Iran's Biggest Passion Play in Khansar

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The city of Khansar is located in the central Iranian province of Isfahan. Every year, when the lunar months of Muharram and Safar arrive, the overall situation in the city changes and special mourning ceremonies are held which are one of a kind.

During the mourning days of Muharram [which mark the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (AS)], almost all natives of Khansar who are living in other cities, go back to their birthplace accompanied with their families, friends and relatives.

They are like bubbling drops of water which are moving towards the sea. Once in their city, the whole city is rocking with a special bustle and the total population in the city increases four- or even five-fold compared to other times of the year.

Performance of Ta’ziyeh or passion play, which is usually done every afternoon, is one of the most important mourning ceremonies observed by the people of Khansar. During this ceremony, which has no parallel anywhere else in Iran, more than 40,000 people watch the annual passion play which usually starts on the fortieth day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hossein (AS).

This huge traditional passion play is actually held in Qoudejan neighborhood of Khansar. Hazrat Abolfazl (AS) Hosseiniyeh (congregation hall for Shia commemoration ceremonies) in Qoudejan neighborhood of Khansar is one of the most important and biggest centers for performing passion play across Iran.

This traditional ceremony starts every year on the fortieth day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hossein (AS) and continues from the 22nd day to the 28th day of the lunar month of Safar.

A total of 18 various types of passion play are held at this location. Most renowned passion players from across the nation take part in this special ceremony which can be watched live on the Internet as well.

The number of people taking part in this ceremony is so high that apart from the Hosseiniyeh, most streets around it are teeming with people who watch the ceremony on closed-circuit TV screens.

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