Death Anniversary of Khomeini

Khomeini (Ayatollah), Death Anniversary of

Khordad 14
An estimated 6 to 11 million people gathered for the funeral of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had led as Supreme Leader of Iran from 1979 until his death on June 3, 1989. Observances of his death anniversary today do not draw as many participants as did his funeral. But the Heart-Rending Departure of the Great Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the celebration is officially known, is still widely commemorated throughout the country. The event draws thousands of foreigners to the Khomeini mausoleum, a massive structure near Tehran that has become an established pilgrimage site for Shi'ite Muslims.
As with many Shi'ite holidays of mourning, the anniversary of Khomeini's death is marked by dramatic expressions of grief. Many people display black flags and carry posters of the ayatollah. Along with visiting the leader's mausoleum, people will also spend the day in Khomein, the village of his birth, and in Qom, the holy city where he received his Islamic training.
In 2008, Iran held a special five-day celebration that included speeches by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian calendar differs slightly from the Gregorian calendar, which means the date of commemoration also does not line up exactly with its Gregorian counterpart.
Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Imam Khomeini Sq.
Tehran, Iran
AnnivHol-2000, p. 95
CultureCustomsIran-2006, p. 180
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.