Muslims In Baghdad Cut Open Their Heads With Swords To Mark The Annual Ashura Festival

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In the celebration of their annual Ashura festival, thousands of Muslims have cut open their heads with swords to let the blood flow all over their bodies.

The Ashura ceremony is used to commemorate the death of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Husayn ibn Ali.

This is an annual bloodletting festival

To mark the ceremony, people would cut themselves with knives and swords, with many believing that the bloodletting would cleanse their sins.

Some believe the bloodletting washes their sins

It is also seen as a way of showing respect and grief for Husayn ibn Ali and his family, who were killed alongside him.

The bloodletting ritual is known as Tatbir and is has become controversial with some Shia Muslims, who claim it is self-harm and therefore forbidden.

Some Muslim clerics have spoken against the practice

A re-enactment of the battle took place in Baghdad yesterday, with hundreds of actors in traditional costumes fighting each other.

It has started becoming a practice for people to donate blood in hospitals when the ceremony is approaching in case of casualties.

Children are also cut

Despite the dangers inherent in the practice, may still take part in it including children.

A boy participating in the festival
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