Iranian Mourners Mark Anniversary of Martyrdom of Imam Hossein
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The anniversary of the martyrdom of the third Imam of Shiite Muslims, Hossein ibn Ali (PBUH), was held across Iran as Shiite mourners took to the streets and mosques on Thursday to mark the tragic event.
The mourning rituals, which start with the Islamic lunar calendar month of Muharram, reach their climax on the tenth day of the month, also known as Ashura.
Millions of Shiite Muslims in Iran, dressed in black, have been holding mourning ceremonies since ten days ago to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, and his fighting for justice.
The third Shiite Imam, along with 72 of his companions, was martyred in a battle against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid ibn Muawiyah, in the Iraqi region of Karbala, some 14 centuries ago.
Ashura ceremonies symbolize the eternal and unwavering stance of truth against falsehood and for Iranian, the day lies at the heart of all struggles against oppression and tyranny.
Iranian mourners usually gather at main streets and mosques for commemorating the sad event.
Iranian people across the country traditionally cook food for charity (called Nazri) and distribute the food among their neighbors, family and poor people. Free food is also offered to people who are participating in the mourning ceremonies.
People also gather to watch Tazieh, or the Persian passion play which is a ritual dramatic art that recounts the tragic event.
Thousands of Iranians also travel to Iraq on this occasion to mourn the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hossein near his holy shrine and burial site.