Muharram isa festival celebrated by Muslims on the 10th day of Muharram the forbidden month, which marks the beginning of the Hijra year.Taziyas (Impressively decorated replicas of the Martyr's Tomb) are taken out in processions on the occasion of Muharram in Kerala. The air reverberates with the sounds of the beating of drums and the mournful cries of the followers lamenting the death of Hussein. On this day the Jews observe fast. The Prophet enjoined on the Muslims to observe fast on the ninth and tenth of Muharram. It was to commemorate the victory of the Jews over Pharaoh that fasting was enjoined upon Muslims on these days.One can also witness scenes from the Karbala battlefield being enacted in this procession. Many wrestlers inflict wounds on themselves and many people are seen beating their breasts and taking the name of Hussein. Dancers and wrestlers also act out scenes describing the battle at Kabala and shouting and crying dolefully at the top of their voice - "Hussain! Hussain!"! Some emotional devotees also hit themselves causing injuries and wounds on their bodies. The devotees end their fast after the procession and give away apparels, money and food to the poor and the sick people.

For the Shia Muslims, Muharram is an important occasion for religious ceremony. The Sunni Muslims do not celebrate Muharram, but the devout Muslims among them observe fast. 'Pulikali' or 'Tiger-dance' is part of this celebration in Kerala. Some Muslims assume the guise of tiger by painting their whole body to bring out the appearance of tiger, wear masks and parade through streets, playing, dancing and mimicking a tiger. This is done to idealize the valour of Hussain.

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Muharram is a festival that is held in remembrance of Immam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad. In the year 680 A.D. Hussein and his followers were killed at Karbala on this very day. Their display of courage is eulogized to this day. It is in memory of their extremely painful death that Muslims celebrate Muharram.

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