Muharram is the first of the four sacred months of the year for Muslims. The Mourning of Muharram also known as Remembrance of Muharram and Muharram Observances takes place in the first month of the Islamic calendar. The Day of Ashura (or Ashurah) is known as the most sacred day in the month of Muharram, which is the tenth day. That day is a holiday in India and some muslims fast during the day. For countries like United Arab Emirates and Malaysia the first day of the Islamic New Year will be a holiday.
The word “Muharram” means “forbidden” and Shia Muslims observe and respect it as the month that martyred Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad and son of Ali, in the Battle of Karbala. They mourn for Hussein ibn Ali and refrain from all joyous events.In the Islamic calendar, it is considered to be the second most sacred month, following Ramadan. The tenth day of the Muharram is of great importance, celebrated by the Shia Muslims in order to mourn the death of Hussain Ibn Ali whereas by the Sunni Muslims in order observe the victory of Moses over Egyptian Pharaoh.
The names of 12 Islamic months as per Hijri Calendar are Muharram, Safar, Rabiul-Awwal, Rabi-uthani, Jumadi-ul-Awwal, Jumadi-uthani, Rajab, Sha’ban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhil-Q’ada and Dhil-Hijja
Muharram Calendar Dates
The date of Muharram changes each year as the time of the festivity is decided by lunar movements. This means the religious observance can change by around 11 days every year. The following table shows the corresponding Gregorian calendar dates of the 10th day called Ashura.