Muharram Festival 2013, A Famous Festival For Muslims
Muharram marks the Islamic New Year. It is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Muharram is popular not as a celebration but as a month of mourning for a sect of Muslims called Shia. According to the Shia’s Muharram is a month of remembrance and respect for the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hazrat Imam Hussain, in the battle against the ruler Yazid.
People mourn on the 10th day of Muharram, where the people hold long processions and Taziya’s (emblem) are carried, which are made of silver, gold and brass and also alams (flag of Imam Hussain’s army). The Shia men beat their chests as a sign of mourning and recite the verses and sometimes also choose to hurt themselves with knifes and belts with spikes to show their sorrow. This 10th day of Muharram is called Yaum-e-Ashoora or the day of grief and sorrow, and this procession ends in a common place where taziya’s and alams are then buried. The self flagellation is called as Matam, and all the members of the family including little children and new born’s too are made to participate in the matam. The shia’s indulge in matam because they want to feel the pain that Imam Hussain felt on the day of his death.
The Shia Muslims mourn for 2 months and 8 days, and wear Black coloured clothes during this period, to show that they are mourning. Sunni Muslims fast during the 9th and 10th day of the month of Muharram, while Shia’s fast throughout the mourning period. They stop eating or drinking during break of dawn, and end their fast only in the evening.
Since Islamic calendar is based on the lunar movements, the date of Muharram changes every year. In 2013, Muharram will begin on 3 November, 2013 and will continue till 3 December, 2013.