Women performing the ritual, Khorramabad, Lorestan, Iran.
Moharram in Western IranAccording to one of the Shia faith Throughout Iran, on the occasion of martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Mohammad, shias mourn during the first ten days of the Islamic month of Muharram which among them two last days are special ones which have been called Tasua and Ashura. In some parts of Iran, these mourning have some differences. In Khorram Abad (the capital of Lorestan province ñ west of Iran- 491 km 307 miles southwest of Tehran) Chehel Menbari is a special tradition which has been performed for centuries.On the first day which is called Tasua, women and children go to the streets and mosques and women on this day fast silence and do not talk with anyone. Mournful women of Khorram Abad wear a veil and light 40 candles during ìChehel Menbariî (Forty Pulpits) religious festival in Tasuaís day. In this ceremony the women dedicate themselves to light 40 candles beside the doorway of 40 houses while they remain silent throughout the ceremony. Women from other cities and towns across Lorestan province cover their faces and walk in silence as they light candles in 40 spots as mourners beat their chests in their grief over the suffering and martyrdom of Imam Hussein along with 72 of his loyal companions in Karbala in southern Iraq, in 680 CE.The Chehel Menbari tradition is upheld every year on Tasuaís day, as a show of solidarity with the sister of Imam Hussein, Hazrat Zainab. Shia mourners throughout the world gather on Tasua to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein. Those women whose wishes have been fulfilled during the previous year bring cookies and offer them at the houses where they lit candles the year before. The Chehel Menbari ceremony in Khorram Abad starts from morning and continues until the dark of the day.