As an Islamic country, Muharram is considered one of the most sacred months in Iran and also among the other Muslims worldwide.
Many different religious ceremonies are held during this month, especially during the first ten days of this month. Without any doubt the religious ceremonies which are held in Iran in Muharram are considered incredibly different and holy compared to the other Islamic countries.
The annual rituals start on the first day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, and reach their peak on the tenth day, known as Ashura.
Ashura marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and 72 of his loyal companions, who were martyred in the battle of Karbala against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, in 680 AD.
In Iran, Muslims commemorate the tragic event by holding religious ceremonies, as well as music and theater performances.
One of the old traditions observed by Iranians during Muharram is performing Ta’zieh or Persian passion play, which is the reenactment of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein’s family.
As a national and religious dramatic musical performance, Ta’zieh recounts religious events, historical and mythical stories and folk tales through poetry, recitation, music, song and motion.
They also hold mourning ceremonies at mosques and distribute votive food among the people, especially the impoverished.
On Ashura, mourners take to the streets and hold large-scale mourning processions across the country.
Millions of Shia mourners from Iran and other countries also flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, which houses the holy shrines of Imam Hussein, his children and his brother Hazrat Abbas (AS).
The annual Muharram ceremonies symbolize the eternal and unwavering stance of truth against falsehood and humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny and oppression, the cause for which Imam Hussein was martyred.