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Photos: Ashura Carnival in Iran

Photos by Mohammadreza Abbasi, Mehr News Agency

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. In the recent decades, Ashura has been turning into a carnival like event where people in different regions of Iran enact various events as they see them happened in Karbala. The mournings, commemorations ceremonies and rituals take many different forms and vary widely across the country and have become more elaborate over the years.These photos show the Ashura rituals held in various towns and villages across Iran.


Assas Village:


Kerman Bazaar:






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