Why Should You Visit Iran During Muharram?

Why Should You Visit Iran During Muharram?

Visit Iran during Muharram can make a memorable experience for you, as Iran is totally different at this time of year. For a foreigner, seeing such scenes and hearing such loud sounds on the streets and in the town can be both surprising and spectacular. There aren’t so many places in the world in which such traditions still breathe. While being loyal to traditions and customs, especially the old ones, is a very valuable thing, and that’s what puts Iran aside from any other parts of the world.

By the way, some other Arabian countries still respect such traditions from the bottom of their heart, and you can experience Muharram there. But yet we recommend you to enjoy it in Iran. The country, as you know it very well, is suitable to travel to at any time of the month that you can think of, and Muharram is one of those great times at which you can experience a very old, valuable, and cultural tradition of Iranian people. If you would like to know more about the custom and why you should visit Iran at this time, just keep reading.

Visit Iran during Muharram

Iran experiences an incredible time during Muharram. First of all, let us tell you exactly what Muharram is. We will discuss it in detail later, but for now, it’s enough just to know that Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, as well as one of the forbidden months in the Muslims’ beliefs. But when we talk about Muharram, we are trying to point to an event more than an exact month. The event or, let’s say, the disaster that happened to Imam Hossein (as) and its men and brothers in Karbala, where they all dead thirsty and the most horrible things happened to them. In this holly month, we all cry for them and respect the way they defeated and resisted.

Hence, Muharram can show you one of the most amazing times you can ever experience in Iran. You can experience the most significant and iconic Shia Muslims events in Iran. You may think logically for a second or more and come to the conclusion that you should avoid traveling to Iran in Ramadan and visit Iran during Muharram or Ashura. It is the most prominent religious holiday in the country, like so many Arabian countries. The holiday is somewhat like Christmas in Europe, at which you can pass China, for example.

Muharram and Ashura Tasooa

However, Ashura can be a very appealing time to travel to Iran, as it will give you specific sights regarding Shia Muslims and the Iranian hospitable behavior. It is the best time because it gives you the chance to get familiar with this prominent religious event. At the same time, you are also able to meet their local culture in a new and friendly way. Tasooa means the ninth literally, and the ninth day of Muharram is called Tasooa. The next day, the tenth is called Ashura, in which all of the government offices, universities, sports fields, shops and stores, and museums are closed.

As a tourist and foreigner, it’s very important for you to know that Iran is all on holiday these days. So, you’d better consider this while planning for your travel and choose a time before the holidays to get to Iran and can enjoy the whole Muharram after that. But to understand better why you should visit Iran during Muharram, let’s elaborate more on the story of Muharram itself as we promised before.

Muharram; Imam Hussain’s Story

 

Muharram

 

Muharram is the month of Shiites’ recitation and thoughtfulness, and it is majorly known as the synonym of Ashura. As we mentioned before, Ashura means tenth literally, and the tenth day of Muharram is regarded as Ashura. The day is famous for its historical significance and mourning for Hussain ibn Ali’s murder, Muhammad’s grandchild.

Shiites start mourning from the first night of Muharram, and it continues for about ten consecutive nights and gets to the pick of it in the tenth day, or Ashura. A few days before Ashura, including the day itself, have the most importance of all. You may wonder why; well, in those days, Imam Hussain (as), Ahl al-Bayt, and his companions, including women, children, and elders, got deprived of water and remained thirsty from the seventh day and right on 1396.

On the tenth day, Imam Hussain and 72 souls of his companions were murdered in the war and by the command of Yazid, by his cruel army. The remaining of Imam Hussain’s family and his helpers got captured, taken to Damascus, and prisoned there. Now you know why the event is so important, and you should visit Iran during Muharram.

Muslims during Muharram

In Iran, believers gather in prayer rooms, mosques, and temporary tents on the streets on ten first days of the month. They take part in mourning, in which they should show their sorrow by crying and beating their chest and feet (in a gentle way with no harm, just an iconic movement.) They also recite and chant. You can also see horses on the streets as an icon of those times, and in the memory of that, the Imam and his companion were riding horses. At the end of each ceremony, some cooked food is distributed and dedicated to Imam Hussain among the souls who have joined and also poor people.

Shiites believe that Imam Hussain (as) is the host of this ceremony. Hence, people from everywhere can come and enjoy food. Other people, like benefactors, can make food on their own in the name of Imam Hussain. Both of the works, either providing these foods or consuming them have benefits, so Muslims surely recommend you to taste and have a bite. They feel they can receive blessings and spiritual rewards by mourning for their martyr Imam, feeding mourners, or giving them water. One of the things you can experience if you visit Iran during Muharram is eating such foods or drinks.

