Ashura: Shia Muslim Holiday
Shia Muslims mourned the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein, with rituals including fire walking and mass flagellation during the yearly event known as Ashura. It marks the death of Hussein who was killed and mutilated by political rivals in battle during 680 AD and is celebrated on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram. Self-flagellation emulates the suffering of Hussein, and a replica of the coffin along with horses dressed in battle costumes are paraded through the street. This event is often associated with the split of Shia and Sunni relations that have caused so much conflict in middle east countries. Yangon has both practicing Shia and Sunni living beside one another with an almost non-existent history of conflict between the two - according to local practicers.