Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ashura in the City

During the holy days of Moharram there's a lot of activity at night on the streets. 

One tradition is for people to make a pilgrimage to light candles at various makeshift stations around the city near mosques. 

The candles are just stuck on nooks in nearby walls.

It didn't seem that safe to me...

Some people aim to light candles at 40 different stations around the city.  When lighting a candle you're supposed to make a wish.  If your wish comes true, the person will often pledge to make food to distribute to others during the month of Moharram next year, like this lady serving sholo zard:

The food is meant for anyone.  It's not aimed specifically for the less fortunate or anything.  In fact, eating this donated food is thought to be especially holy.  One person I met had his dinner every night at stations like this during the holy month.  A good way to save money!!

Some people set up elaborate stations and staff them with their entire families.  This one is serving tea:

I ended up going into a religious building that was all women.

It was overwhelming to be surrounded by so many chadoris in one room! 

These women were tying strings around a holy shrine to make wishes.

After I had taken a few photos, we heard an announcement over the loudspeaker which even with my limited farsi I understood to be prohibiting photos.  In my defense, I wasn't the only one.  Many younger women were taking cell phone photos as well! 

1 comment:

  1. That's a nice tradition to serve food as a token of appreciation if your wish comes true! Hope your wishes come true! - SM2