Taziah in Iran; the Intangible Cultural Heritages of UNESCO

the Intangible Cultural Heritages

One of the mourning types is to perform the scene of the Karbala war again and again in the eyes of people right on the streets. It is called Taziah, or the miracle play. The groups that are specialists in such a play are named Taziah groups. Taziah was common until the beginning of the 20th century; however, these plays decreased gradually until it was totally abandoned in big cities. Nevertheless, Taziah continued to exist in rural and more traditional areas in a smaller spectrum. It’s worth knowing that this tradition was recorded in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritages of UNESCO  in 2010.

Visitors’ Manners in Muharram

You may now wonder how you should behave in this month as a tourist. Is there any law that you should obey? First of all, you should consider that it may first seem very awkward to visit Iran during Muharram. You may face lots of strange scenes, which you haven’t seen before in your life. However, if you travel with good knowledge and get help from a tour guide, traveling to Iran on Ashura can be one of the best chances to meet a very significant event of Shiites’ calendar.

But regarding the laws during the month, there are not lots of hard rules that we can warn you about. Also, you may find out some of the rules yourselves based on what we have explained to you about the event. Generally speaking, you’d better avoid wearing clothes in red or pink color in this month, especially on Ashura day, in which people mourn for Imam Hussain (as). Then be careful about the fact that it is a Muslims holiday therefore many places are closed on such days. Finally, we recommend you to taste foods and drinks that are vowed!

Are Shops and Famous Places Closed During Muharram?

Unfortunately, yes. The majority of the attractive places like museums are closed during Tasooa and Ashura. However, most of the grocery stores and Iranian restaurants are likely to be open during that time. It’s better for you to do all of your work before Muharram and just enjoy the event during the holiday without any concerns.

Final Thoughts

Visit Iran during Muharram, one of the most important religious events of Shiite Muslims is generally discussed in today’s article. If you have never heard about Muharram, or you have heard, but you are hesitant to travel to Iran at that time, you’d better not miss the above article. Iran in Muharram is very spectacular. At the same time that you can visit Iran as a country, you are also able to experience and learn more about one of the most significant events of Muslims history during Muharram. We have told you about the story behind Muharram and why it is important to Muslims. We have also informed you about what exactly you should do during this month. So, you’d better read the article and then book your trip as soon as you can!

 

Why Should You Visit Iran During Muharram?

Why Should You Visit Iran During Muharram?

Visit Iran during Muharram can make a memorable experience for you, as Iran is totally different at this time of year. For a foreigner, seeing such scenes and hearing such loud sounds on the streets and in the town can be both surprising and spectacular. There aren’t so many places in the world in which such traditions still breathe. While being loyal to traditions and customs, especially the old ones, is a very valuable thing, and that’s what puts Iran aside from any other parts of the world.

By the way, some other Arabian countries still respect such traditions from the bottom of their heart, and you can experience Muharram there. But yet we recommend you to enjoy it in Iran. The country, as you know it very well, is suitable to travel to at any time of the month that you can think of, and Muharram is one of those great times at which you can experience a very old, valuable, and cultural tradition of Iranian people. If you would like to know more about the custom and why you should visit Iran at this time, just keep reading.

Visit Iran during Muharram

Iran experiences an incredible time during Muharram. First of all, let us tell you exactly what Muharram is. We will discuss it in detail later, but for now, it’s enough just to know that Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, as well as one of the forbidden months in the Muslims’ beliefs. But when we talk about Muharram, we are trying to point to an event more than an exact month. The event or, let’s say, the disaster that happened to Imam Hossein (as) and its men and brothers in Karbala, where they all dead thirsty and the most horrible things happened to them. In this holly month, we all cry for them and respect the way they defeated and resisted.

Hence, Muharram can show you one of the most amazing times you can ever experience in Iran. You can experience the most significant and iconic Shia Muslims events in Iran. You may think logically for a second or more and come to the conclusion that you should avoid traveling to Iran in Ramadan and visit Iran during Muharram or Ashura. It is the most prominent religious holiday in the country, like so many Arabian countries. The holiday is somewhat like Christmas in Europe, at which you can pass China, for example.

Muharram and Ashura Tasooa

However, Ashura can be a very appealing time to travel to Iran, as it will give you specific sights regarding Shia Muslims and the Iranian hospitable behavior. It is the best time because it gives you the chance to get familiar with this prominent religious event. At the same time, you are also able to meet their local culture in a new and friendly way. Tasooa means the ninth literally, and the ninth day of Muharram is called Tasooa. The next day, the tenth is called Ashura, in which all of the government offices, universities, sports fields, shops and stores, and museums are closed.

