Everything about holding Tazieh in the Muharram decade

Holding Imam Hussein’s funeral in Muharram decade is one of the long-standing religious traditions of Iranian people which is common in all cities. For almost all of Iranian, the name of Tazieh and the first decade of Muharram are intertwined, one is the cause and the other is the effect.
Tazieh literally means mourning, and in a more general definition, religious theaters that are about the reality of Karbala. The original name of Tazieh is similitude which means that the performers are similar to the main characters, and play their role.

An art from Iran

The point is that the Tazieh is not necessarily about Imam Hussein and the event of Karbala. Its scenarios are about religious and epic subjects. Tazieh which is an album of color, poetry and music; Most are executed for the death of lost parents and loved ones. A religious play in which good and evil fight.
Taziyeh was inscribed at UNESCO World intagible Heritage List in 2010, and although it is practiced elsewhere in the world, including the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean to the Indonesian islands, Tazieh originated in Iran.


History of Tazieh in Iran

Its history dates back to the years before Ashura and the arrival of Islam in Iran which was called “Suvashoon Khani”. Siavash or Siavosh or Siavakhsh is one of the characters of Iranian legends including in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. The play was performed like the time Siavash went on fire which was a sign of his innocence when Siavash could manage to escape fire.
Tazieh recitation as one of the important symbols of mourning of Imam Hussein has had a very special place in Iran for a long time, and has been common since ancient times. Iranians have long been accustomed to traditional and religious plays and rituals, including the ancient ceremonies of “Mithra’s Sufferings” and “Siavash’s Mourning.” An Egyptian writer believes that Iranians with their artistic background and rituals, have been able to create religious dramas since Ashura and martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali. However, due to the lack of culture and performing arts among the Arabs, the Arabs were not able to take advantage of such thinking, so Iranians helped to spread the Karbala culture by holding such performances. It is a well-known Iranian festival.

Taziyeh rituals

The role of Iranian music in Tazieh

Iranian music has also been very effective in making Tazieh exciting. Singers in Tazieh rituals were familiar with Iranian music. It is because the way the events were expressed in Taziyeh was based on singing. The connection between Tazieh and music was not only through singing, but also musical instruments were used in taziyeh gatherings.

Sometimes before the beginning of Tazieh rituals, the festival starts by playing some instruments such as trumpet, drum, Dohol, Korna, Sorna, and Ney, to prepare the spectators to hear and see the rituals. In Tazieh, each of the instruments usually had a special use. For example, when people entered and started wars, they played drums and did not play trumpets. Trumpets were applied when sad scenes took place. Dashti and Shushtari songs are mostly used in religious and Tazieh songs. Among them, music performed in different parts of Iran plays an important role in Tazyeh. In addition to the rituals performed in the central areas and part of the capital, customs in Fars, Gilan, Mazandaran, Azerbaijan, Lorestan, Kermanshah and Bushehr are accompanied by local songs along with Iranian musical divisions. Anyone can easily recognize the presence of traditional Iranian music in most of the condolences in the form of singing or Iranian music.
The importance of this festival in Iran has been such that during the two months of Muharram and Safar, 600 Tazieh ceremonies have been held throughout the country.


The role of Tazieh in attracting tourism

The art of Tazieh in Iran has undergone many changes over time, but it has still been able to be one of the most beautiful and ancient Iranian folk arts. This art is still held in Iran, albeit very rarely, from the northernmost parts of the country to the southernmost parts of the country. Motivated reciters in the country are trying to keep this original heritage of Iranians alive, and future generations will be able to benefit from this art. In fact, the efforts of these reciters are the same as tourism marketing, but in a different way. if many international tourists know Iran with the stories of Folklore “Thousand and One Nights“, we should try to make these tourists know Iran by Tazieh as well. Even now, a number of tourists who are fascinated by Iranian culture are familiar with this festival. So every year they travel to Iran to attend Muharram ceremony and see Tazieh show.


Tazieh is such a theater

Tazieh is a religious theater that its play is in form of poetry and is performed with music, so it is different from the usual religious theaters. Although the rules of the theater are followed, it has a director, an actor and a play, and it is performed on stage, although it also has costumes, equipment and make-up.
Every performance of Tazieh is called “Majlis”; The actors call it “Simulator”. The director of Taziyeh is “Moin Al-Bakka” and the author is “Maqtal” storyteller. The producer of Taziyeh is also called “Bani” and the rest of the agents are also called “Taziyeh practitioners”.

Get to know the different parts of Tazieh better

Malis or Dastgah: Each full performance is called a taziyeh album. If a positive role is martyred with a sword, it is called the “Majlis of Martyrdom” which is recited during the day, like the Majlis of Imam Hussein Martyrdom.

But if the positive role is martyred by poison, it is called “death Majlis” which is recited at night like the death Majlis of Imam Musa Kazem.

Majlis also has several part:

Pre-reading: This is the entrance of the Tazieh group on the stage. They mourn in a group of people who are supposed to recite their condolences. After that, everyone goes out except the director, who also summarizes the story, prays and leaves.

Pre-event: Side stories that are related to the main Majlis and finally last an hour. This side story is also called the corner, which has the role of an introduction, like the corner of Imam Reza’s pilgrim in Imam Reza’s Majlis.

Incident: The main body of the condolence, which takes about 3-4 hours.

Simulator or Actors: Another name for Tazyeh is similitude reading, because actors play like historical characters and insist on becoming like them, and this is a show like adventure.


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