Eida Batzmia, an ancient and traditional holiday in Yazidi (Êzidî) society, is still celebrated by the Yazidi community in the Cizre region of Turkey during the second week of the year. The celebrations last for the whole week.
Eida Batzmia plays an important role in Yazidi beliefs and culture. Yazidis are known as the ‘worshippers of the Sun (Roj Pars)’ and the sun – along with fire – plays an important role in their rituals, festivals and holidays. The number seven also plays a key role which represents the seven angels of the culture: Eida Batzmia lasts for seven days.
Today, a small group of Yazidis celebrate the Eida Batzmia in an effort to keep their culture alive. Various rituals are held during the Batzmia holiday – which means ‘abundance’ – according to Yazidi beliefs.
Each day of the holiday is spent differently and has different meanings. Yazidis clean their houses and wash their clothes on the first day. Alms are distributed for the dead on the second and third days. On the fourth day, they sacrifice (depending on economic circumstances) an animal, and some of its parts are distributed to the poor. Sweets, desserts and festive breads are made. On the fifth day, children walk around the houses collecting sweets. The sixth day is declared a day of rest and on the seventh day, Yazidis collectively celebrate, sharing food and spending time together.