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For the Love of Mud

Iran, Khoramabad 2010.

The Mourning of Muharram is an important period of mourning in the Shi'a branch of Islam, taking place in Muharram which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is also called the Remembrance of Muharram. The event marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Husayn ibn Ali, a grandson of Muhammad the founder of Islam, and a Shia Imam, was killed by the forces of the second Umayad caliph Yazid I. The mourning reaches its climax on the tenth day, known as Ashura, on which the forces of Yazid killed the 72 individuals who fought, including Husayn and his family and supporters.

The following photos are from the mourning ceremonies held in the city of Khorramabad in Iran's Lorestan province. People are covered with mud to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.