Ashura (a.k.a Muharram) – the bloody and the beautiful


Ashura in Dhaka was the most intense event I’ve ever photographed.

For the first half hour I couldn’t even look through the view finder because I was too overwhelmed – and also trying to make sure that I didn’t get flicked by a knife.  There were large crowds, which heaved backwards (insofar as it was possible) at the last minute. Being at the front of the crowd was necessary but scary.

Boys, teenagers and men took part

Ashura explained:

Ceremonies are held during the night and day to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hossain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who was brutally murdered in Karbala, Iraq, 1300 years ago.

Ashura takes place on the day of his murder, which is the tenth day of one of the holiest months of the Islamic calendar.

You can see the scars from previous years on the back of the guy on the left

White pony and swordsmen

It wasn’t all about blood-spilling though.

There was a long procession in the morning that started from Hossaini Dalare in Dhaka – there were tens of thousands of people.

Here are some pictures:

Watching and waiting for the procession to begin

Wonderful outfit

Wonderful eyes

Smiling from the sidelines

If you haven’t seen enough yet, here is my video:

8 thoughts on “Ashura (a.k.a Muharram) – the bloody and the beautiful”

  1. ofcoure these photos do not tell us truth about islam

    these people are from a small of Foolish grupe that do not know real islam

    muslims are not allowed to hurt themselves or anybody because all is Gift of God

    ashura is an important day for muslims to think

    about Human values and Commemoration imam

    hossein who is very very honest,brave and kind

    man that gave all things of him life and himself for

    Resuscitating right way him enemies killed

    even him baby who was only 6 month

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