End of the day during Ashura ceremony in the streets of Tehran. (Pentax 645 – Kodak New Portra 160)
Ashura (Arabic: عاشوراء ʻĀshūrā’, colloquially: /ʕa(ː)ˈʃuːraʔ/; Urdu: عاشورا; Persian: عاشورا /ɒːʃuːˈɾɒ/; Azerbaijani: Aşura Günü or English: Day of Remembrance) is the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.
For Shi’a Muslims, Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram,and commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH ( in AHt: October 10, 680 CE). The massacre of Husayn with a small group of his companions and family members had a great impact on the religious conscience of Muslims, particularly Shi’a Muslims, who commemorate Husayn’s death with sorrow and passion. Mourning for Husayn and his companions by his surviving relatives and supporters began almost immediately after the Battle of Karbala. Popular elegies were written by poets to commemorate the Battle of Karbala during the Umayyad and Abbasid era, and the earliest public mourning rituals occurred in 963 CE during the Buyid dynasty. In Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bahrain, and Pakistan, the Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali has become a national holiday, and most ethnic and religious communities participate in it.