Tasu'a precedes Ashura on the 10th day of Muharram, when Imam Hussein (AS), a grandson of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), and his 72 companions were martyred in the Battle of Karbala, in southern Iraq, in 680 AD after fighting courageously for justice against the much larger army of the Umayyad caliph, Yazid I.
Tasu'a -- known as the Day of Loyalty and Resistance -- is devoted to Abbas ibn Ali, Imam Hussein’s half-brother, who made great sacrifices during the battle.
He was martyred as he tried to bring water for women and children in the Imam's camp, who had no water to drink for days due to a siege by the enemy.
Each year on Tasu’a, mourners throng around eulogists at religious centers and mosques, beating their chests to their tunes and shedding tears in memory of the suffering imposed on Imam Hussein (AS), his family, and followers.
Muslims mark Tasu'a, a day before martyrdom anniv. of the third Shia Imam https://t.co/Vb8YSbu1IA— Press TV (@PressTV) August 29, 2020
Donning black attire to show their sorrow, they also march in processions and distribute votive food.
Many Shia pilgrims even go on pilgrimage to Iraq, where they take part in mourning rituals at the holy shrines of Imam Hussein (AS) and Abbas ibn Ali in the city of Karbala.
This year, however, mourning ceremonies are different as large gatherings have been banned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In Iran, people are taking part in outdoor events while observing social distancing rules imposed to help slow the virus spread.