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31 Powerful Scenes Of Ashura Commemorations Around The World

Shiite Muslims around the world today observed Ashura, a religious commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, during the battle for Karbala in in 680 AD. Ashura, which means 10, falls on the 10th day of the sacred month of Muharram. Shiite Muslims often mark the day by wearing black, parading through the streets, and making a pilgrimage to the historical site of Hussein's death in Karbala, Iraq. Many Shiite Muslims also take part in mourning rituals, such as self-flagellation by whip and knife, and passion plays reenacting Hussein’s death.

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1. Karbala, Iraq

Mushtaq Muhammed / Reuters

Shiite pilgrims run between the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas shrines as part of a ritual of the Ashura ceremony in Karbala, the historical site of Hussein's death.

3. Beirut, Lebanon

Sharif Karim / Reuters

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters gesture as they march during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs, a stronghold of the Shiite militant group.

6. Sadr City, Iraq

Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

Local actors dressed as ancient warriors re-enact a scene from the battle of Karbala. Shiite Muslims consider Hussein to be the Prophet Muhammad’s true heir; Hussein’s death was a major cause for the historical schism between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

29. Karbala, Iraq

Mushtaq Muhammed / Reuters

Security personnel stand guard in Karbala, where around a million pilgrims are expected to converge. Ashura has become a show of strength for Shiites in Iraq, as under Saddam Hussein they faced religious oppression.

30. Al-Alam, Iraq

Iraq / Reuters

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack targeting Iraqi police and Shiite pilgrims in the town of Al-Alam, near Tikrit. Shiite pilgrims are often attacked during Ashura; dozens were killed today.

Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor

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