Taziyeh

Taziyeh

Ninth day of Islamic month of Muharram
For Shi'ite Muslims, the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Hussein, is one of the more critical events in Islamic history. In 680 c.e., Hussein and a small group of Shi'ite supporters clashed with Sunnis in Karbala, a city in present-day Iraq, and were killed. The Shi'ite holiday of Ashura commemorates Hussein's death and the days leading up to it. The 10 days make up the initial days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year.
Iranian Shi'ites mark the eve of Ashura by celebrating Taziyeh, which is named after the passion play of the same name. Performances of taziyeh are common in Iraq, Pakistan, and India, as well as in Iran, but only in Iran has the tradition developed into a formal holiday. The word taziyeh means "consolation" and signifies the blessing that performers are believed to receive by imitating the sacred events that befell the prophet's family. Sometimes the shows coincide with religious processions.
After experiencing its heyday in the 19th century, taziyeh performances dropped off since they were written off as a folk custom for the lower classes. During the Iranian Revolution in 1979, clerics re-authorized the tradition and taziyeh experienced a resurgence, with more elaborate productions and greater attendance numbers.
CONTACTS:
Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Imam Khomeini Sq.
Tehran, Iran
SOURCES:
CultureCustomsIran-2006, p.184
RelHolCal-2004, p. 144
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References in periodicals archive ?
The city of Khansar in Esfahan province is getting ready to host the largest gathering of Taziyeh performers to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hossain, the third Shia Imam.
The Abolfazl Hossainiyeh can accommodate some 60,000 people and will provide the opportunity for the audience to attend Taziyeh performances twice a day, for nine consecutive days from December 2.
As a national and religious event performed with drama and music, Taziyeh performances recount religious, historical and folk tales through poetry, recitation, singing, music and motion.
Taziyeh rituals symbolize humanity's struggle against tyranny.
In Iran, Taziyeh is mostly used to narrate the story of the martyrdom of Imam Hossain and his companions in Karbala.
To Mawdudi, these additions included aspects of the shrine-culture, some Shi'ite festivals such as the taziyeh processions, [57] and in general the folk Sufi practices so commonplace in the Indian Subcontinent.
On that anniversary each year, the faithful distribute food among the poor, march in huge parades of lamentation, and attend passion plays, called taziyeh, that dramatize the martyrdom.
Eternal performance: Taziyeh and other Shiite rituals.
The country is now filled with colorful taziyeh plays for the sacred month of Moharram, marking the death of Imam Hossain.
Taziyeh is a dramatic genre performed by Iranian Shiites commemorating the 7th Century CE martyrdom of Imam Hossain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad and the third Shiite Imam.
Men--young and old--have long participated in the tradition of taziyeh. Mohsen Mirza-Ali, 25, is a professional storyteller and taziyeh actor.
Morteza Safaiee, 75, a retired clerk, has performed in taziyeh plays for most of his life.