Most people know little about Muharram except what they see on the streets- a procession, a tazia with mourners in black beating their chests. Some may have seen men, even little boys hitting themselves with chains, blades, swords. Few people have a chance to experience the storytelling that lies at the heart of the mourning.
Muharram is a gazetted holiday marking the start of the Islamic year. It is a day off for many workers. It is the month which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah calendar. It is said to be the second holiest month following Ramadan. Some Muslims fast during these days. The 10th day of Muharram is the day of Ashura, which to Shia Muslim is mourning of Muharram. Some Muslims fast during the daylight hours on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th days of the month. They also attend prayers, meeting in mosque or at their humble abode.
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