|Photo © REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (Courtesy Reuters Photo Blog)|
|Photo © Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images (Courtesy WSJ Photo Journal)|
|Photo © REUTERS/ Ali Hashisho (Courtesy Reuters Photo Blog)|
|Photo © Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters (Courtesy WSJ Photo Blog)|
For Sunni Muslims, Ashura is observed by fasting as the Prophet Muhammad did, to commemorate the day when Moses and his followers were saved from Pharaoh by God by creating a path in the Red Sea. Surprising, huh?
The top photograph is of a girl with a green headband with the words "Hussein" as she attends the Ashura religious festival in Khorramabad, southwest of Tehran.
The second photograph is of a Shia devotee in New Delhi beating his bloodied chest as part of the ten-day mourning period marking the death of Imam Hussein.
The third photograph is of a Lebanese Shia whose shaven head bleeds after tapping his forehead with a razor during the Ashura ceremony in Nabatiyeh.
The fourth and last photograph is a Shia walking on hot coals during a Ashura ceremony at a mosque in Yangon, Myanmar.
I ought to plan attending Ashura to photograph its ceremonies...it would be fascinating. Yes, bloody and graphic...but I'd attend it given half the chance. I came close years ago to do so when working in Bahrain, but I was advised not to attend it with a camera. Different times, I suppose.