Torches light up Tehran on eve of Ashoura

Prayers, poetry and music is part of rituals marking Mashal Gardan, a Shia Muslim event in Iran.

Mohammad Ali Najib | | Asia, Iran, Religion, Shia, Islam

Mashal Gardani, or the “rolling of the torch”, is an annual religious event commonly observed in majority Shia Muslim Iran.

On the night of Tasoua, the ninth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar, millions of men, dressed in black, take to the streets and mosques across the country. It symbols their mourning of the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein.

According to the tradition Arab Shias lead the fiery event, seen here at Dowlat Abad, a district of Arab Iranians in the capital Tehran.

The commemoration takes place on the eve of Ashoura, one of the most important days for Shia Muslims.

Rituals include chanting of prayers, poetry and music. For Iranians and other Shias, they carry deep cultural and religious significance dating back more than 1,400 years.

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