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Mandela Family Ends Traditional Mourning Period

  • VOA News

FILE - A man holds a tribute photograph as he watches the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela on a large screen television in Cape Town, December 15, 2013.

FILE - A man holds a tribute photograph as he watches the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela on a large screen television in Cape Town, December 15, 2013.

The family of the late South African President Nelson Mandela ended the traditional mourning period for him Sunday with a cleansing ceremony and burning of their black mourning clothes.

They gathered at the Mandela family home in the town of Qunu, where locals celebrated his life by roasting a sheep and drinking beer.

The usual mourning period for South Africans lasts one year, but the Mandela family decided to mourn for just six months. Observers must wear black and avoid appearing in public.

Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died last December 5. He was idolized around the world for spending almost three decades in prison in a fight against the system of racial inequality in South Africa known as apartheid.
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