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Foreign travelers awed by Ashura commemorations in Iran's Yazd

Iran's Yazd has hosted over 500 foreign travelers who were astounded by Muharram mourning rituals.

The Iranian province of Yazd has hosted over 500 foreign travelers this year who were astounded by the mourning rituals held in different cities of the province to commemorate the Shia holy day of Ashura.

According to the provincial officials, the travelers came from 15 countries including Austria, Russia, Spain, and China to attend the three-day spiritual tour.

Yazd, a UNESCO World Heritage, has long been a destination for many domestic and foreign tourists during the months of Muharram and Safar due to its unique Muharram rituals.

Yazdi lovers and followers of Imam Hussein (AS) get together in a spiritual atmosphere to recite elegies with an epic rhythm and thoughtful content, which is unique in both within and outside the country.

They are also known for their special way of chest-beating ritual when they rhythmically start with an initial three beats, going on four-beat, five-beat and then six-beat.  

The visitors also attended mourning ceremonies, such as Nakhl-Gardani or Nakhl-Bardari, which is a symbolic representation of the Imam’s coffin, resembling an Imam’s funeral; Tazieh, a Persian passionate play inspired by historical and religious narrations; and Sineh-Zani (beating the chest).

In talk with Iran Press news agency, a visitor from Croatia expressed excitement to know about the traditions in Yazd, saying, “I’m of the advocates of the places where traditions and customs are important.”

She added, “The poems cited, the way people prayed and beat their chests, and their emotions were magnificent and spectacular.”

Elina from Italy said it was the first time she visited Iran and saw Muharram mourning rituals and the Iranian culture, which she said was very admirable. “Rituals full of emotions and many religious people; I respect this belief very much, “she expressed her feelings.

“We came to Iran to get familiar with the customs here; the real face of the country is the opposite of what we were told about… Real emotions were seen in the Iranian society; the people adhere wholeheartedly to their religion and traditions,” Iran Press quoted a traveler from Barcelona as saying on Monday.

“The feeling and companionship of the people has affected us; we thank the Iranians for accepting us,” said a traveler from Spain.

Muharram rituals are held worldwide starting from the first night of Muharram and continuing for ten nights.

Shia Muslims have special ceremonies during the first ten days of the month of Muharram to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his 72 loyal companions.

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