People from many parts of Kurdistan gather in the Hawraman region of western Iran for the traditional winter ceremony of Pir Shalyar.

Locals believe Pir Shalywar was a sage who in ancient times cured the ailing daughter of a long whom he subsequently married, too.

Legend has it that the wedding of Pir Shalyar and the princess was held in the middle of winter. Hence a festive gathering marks that day with tambourines, drums and religious hymns.

Sufi men and dervishes form long lines, chant the names of Allah and swirl their long hair in as they get into a trance.

Spectators view the spectacle with awe.

Photos by Anadolu Agency 

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