Muharram festival by Debarshi Mukherjee

For Religion / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee

The Muharram festival symbolizes the beginning of the new Islamic year. Muharram word is derived from the word ‘haram’ which means “forbidden”.

People celebrate this as the first month of the twelve months of Islamic lunar calendar day when they see the crescent moon. It is celebrated by the people of Muslim community to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (including his family members and followers), a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. He was killed including with his family members and followers in AD 680 during the Battle of Karbala. People also remember Ali (the son-in-law of Prophet) and his elder son Hassan while celebrating the Muharram because they too suffered a lot and died for the rights of the whole Muslim community.

The entire month of Muharram is considered as sacred during which fighting is strictly prohibited. First ten days of this festival is called as the period of mourning. According to the history, it is considered that Prophet Mohammed had no successor as he never named anyone. So his followers have been elected as his successors. Hussain, the younger son of Ali, was assassinated on tenth day in month of Muharram that’s why the event is also referred as Ashura. This led to the division of whole Muslim community into Shias and Sunnis. The day is celebrated by the Shia Muslims by considering themselves rightful successors of the Prophet Mohammed (Ali, Hassan and Hussain). They mourn the death of Prophet’s successors during the Muharram and on the occurrence of crescent moon they recite the plaintive verses, on the sweetened cold drink by wearing the black dress in the memory of the Imam Hussain

Male and female participants congregate in public for ceremonial display of their devotion to Imam Hussain and in remembrance of his suffering. Expressions of grief / Matam, an act of mourning such as sine-zani (beating the chest), zanjeer-zani (beating oneself with chains) and qama-zani –also known as tatbir (hitting oneself with swords or knives) – have emerged as common features of the proliferating mourning-processions. The entire documentary was covered in Kolkata, West Bengal, India

A kid learning the act of mourning /
A kid learning the act of mourning / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee
Zanjeer Zani (Act of Mourning) / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee
Zanjeer Zani (Act of Mourning) / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee


Debarshi Mukherjee, an Indian born photographer, has been associated in the field of photography for the last 2-3 years.  He is a member of the “Federation of Indian Photography” and is associated with the photography group Creative Art Solution, which comprises of other internationally acclaimed photographers. Within a short span of time his photographic efforts have been recognized globally in countries like India, Serbia, Greece, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Bangladesh, UK, Australia, Wales, Turkey, Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovakia, China, Singapore, Iran,  UAE, Macedonia, Switzerland, Montenegro, Romania. He has received multiple awards and critical acclamation for his photographic work. His works have also been published on various websites and print media in UK. He has loves to explore genres of Life, Human Interest, Photojournalism, Street and documentary styles.

By qualification he is a B. Tech & Masters in Energy Management. He works as a Sustainability Manager in an organization of high repute. But his heart and his passion lie with photography. He believes in capturing a slice of life in each of his photographs, which uphold the reality and beauty of the world that surrounds us. With an excellent team to work with his journey has only begun and there are many milestones to be achieved.

Preparing for the Act of Mourning
Preparing for the Act of Mourning  / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee
Zanjeer Zani (Act of Mourning) / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee
Zanjeer Zani (Act of Mourning) / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee
A Mourner / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee
A Mourner / Muharram festival / Debarshi Mukherjee

In between the Act_06 Mourning_11 Part of the Ritual_10 Sine Zani (Act of Mourning)_08 The Procession_09 Father and Daughter both participating in the procession_12



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