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Iranians mark birthday of Imam Mahdi amid pandemic

© Press TV

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, Tehran

Fireworks, illuminated streets and mass celebrations are among the main traditions in Iran when it comes to marking the birthday of the 12th Imam of Shia Muslims, Mahdi; the prophesied redeemer, who is believed to bring peace and justice to the world.

This year, there's no trace of mass celebrations, as the coronavirus pandemic has cancelled public gatherings.

It's the second year in a row that the coronavirus pandemic has called off this major festivity.

This street used to be the hotspot of the celebrations on the eve of the 15th of the lunar month of Shaʻban. But this year, people have cone up with other ways to celebrate the occasion.

This year, most families have stayed home and decorated their houses to celebrate the festivity.

They find Imam Mahdi's birthday a chance to pray to God to save them from the pandemic.

Unlike last year, this time, Tehran municipality has launched an initiative called Neighborhoods of Waiting, which is aimed to promote the tradition of waiting for the arrival of Imam Mahdi and at the same time calls for citizens to avoid mass celebrations and spend the festivity costs on charity works.

Imam Mahdi was born in 969 AD in Iraq. According to historical scriptures, when he was born, his father hid him from the ruler of the time who sought to dispose of him.

He is believed to be still living in occultation and will rise to rid the world of tyranny and injustice.

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