Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei participated in the first night of mourning ceremonies for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Imam of Shia Muslims, Sunday evening in a private event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceremony was held at the Hussainiyyah (mosque) of Imam Khomeini in Jamaran neighborhood, north of Tehran, according to the Leader’s official website.
The holy month of Muharram arrived on August 10.
This year, however, Muslims are marking the second Muharram amidst a pandemic that has cancelled every mass gathering.
The lunar month coincides with the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions, 14 centuries ago, who were martyred in the modern-day Iraqi city of Karbala by the forces of the second Umayyid caliph, Yazid, on the 10th day of Muharram, which is called Ashura.
Every year, during the first 10 days of Muharram, Muslims dress in black, erect mourning tents, and participate in mass processions to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH).
The Iranian government said it would not prevent Muharram ceremonies, but advised people to observe health protocols.
Any physical mourning ceremony needs to be held in open air environments.
Moreover, Tehran Municipality has initiated special events in the capital city to observe Muharram mourning rituals including video mapping the Azadi Tower.
A senior official at Tehran Municipality said video mapping of Ashura event is one of the initiatives of Tehran Municipality to introduce this event to the citizens through the lens of art.
The events are to be held respecting health protocols to avoid the spread of the coronavirus among mourners, he added.