In-Pictures: Kurdistan celebrates birth of Islamic prophet
People of the Kurdistan Region including the capital Erbil have commemorated the date of birth of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.
People in Erbil believe that the celebration was historically first held in the Kurdish capital, only to then gain popularity elsewhere in the Islamic world.
The date is called Mawlud, the Arabic word for birthday, and the events to commemorate this day are called Mawludname, where religious leaders and Muslims preach and read poetry accompanied by Daf drums in mosques.
The event is held annually according to the Islamic, or Hijri calendar.
Today is the 12th of Rabi' al-awwal on the Islamic calendar, a date the majority of Muslims believe is when the prophet Mohammed was born in the seventh century.
The majority of Kurdish people are Sunni Muslims with a significant Shiite Muslim minority who live in areas such as in Khanaqin. Shiites celebrate the day on a different date, about 7 days after the Sunni celebrations.
The Kurdistan Regional Government congratulated the Muslims in Kurdistan, Iraq and elsewhere on the occasion, hoping that it will become an opportunity to spread the “message of peace” across the region.
Photos by Rudaw's Hazhar Jawhar