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 ( in the year 61 AD) when Imam Hussein 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 Hussein and his family and supporters. During the month of Muharram, various mourning ceremonies are held across Iran where each region has developed their own traditions and rituals, many of them carnival style. These photos show one of the Ashura rituals held in the holly city of Qom in central Iran.