As a tourist and foreigner, it’s very important for you to know that Iran is all on holiday these days. So, you’d better consider this while planning for your travel and choose a time before the holidays to get to Iran and can enjoy the whole Muharram after that. But to understand better why you should visit Iran during Muharram, let’s elaborate more on the story of Muharram itself as we promised before.

Muharram; Imam Hussain’s Story

 

Muharram

 

Muharram is the month of Shiites’ recitation and thoughtfulness, and it is majorly known as the synonym of Ashura. As we mentioned before, Ashura means tenth literally, and the tenth day of Muharram is regarded as Ashura. The day is famous for its historical significance and mourning for Hussain ibn Ali’s murder, Muhammad’s grandchild.

Shiites start mourning from the first night of Muharram, and it continues for about ten consecutive nights and gets to the pick of it in the tenth day, or Ashura. A few days before Ashura, including the day itself, have the most importance of all. You may wonder why; well, in those days, Imam Hussain (as), Ahl al-Bayt, and his companions, including women, children, and elders, got deprived of water and remained thirsty from the seventh day and right on 1396.

On the tenth day, Imam Hussain and 72 souls of his companions were murdered in the war and by the command of Yazid, by his cruel army. The remaining of Imam Hussain’s family and his helpers got captured, taken to Damascus, and prisoned there. Now you know why the event is so important, and you should visit Iran during Muharram.

Muslims during Muharram

In Iran, believers gather in prayer rooms, mosques, and temporary tents on the streets on ten first days of the month. They take part in mourning, in which they should show their sorrow by crying and beating their chest and feet (in a gentle way with no harm, just an iconic movement.) They also recite and chant. You can also see horses on the streets as an icon of those times, and in the memory of that, the Imam and his companion were riding horses. At the end of each ceremony, some cooked food is distributed and dedicated to Imam Hussain among the souls who have joined and also poor people.

Shiites believe that Imam Hussain (as) is the host of this ceremony. Hence, people from everywhere can come and enjoy food. Other people, like benefactors, can make food on their own in the name of Imam Hussain. Both of the works, either providing these foods or consuming them have benefits, so Muslims surely recommend you to taste and have a bite. They feel they can receive blessings and spiritual rewards by mourning for their martyr Imam, feeding mourners, or giving them water. One of the things you can experience if you visit Iran during Muharram is eating such foods or drinks.

Taziah in Iran; the Intangible Cultural Heritages of UNESCO

the Intangible Cultural Heritages

One of the mourning types is to perform the scene of the Karbala war again and again in the eyes of people right on the streets. It is called Taziah, or the miracle play. The groups that are specialists in such a play are named Taziah groups. Taziah was common until the beginning of the 20th century; however, these plays decreased gradually until it was totally abandoned in big cities. Nevertheless, Taziah continued to exist in rural and more traditional areas in a smaller spectrum. It’s worth knowing that this tradition was recorded in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritages of UNESCO  in 2010.

Visitors’ Manners in Muharram

You may now wonder how you should behave in this month as a tourist. Is there any law that you should obey? First of all, you should consider that it may first seem very awkward to visit Iran during Muharram. You may face lots of strange scenes, which you haven’t seen before in your life. However, if you travel with good knowledge and get help from a tour guide, traveling to Iran on Ashura can be one of the best chances to meet a very significant event of Shiites’ calendar.

But regarding the laws during the month, there are not lots of hard rules that we can warn you about. Also, you may find out some of the rules yourselves based on what we have explained to you about the event. Generally speaking, you’d better avoid wearing clothes in red or pink color in this month, especially on Ashura day, in which people mourn for Imam Hussain (as). Then be careful about the fact that it is a Muslims holiday therefore many places are closed on such days. Finally, we recommend you to taste foods and drinks that are vowed!

Are Shops and Famous Places Closed During Muharram?

Unfortunately, yes. The majority of the attractive places like museums are closed during Tasooa and Ashura. However, most of the grocery stores and Iranian restaurants are likely to be open during that time. It’s better for you to do all of your work before Muharram and just enjoy the event during the holiday without any concerns.

Final Thoughts

Visit Iran during Muharram, one of the most important religious events of Shiite Muslims is generally discussed in today’s article. If you have never heard about Muharram, or you have heard, but you are hesitant to travel to Iran at that time, you’d better not miss the above article. Iran in Muharram is very spectacular. At the same time that you can visit Iran as a country, you are also able to experience and learn more about one of the most significant events of Muslims history during Muharram. We have told you about the story behind Muharram and why it is important to Muslims. We have also informed you about what exactly you should do during this month. So, you’d better read the article and then book your trip as soon as you can!

 

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