Black is the color dominating important religious rituals in Iran. Men in black clothing parade through the main streets, beating heads and chests, flagellating backs with metal chains. Sometimes you hear weep and mourning amidst band noise and harmonious chanting. Most of important religious events in Iran are related to the death of the saints, thus turn to mourning parades. The most important event is Ashura (Martyrdom of Imam Hussain) and Arbain (40 days after Ashura). Blood ritual is prohibited in Iran, so the mourning rituals more resemble artistic and cultural parades. This photo was taken from the remembrance of the Martyrdom of Imam Hassan (brother of Hussain) and the Demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Mashhad, Iran, 2009

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