By Owen Pratt and Dwight Fairchild

When Ashura is Celebrated?

Ashura is celebrated by muslim Shi'ites on the 10th day of Muharram, the 1st month of the Islamic year. In 2015 it is happening on the 23rd of October, but in North America it is on the 24th.

History of Ashura

Ashura is one of the biggest holy days in the Shi'ite branch of Islam. Ashura marks many things the creation of the universe, The end of the great flood, and Moses's flight from Egypt. But most importantly Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of Muhammad, in a war between good and evil. The evil was lead by Yazid. Hussein was thought to be the only true heir to Muhammed.

Common Practices of Ashura

On Ashura both Sunnis and shi'ites fast. On Ashura there are parades with floats or tableaux representing scenes from the story of Husayn's death. Also, in Shi'a Islam most observers wear black and ritually hit themselves in the chest. More extreme observers use chains, knives, and whips to cut themselves. That practice is frowned upon by some Shi'ite officials so know blood drives are being offered instead. so Also there is large pilgrimage to Karbala in Iraq. Karbala is where Hussein died.

Did You Know?

Ashura literally means tenth because it is on the tenth day of Muharram the Islamic holy month.


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