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A common element of Muharram, the first month of the Muslim calendar, is an ornately dressed horse, meant to represent Hussein's horse Zuljina. The Day of Ashura is observed by Shi'a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbal.  Grand processions, religious sermons, charity work and most notably, self-flagellation, are all traditions of Ashura.