Introduction to the Muharram Festival in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
The state of Uttar Pradesh celebrates all its festivals joyously. Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh is a principal centre of Muslim culture. It is therefore not surprising that the festival of Muharram is celebrated with much ostentation and ceremony in Lucknow.
The general belief is that Muharram is a particular day. In reality, Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar. It is considered very holy. The festival of Muharram is celebrated to commemorate the death of Prophet Mohammadís grandson Hussein. He had given up his life at Kerbala on the banks of the river Euphrates while resisting anti Islamic forces.
Description of the Muharram Festival in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Prophet Mohammad himself advocated fasting in the month of Muharram. It is not morally binding, but the belief is that if you observe fast, you will be generously rewarded by Allah. However, it is particularly important to fast on Ashura, the tenth day of the month because it will yield great rewards. The people of Lucknow generally observe a fast on this day.
On this day which is generally referred to by all as Muharram, the Muslims of Lucknow are in a very generous mood. Their day begins with a bath. After putting surma in their eyes, they engage themselves in various charitable activities. The Nafl Salat prayers and the Surah Ikhlas are performed religiously. They vow to make friends with enemies and also spend quality time in the company of the Ulemas.
In the gatherings on the occasion of Muharram, Islamic leaders narrate the story of martyrdom of Hussein. The most important part of the festival is the processions. The taziyas or the colorful replicas of Husseinís tomb are decorated and taken out and the followers mourn aloud the death of Hussein. In Lucknow, the rites of mourning are observed with greater passion.
Time for celebrating the Muharram Festival in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
The time for celebrating Muharram is variable. It is celebrated according to the lunar calendar and so the time fluctuates throughout the season.
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