Extracting Olive Oil ceremony in Lalish Temple

"Olive Squeezing" to produce olive oil is a tradition that Yezidis carry out every year in early April. With the help of volunteers (khalma tekariya) who embrace the ceremony using traditional methods, the process starts with washing the olives that have been picked and dried to the maximum level. The olives are then cleaned and put in special bags.

The "squeezing process" then begins as barefoot participants repeatedly stomp on the olives in warm water, thus providing the pressure needed to extract the oil (also known as the centrifugal process). After the pressing process, the oil is harvested with the water in a big basin. As oil always floats on water, it is then collected and boiled for two hours to be purified of water particles and other impurities.

The olives are harvested from the Lalish Temple olive grove, which comprises 650 olive trees, and produces an average of 100 kg of oil from each tonne of olives, i.e. 10% of pure oil. The olive oil is used for lighting the lanterns in the Temple - parts of the Temple are lit every day, while the Lalish Temple is entirely lit every Wednesday and Friday evening.


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Olive Extracting in Lalish Temple 5 Mumtaz Ibrahem Olive Extracting in Lalish Temple 6 Mumtaz Ibrahem

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI
Last modified on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 11:59

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