ID : N-385 Date : 2017/10/02 - 11:03
(Persia digest)- Muharram is a month of mourning for the third Shia Imam martyred in the desert of Karbala by the tyrant Yazid. The ninth and tenth days especially are the height of mourning called Tasu’a and Ashura respectively, when the big battle took place in the desert. The special rituals of these two days vary in different parts of Iran and are visited by many tourists every year. This year was no exception and a significant number of people came to see the rituals in different cities.
Spiritual Tourism, with emphasis on spiritual and religious traditions, has always been very popular with foreign tourists in Iran for its local rituals and regional variety.
Apart from experiencing the spiritual and religious environment, spiritual tourism in Iran also displays an anthropological perspective on the people, their lifestyles, and their religion and age-old rituals.
The ancient custom of taking around the ‘Nakhle’ in the city of Yazd attracted over 200 tourists this year. The number of visitors to watch the Ta’zieh religious play was also significant in Fadisheh village near Neishabur. Large numbers were also seen in Shahr-e Ray and other suburbs of Tehran who had come to watch the Ta’zieh plays staged in these areas.
The ‘Nakhle’ represents a coffin. For the people of Yazd, it is the symbol of Imam Hossein’s (AS) martyrdom. It is turned around the city square on Ashura day, and then again on 21 Ramadan (Imam Ali’s (AS) martyrdom).
This year, over 100 Spanish tourists alone were visiting Yazd for this ritual. Last year, Yazd hosted 682 tourists, showing an increase of 30% as compared to a similar period last year.
ISNA also reported a large number of tourists from the US, Spain, Germany, Pakistan, and Iraq visiting Neishabur and its Ta’zieh customs in Fadisheh village dating back to 300 years ago.
The city of Abianeh in Kashan Province was also host to 333 tourists who had come to see the rituals of turning the Nakhle, ‘Parsehzani’, and ‘Zakeri’ in this part of Iran which are all rituals performed on Ashura day. According to the town mayor, citizens of Slovakia, Spain, the Czech Republic, China, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Portugal, New Zealand, Poland, Thailand, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Russia, Morocco, Hungary, and Canada visited the customs of Abianeh on Tasu’a and Ashura days.
The art of Ta’zieh has a long history in the city of Neishabur. The prominent playwright Peter Brook described Neishabur’s Ta’zieh ceremonies as unique in the world after visiting the place.
Tehran and Shahr-e Ray also hosted tourists visiting the Tasu’a and Ashura rituals.