Blood and tears as the world observes Muharram
Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, is one of four sacred months in Islam. The tenth day of Muharram, Ashura, is a solemn day of mourning and one significant for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in the battle of Karbala in AD 680 by the armies of the Caliph Yazid.
From the first day of Muharram, Shia Muslims take out processions in the street mourning the death of Hussein. Chanting, weeping and flagellation with whips as well as self-mutilation with knives are characteristics of Muharram observance and can be observed in countries where there is a significant population of Shia Muslims. These pictures of Muharram observances from around the world come to you from Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen, Myanmar, the United Kingdom and Iran.
Photos: GETTY IMAGES and REUTERS