Nelson Mandela's memorial in South Africa has been attended by his family, dignitaries and thousands of mourners.
The four-hour long service paid tribute to the anti-apartheid icon's life.
Mr Mandela -- known affectionately as Madiba -- was remembered through prayer, a series of eulogies, music and dance.
Ildi Amon reports.
Tens of thousands of grieving South Africans gathered at the FNB soccer stadium in Soweto to remember the life of Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5 aged 95.
Rain came down throughout the ceremony, but mourners came anyway -- some wrapped in South African flags or carrying photos of Mr Mandela, others singing and chanting.
They stood side by side with presidents, priests, queens, sheikhs and celebrities to farewell one of the most prominent political figures of the 20th century.
But to Phumla Mandela, Nelson Mandela was grandpa.
"When sadness and celebration co-mingle the body shudders, shakes and implodes. Ancestral winds blow memories the land heaves dreams of a future without you. You are larger than our memories, you tower over the world like a comet leaving streaks of light for us to follow."
Four of Nelson Mandela's 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren spoke at the memorial.
His widow Graça Machel and former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela also attended but did not make speeches.
Almost 100 dignitaries from around the world flew in to attend the memorial.
Among them were Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition leader Bill Shorten, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was also there to farewell his close friend.
The celebrity mourners included talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, singer-activist Bono and British billionaire Richard Branson.
The presidents of Brazil, India and Cuba as well as the Vice President of China were among those to give eulogies.
Three former United States Presidents attended, as did U-S President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
In his moving eulogy Mr Obama said Mr Mandela had a profound impact on his life.
"Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learnt of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself. And it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba's example, he makes me want to be a better man, he speaks to what's best inside us."
This was an important day for South Africa.
A young and still troubled nation was saying a celebratory goodbye to its hero, its talisman, and its founding father.
The service was broadcast at three other stadiums in Johannesburg for about 120-thousand others who also wanted to pay their respects.
Around the world millions more watched the televised service.
Mr Mandela spent 27 years in prison on Robben Island before emerging to take South Africa from under the shadow of apartheid to a multi-racial democracy.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon told mourners the country had lost a hero.
"The world has lost a beloved friend and mentor. Nelson Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of our time. He was one of our greatest teachers. He taught by example. He sacrificed so much and was willing to give up everything here for freedom and equality, for democracy and justice."
With so many world leaders in attendance, security around the event was tight with 11-thousand soldiers deployed for the event.
At times, the program director was forced to interrupt speeches to ask certain sections of the stadium to stop chanting and playing music.
"(interrupting President of India) I need to stop the band. I need to stop the band. There is a band up there. That band, I know that you are very enthusiastic. I want you to play your music a little later when I call upon you to play. Please put your instruments down, now."
Occasionally, crowds booed South Africa's current president, Jacob Zuma.
But in his keynote address Mr Zuma said Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter who, despite the brutality of the apartheid system, never stopped fighting for liberation.
"Today the whole world is standing still again to pay tribute to this greatest son of South Africa, and Africa. Fellow mourners there's no one like Madiba, he was one of a kind."
This memorial is part of a week-long state funeral that will culminate in the prisoner-turned-president's burial on Sunday in the rural village of Qunu where he spent his childhood.
Ahead of the burial in Qunu, Mandela's body will lie in state for three days from today (wed) in the amphitheatre of the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Each morning, his coffin will be borne through the streets of the capital in a funeral procession, to give as many people as possible the chance to pay their final respects to one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century.