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Mandela's mourning period ends

(Xinhua)    08:28, June 16, 2014
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The six-month mourning period for late South African president Nelson Mandela ended on Sunday.

Family members gathered in Qunu, Eastern Cape Province to mark the end of the mourning period six months after Mandela was buried on December 15.

A cleansing ceremony was performed in Qunu, where Mandela was buried. Traditional beet and meat were served during the ceremony, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Elders of the family addressed the gathering, paying tribute to Mandela for his outstanding achievements.

Since Mandela's death, his wife Graca Machel and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have been wearing black and have not been allowed to make public appearances as a sign of mourning.

Mandela came from the Xhosa tribe. According to Xhosa tradition, the mourning period takes 12 months as a sign of respect for the dead. But in Mandela's case, it was reportedly agreed to shorten the mourning period to six months.

Mandela, an anti-apartheid icon and South Africa's first black president, died of a lung disease in Johannesburg on December 5.

(Editor:Wu Yanping、Huang Jin)

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