During Muharram throughout Iran, a variety of rituals and customs can be seen,
Maddahi votive offering (Nazri) and so many others, as the following examples:
The ceremony of Hoseynieh Azam in Zanjan
Rajaz or Rajazkhani is a kind of requiem in Zanjan which was performed in the past along with "Mashghe Ghameا" (Machete's movement) and had an epic intonation. Participants in this ritual walked out of
or Tekieh by stamping their feet on the ground and moving the Machete's above their heads with one hand on the back of the person on the left, In harmony with the rhythm of the elegy. This ritual usually takes place from the beginning of Muharram to the night of Ashura as the middle part between the inside and outside ceremonies of the Tekieh.
Nowadays, moving the machete is replaced by the rhythmic movements of one hand raised over the head. The Rajaz Khani is performed during the first ten days of
and among other types of mourning, such as "Sineh-Zani". however the epic intonation and mournful repetition are still as before.
Nakhl Gardani in Yazd
Nakhl Gardani is a religious ritual among the locals of some regions in Iran, which is the symbolic funeral of Imam Hussein on
. In this religious ritual, people hold a wooden structure similar to a coffin on their hands and move it around different parts of the city, including all mosques, hoseynieh, and Tekieh where the mourning ceremonies of
Muharram are held. This structure is called Nakhl (palm), which generally is made of wood adorned with a variety of colorful fabrics, scarves and mirrors.
Nakhl Gardani is common in the cities and villages around the central desert of Iran, but the ceremony holds by the people of Yazd is more popular among Iranian. This religious ritual is deeply rooted in the culture and belief of the people of Yazd that is listed as one of the province's cultural heritage and ritual ceremonies in the Cultural Heritage Organization's list of spiritual works.
"Tasht Gozari" or "Tasht Gardani" in Ardabil
The ritual of Tasht Gozari is one of the oldest Islamic traditions and rituals, with a large number of Turkish-speaking people in Iran initiating mourning ceremony of Muharram. Tasht Gozari is a traditional ritual in which A container full of water symbolizing the Euphrates River is kept in the mosque during Muharram, according to the history the enemy troops baned water of the Euphrates River on Imam Hussein and his companions, but a few days before that event, Imam Hussein poured water along the caravans so that the enemy troops could drink it. People also commemorate this event in the month of Muharram. The event is mainly held in Turkish-speaking provinces, including Ardabil, Zanjan, East and West Azerbaijan.
Alam-bandi ritual of Mazandaran
Alam-bandi is a religious ritual that usually performed in some areas of Mazandaran the day before Muharram arrives and in other areas a few days before Muharram. During this ritual, people and mourners decorate the structure on which the Alam or cedar is placed with black and green pieces of textile during the mourning ceremony. At the end of the ritual, mourners will also be offered a votive food, sherbet or tea.
"Qali-shuran" is a religious ritual held annually at the beginning of the cold season in Ardehal, a village near Kashan in Isfahan province. The reason for this ritual goes back to a religious story. This village is believed to be the site of the martyrdom of the son of a Shia Imam who was sent to the area to teach religious instruction to locals on his father's behalf but was martyred by the rulers of the time. After which people became aware of this event, they all went to take revenge. The corpse of Imamzadeh was so dismembered that they could not be bathed as the religious instruction , so they wrapped it in a rug. According to the narrative, in the first month of fall, All the people of the village go to the cemetery and symbolize the event to commemorate the martyr.
All religious and Islamic rituals in Iran are held in accordance with the lunar calendar, but one of the interesting points of this ritual is the date of its implementation which is based on the solar calendar. This has led many scholars to relate this ritual to the
pre-Islamic religious rites
, such as "Mehregan" and "Siavash's mourning" and the water goddess Anahita. Qali-shuran ritual in Mashhad Ardehal in Kashan was registered worldwide in 2012.
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