis consider Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel, as the chief deity and a benevolent figure who watches over the world.

Q: Do Yezidis believe in reincarnation?

A: Yes, Yezidis believe in the concept of soul reincarnation, where the soul transmigrates into a new body after death.

Q: How do Yezidis worship?

A: Yezidis perform their religious ceremonies in temples called “zaviyas,” and they have specific prayers and rituals that they follow.

Q: Do Yezidis believe in the existence of heaven and hell?

A: Yes, Yezidis believe in the existence of heaven and hell, where souls are rewarded or punished based on their actions in life.

Q: Can individuals convert to Yezidi religion?

A: Yezidi religion is primarily passed down through generations, but there have been instances of individuals converting to the faith.

Q: How has the Yezidi community been affected by conflicts?

A: The Yezidi community has faced significant persecution and displacement, particularly during the ISIS occupation of their homeland in 2014.

Q: Are Yezidis allowed to marry individuals from other religions?

A: Yezidis generally prefer to marry within their community, but there have been instances of interfaith marriages.

Q: How do Yezidis observe their religious festivals?

A: Yezidis celebrate several religious festivals throughout the year, including New Year’s Day (Jamayi) and the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha).

Q: What are the main principles of the Yezidi faith?

A: The main principles of the Yezidi faith include devotion to Melek Taus, practicing purity, and respecting the Yezidi community.

Q: Are there any restrictions or taboos in Yezidi religion?

A: Yezidis have certain dietary restrictions, such as avoiding the consumption of certain meats and alcoholic beverages.

Q: How do Yezidis view other religions?

A: Yezidis generally have a tolerant and inclusive view of other religions, respecting people’s right to practice their own beliefs.

Q: Can Yezidis be found outside of Iraq?

A: Yes, Yezidi communities can be found outside of Iraq, primarily in countries like Armenia, Syria, and Germany.