Ashura 2012 (Bijar, Iran) (22 images)

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On the Day of Ashura, shi'a muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad. It is a day of mourning and usually involves the sacrificial killing of animals and self-flagellation. In the Iranian town of Bijar, mourners also cover themselves with mud - a ritual that, quite literally, erases all external differences between people, creates a strong sense of community and expresses the notion that all men are equally puny when faced with the greatness of God.
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