Arbaʽeen Walk, the world's largest annual religious gathering
The Arbaʽeen Pilgrimage, or the Arbaʽeen Walk, is the world's largest annual public gathering, which takes place in Iraq to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the third Imam in Shia Islam.
The pilgrimage is a culmination of the 40-day mourning period of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him).
Imam Hussein was martyred along with his 72 companions 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.
Every year on Arba’een, millions of people from around the world flock to Karbala. Large groups of mourners travel on foot toward the holy city to take part in the largest annual Islamic gathering on earth. The ceremony falls on September 27 this year.
Last year, Iraq banned foreign pilgrims traveling to the country in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Iraqi officials have allowed a limited number of foreign pilgrims to enter their country this year.
Iranian pilgrims have been barred from traveling by land, and are only allowed to travel by air.