Ashura (or ashoora) is a religious observance celebrated on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month on the Islamic calendar. Ashura in Iran is a holiday. One day before Ashura (Tasua) is a holiday, too. So, if you are planning to travel to Iran, consider this important tip that September 19th and 20th, 2018 are off in Iran.
How is Ashura celebrated in Iran
Since around 90–95% of Iranians associate themselves with the Shia branch of Islam, Ashura in Iran is being celebrated especially.
Some people wear black clothes in Muharram month to respect the mourning of Emam Husayn ibn Ali (peace be upon him). There are so many special religious ceremonies all around Iran to celebrate Ashura. These ceremonies are so interesting for tourists in Iran that they try to arrange their trip itinerary in a way to watch these ceremonies and costumes as much as possible. But there are some questions for travelers to Iran about these 2 off days:
- How many days is the holiday?
- Are the organizations closed during this holiday?
- Are Non-Muslim tourists allowed to take part in Ashura ceremonies?
- Is it possible to travel between cities during the Ashura holiday?
How many days is the holiday?
The holiday of Tasua and Ashura in Muharram month are only 2 days. This year, these 2 days are on Wednesday and Tuesday, but consider the weekend day in Iranian calendar which is Friday. So, this year there are three off-days in a row (September 19th, 20th, 21st, 2018).
Are the organizations closed during this holiday?
During the holiday in Iran, private companies, travel agencies, and governmental organizations are closed. But streets are usually crowded by pedestrians and different type of people who all love Husayn ibn Ali (peace be upon him). So if tourists need help, can ask people easily.
Are Non-Muslim tourists allowed to take part in Ashura ceremonies?
Yes! Anyone who believes in God can enter the ceremonies, even entering mosques. But Iran Travel Blog recommends you to ask someone first, to be your guide during this new experience.
Is it possible to travel between cities during the Ashura holiday?
While most of the companies and organizations are closed during Ashura in Iran, but traveling services are active and busy, also! So, if you are planning to travel between cities in Iran, do not worry. Everything is ready for tourists and Persian people.
Rural Ashura rituals in Iran
Iran Travel Blog strongly recommends you watching and experiencing rural Ashura ceremonies. By this way, you could meet the locals and know the costumes of local people as much as possible. You could contact us on Whatsapp (+989905147974) if you like watching some special religious ceremonies in rural areas of Iran.
Ashura in Iran
The most important tip about Ashura ceremonies is that many of the costumes and actions being done by people are not commanded by God!!! Most of what you see in Ashura in Iran is just people’s feelings and is originated from their mind! For example, while punishing (harming) the body is not allowed in Islam, some Muslims do this forbidden act (haram) in Ashura, unfortunately!