Yezidis are gathering in Lalish for Jamaya Sheikhadi festival, the Gathering and Feast of Seven Days. The festival, held annually in early October is a sacred time for Yezidis to make a pilgrimage to their holiest shrine in Lalish.
Every evening, a ritual dance is performed by men dressed in white followed by a procession behind a sacred torch.
On the fifth night of the week-long festival, a bull is sacrificed. The meat is cooked and shared among the pilgrims.
The timing of the festival is to welcome autumn. Yezidis pray for good rains during the coming winter in order to have a bountiful harvest in the spring and summer.
The flight ban imposed by Baghdad has prevented some Yezidis living abroad from attending this year, as well as foreigners and media wanting to observe the festival, organizers said.