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On the Day of Ashura a group of men gather in the cold of the early morning. Ashura is observed by Shi'a (Shiite) Muslims and marks the end of a period of mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, who died at the Battle of Karbala (680 CE). Grand processions, religious sermons, charity work and most notably, self-flagellation and displays of intense grief, are all traditions of Ashura.