The contest has been launched by Iran’s Young Photographers House to honor top photos on Muharram rituals that take place across the world.
Qadir Vaqari Shurcheh from the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad took first place for his black and white photo that depicts some women in mourning for Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions amid the smoke of burning wild rue seeds.
A photo by Kolsum Riahi won second prize. The photo shows a group of mourning villagers carrying a flag and a box decorated with colorful fabric representing the coffin of Imam Hussein (AS).
Third prize went to Hadi Dehqanpur for a photo that depicts a girl gazing at the camera as the shadows of mourning people fall across the sidewalk.
A photo by Yasser Mohammadkhani took fourth place. It shows a woman kissing a sign that representing the hand of Hazrat Abbas (AS), Imam Hussein’s brother who lost his hands in the battle of Ashura.
Ahmad Taji won fifth prize for a photo, which shows a girl and some men attending gelmali, a ritual tradition observed in the month of Muharram in Lorestan Province in western Iran.
Based on the tradition, people mix clay with water in big ponds in major squares and streets for mourners to apply on their faces and clothes as a sign of mourning. They collect dry wood and light fires to warm mourners who have covered themselves with mud.
A jury composed of Young Photographers House director Rasul Oliazadeh and art experts Hamideh Jafari, Mohammad Babai, Davud Yarahmadi and Nasser Mohammadi selected the winners from over 1400 submissions.
Due to the pandemic, a virtual exhibition of the top photos was launched on Tuesday on the website of the Young Photographers House at the following address: www.phjavan.com.
The Red Frame International Photo Contest has been set up to raise the knowledge of the world community about the great tragedy of Karbala and introduce the event from different angles, the organizers said earlier.
The organizers also intend to build an extensive archive of photos on Muharram rituals from the submissions to the contest.
Amateur and professional photographers from across the world can apply for the contest with photos taken by cellphones or professional cameras.
Shia Muslims gather in mosques, religious sites and places for seasonal religious ceremonies every year to commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions with rituals that begin every year from the first day of Muharram.
The rituals reach their climax on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, the day upon which Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions were martyred in Karbala as a result of their valiant stand against the injustices of the oppressive Umayyad dynasty in 680 CE.
The rituals continue until Arbaeen, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of the Imam and his loyal companions on Ashura.
Over the past decade, Iran has initiated the Arbaeen gathering, which is held by Shia Muslims in Iraq every year.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians and Shia Muslims from other countries embark on a journey to the Iraqi city of Karbala to observe the day of Arbaeen at the holy shrines of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of the Shia, and his brother, Hazrat Abbas (AS).