Muharram – The Festival Of Islamic New Year
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and is considered one of the sacred months of the year. The tenth day of this month is of great significance and is celebrated with much zeal and fervor by both the Shia and Suni factions of the Muslim community. However, while the Shia Muslims celebrate this day to mourn the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain Ibn Ali, the Suni Muslims celebrate this day to commemorate the Egyptian Pharaoh by Moses.
Muharram Celebration By Shia Community
The Shia Muslims remember and mourn the martydom of Hazrat Imam Husain, the famous grandson of Islamic prophet Muhammad, during the period of Muharram. It is believed that Hazrat Imam Hussain laid down his life in the Battle of Karbala, on the 10th day of Muharram in 680 AD. So, on the 10th day, which is believed to be the actual day of martyrdom of Hazrat Imam, long processions are taken out by the members of the community through the city streets. They carry banners and beautifully decorated taziyahs, which are replicas of the martyrs made from bamboo and paper adorned with gilt and mica. They walk barefoot and continuously beat their chests with their hands and in some cases with knives and chains, to express their grief over the killing of Hazrat Imam.
Muharram Celebration By Suni Community
Unlike the Shia community, for whom Muharram is a festival of grieving, the Suni community celebrates the festival as a happy one to commemorate the victory of Moses on the Egyptian Pharaoh on this day. The people of this community generally observe a fast on this day and do not put up much pomp and show on this occasion. Unlike the fast of Ramadan, the Muhurram fasts are voluntary and can be observed from the first to the 10th day of the month or on the 9th and 10th day or even on the 10th and 11th day.