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

Self-flagellation

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
Soaked

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:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVmKJywSz8s]

Comments

RAFI

Amazing pictures taken…..Thanks for sharing..

Reply
Ariful Haque Bhuiyan

nice photos… 🙂

Reply
Ehab

This is what I love about them, they always dress up in bold, vibrant colors and styles 😀

Reply
shima

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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2010 in review « Jessica Mudditt's Blog

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List of articles about Bangladesh « Jessica Mudditt's Blog

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Daniel Chavez Moran

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Jessica Mudditt

Thanks Daniel – say hi to your brother for me!

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About The Author

Jessica Mudditt is an Australian freelance journalist whose articles have been published by The Economist, BBC, CNN, Marie Claire, GQ and Australian Geographic.

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Jessica Mudditt

Excerpt

“I squeezed Sherpa’s hand one last time before reluctantly letting go. Our eyes locked for a second and we mouthed a quick “I love you” – the most affection it was appropriate to show in the conservative Buddhist country. I wanted to run a hand through his mop of curly black hair but he was already walking away from me.”