Muharram

This festival starts at the 1st day of Muharram and lasts for 10 days until 10th of Muharram. Muharram is the first month of Islamic calendar

During this month, while on a adventure, Hazrat Imam Hussain, his family members and a number of his followers were surrounded by the forces of Yazid, the Muslim ruler of the time. During this, they were deprived of food and water and many of them were put to death. This incident happened at a place called Karbala in Iraq in 61st year after Hijra. This resulted a disagreement among Muslims on the question of succession after the death of Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph.

Muharram festival celebrates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). This festival starts at the 1st day of Muharram and lasts for 10 days until 10th of Muharram. Muharram is the first month of Islamic calendar.

Some Muslims hold meetings where speeches are made on the happenings of Karbala and on the lives of martyrs. The Shias, however, observe this festival in a different fashion. As Muharram, the first month of the Muslim year, approaches, they put on black clothes, as black is regarded as a color of mourning. Majalis are held every day during the first nine days where shias relate the incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his party in a details. On the 10th day of Muharram, large gatherings are made and the devoted followers parade the streets holding banners and carrying models of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his people, who fell at Karbala. They show their grief by inflicting wounds on their bodies with sharp metal tied to chain with which they hurt themselves. This is done in order to show the sufferings of the martyrs. It is a sad occasion and everyone in the procession chants “Ya Hussain”, with loud wails of pain and grief. Most of the time a white horse is decorated to mark the empty mount of Hazrat Imam Hussain after his martyrdom.

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