Shocking images show young Muslim boys beating themselves with sharp blades as part of the holy Day of Ashura. The young boys parade the streets of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad with blood dripping from their wounded heads and onto their white robes while their mothers dress entirely in black.
Every year, Muslims all over the world take part in these bloody self-flagellation ceremonies to mark the tenth day of the Islamic calendar and to mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Husayn who died at the Battle of Karbala.
They celebrate the date – which they refer to as the Day of Atonement – as the day Israelites were freed from the Pharaoh of Egypt.
The Day of Ashura has become a National holiday in some predominantly Muslim countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Pakistan.