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Photos: Muharram Mourning in Ziarat Village, Golestan Province of Iran


Photos by Aboutaleb Nadri, Mehr News Agency

Photos presented here are from the Tasoua mourning ceremonies in the village of Ziarat located in Golestan province of Iran. According to manan-khorasani, this village, which is a popular tourist destination, has a different culture and architecture compared to other villages in the province. Ziarat in Persian means pilgrimage. But it seems the name of the village has nothing to do with an Islamic shrine located in the village. Rather, based on ancient ruins and historic data, it seems this village has been one of the centers of worship for the Buddhists who would gather there from all over Asia.



Golestan is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the north-east of the country, south of the Caspian Sea. Its capital is Gorgan. It was split off from the province of Mazandaran in 1997. It has a population of 1.7 million (2005) and an area of 20,380 km square. The major townships of the province are: Gorgan, Gonbad Kavoos, Bandar Torkaman, Bandar Gaz, Ali Abad, Kord Kooy, Fenderesk and Minoo Dasht.

The Mourning of Muharram is an important period of mourning in the Shi'a branch of Islam, taking place in Muharram which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is also called the Remembrance of Muharram. The event marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Husayn ibn Ali, a grandson of Muhammad the founder of Islam, and a Shia Imam, was killed by the forces of the second Umayad caliph Yazid I. The mourning reaches its climax on the tenth day, known as Ashura, on which the forces of Yazid killed the 72 individuals who fought, including Husayn and his family and supporters.

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