Mourning of the first ten days of Muharram
The mourning of Muharram is the most important mourning ritual among Shia all around the world. The ritual is held with several special traditions and customs even in the most remote areas of Iran; which makes it one of main cultural tourism attractions of Iran.
The ceremony starts from the 1st of Muharram (first month of Islamic year) to tenth day of the months (Ashura) in commemoration of martyred Hussein Bin Ali who was killed in 61HGh.
Hussin Bin Ali is grandson of the Islam Prophet and son of Ali Bin Abutaleb the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law of the prophet, the fourth Khalifa of Islam, and husband of Fateme the only daughter of the prophet. Hussin Bin Ali is the third Imam of Shia.
Because Shia believes that family of the prophet was entitled of Khilafat, martyrdom of Hussein Bin Ali is considered as the fight with the oppressor to preserve rights of the oppressed.
Hussin Bin Ali fought the large army of Yazid Bin Moavieh (the 2nd Omavi Khalifa) in Karbala-Iraq with army of 72 and he and all his fellows were martyred.
The 10th day of Muharram (Ashura) is a national holiday in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
- One of the main elements of the mourning of Muharram is Tazieh, which is a sort of drama that picture the battle field of Karbala in Ashura day. The ceremony ages several hundred years. Actors playing the role of Imam and his fellows usually put on green clothes and rid white horses and the actors of the other side tend to put on red clothes and ride black horses.
- Another elements of the mourning of Muharram is the march of people on streets along with a special music played by drum and cymbal. The group of marcher might reach hundreds in number so that men are at the front and women follow the group. The groups would sing religious mottos and hit their chest with hand (a symbol of mourning). The mourning groups in a city would march to a specific place, which is usually the main mosque of the city.
- It is customary to feed the participants of the mourning and the poor.
- It is notable that the color black is the color of mourning and sorrow and all the participants in the ceremony would put on black clothes while the public spaces are decorated with black cloths.