Arbaeen, religious pilgrimage in Iran and Iraq
forty days after the
, on Arbaeen day the Shia Muslims in Iran and Iraq, walk toward the Karbala in Iraq. This long journey, which generally lasts between 4 to 12 days, begins at the three borders between Iraq and Iran and ends at the cities of Najaf and Karbala. this walk is one of the most Important
among the Shia Muslim.
What stands out in the Arbaeen pilgrimage
Traveling to Karbala during Arbaeen's time is inexpensive and almost free. Along the way, Iranians and Iraqis welcome Arbaeen pilgrims by setting up tents for many services such as free food and drinks, resorts and canopies, etc. Along the pilgrimage route, there are kind hosts who insist on inviting the pilgrims to their tents.
The distance between two cities of Najaf to Karbala is also full of residences called "Mawkib", which are used as resting areas for pilgrims. Mawakeb have many forms. Sometimes in the form of a nomadic tent and sometimes a large hall that has the capacity of accommodating hundreds of people. Occasionally people offer their multi-storey houses or even cottages to pilgrims. It should be noted that all of these structures are prepared for the reception of Arbaeen pilgrims and have no further use during the year. The owners of these Mawakeb are generally from Iraq, but there are also Iranians, Lebanese, Pakistanis and Turkish Shia.
Food along the way to Karbala
The Arbaeen pilgrimage route is packed with a variety of food stands, including local food and beverages. One of the most famous one is Arab coffee, which is poured in small cups and given to pilgrims to redeem their tiredness. Along the way, mineral water bottles are distributed free of charges.
In addition to drinks, meals including votive provender and snacks are also available. Large trays of dates, decorated with sesame, are also presented to pilgrims on the way. The owners of these Mawakeb also welcome pilgrims with a variety of fruits.