Commemoration of Ashura in Iran
In the Shi'a calendar, no historical event can approximate Ashura in terms of magnitude. The epic uprising of Hussein, the third Shi'a imam, and his small entourage against the army of Yazid and their ultimate death in the hands of the Caliph's soldiers has been the fresh blood transfused in the veins of Shi'as for hundreds of years. The inspirational role of Ashura, the grand narrative of resistance against tyranny, during the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran and the subsequent eight-year war with Iraq is undeniable.
Throughout the centuries, rituals of Ashura have evolved, merged, disappeared, and returned, at each step reflecting the social, political and cultural features of their surrounding environment. The following pictures show one from the myriad of Ashura commemoration styles in Iran.
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