Muharram is one of the famous festivals of Muslims. This festival commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the holy Prophet.
It is said that during this month, while on a journey, 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. In Iraq during the siege, they all were deprived of food and water and many of them were put to death. T his results a dispute and disagreement among Muslims on the question of succession after the demise of Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph.
So some sects of 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 they put on black clothes, as black is regarded as a color of mourning. Assemblies are held every day during the first nine days where shia orators relate the incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his party in a great detail.
The preachers show their grief and sorrow by inflicting wounds on their own bodies with sharp metal tied to chain with which they scourge themselves. This is done in order to depict the sufferings of the martyrs. It is a sad occasion and everyone in the procession chants “Ya Hussain”, with loud wails of lamentation. Generally a white horse beautifully decorated for the occasion, is also included in the procession, to mark the empty mount of Hazrat Imam Husain after his martyrdom.
In 2010, Muharram is celebrated on 17th December.
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