Ashura The tenth of muharram, the first month of the Muslim or Hijri year. The day, which was traditionally observed as a Jewish holy day, continued to be observed by the Prophet muhammad (Sm) as a day of fasting with some modifications. It continues to be observed by sunnis because it is ordained by the Holy Prophet. The day is observed by shiahs as the anniversary of the death of Imam Husain, the Prophet's grandson, at Karbala. It is the culmination of the ten days of ritual mourning. On the day, mourning processions known as tazia are taken out, with male mourners publicly beating their breasts with their open palms or with knives or chains in a show of grief.
It is traditionally believed that several momentous events occurred on the day, such as pardonning of Adam's mistake and the subsiding of Noah's flood. [Shabbir Ahmed]