Tens Thousands of pilgrims flocked to the holy city of Karabala to mark Arbaeen, the anniversary of the 40th day of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions at the Battle of Karbala.
Iraqi media put the number of foreign pilgrims at 80,000, adding that tens of thousands of Iraqi thousands are taking part in the Arbaeen, the largest Shiite religious gatherings.
At least 60,000 pilgrims are from Iran, while others are from Lebanon, Pakistan and Gulf states.
Arbaeen of Imam Hussein (PBUH) is the 20th day of Safar in the Hijri Lunar calendar and the anniversary of the 40th day after the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions were martyred on the Day of Ashura, (Muharram 10, 61 AH/October 10, 680).
It is reported that the Captives of the Battle of Karbala came to visit Imam Hussein in Karbala on Safar 20, 61/November 19, 680) on their return from Syria to Medina.
In a hadith from Imam Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari (PBUH), ziyarah of Arbaeen is considered among the sings of the faithful.
Procession of Arbaeen is a great march of Shia in Iraq from different parts of the country towards Karbala to pay a visit to the shrine of Imam Hussein.
Millions of people participate in this annual procession. However, pilgrims from abroad were largely barred from entering Iraq for more than a year, even as the country began opening up again and eased travel restrictions brought in to stop the spread of Covid-19.
This year, overseas travellers will have to enter Iraq through airports and will have to show a negative Covid test taken within three days of their arrival.