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Shia Muslims prepare for first Eid al-Ghadir celebrations since COVID-19

Yusef Jalali

Press TV, Mashhad

Every year in the lunar month of Zul-Hajjah, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Ghadir, an occasion marking the day when Prophet Mohammad appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Shia Imam, as his successor and the leader of Muslims some 14 centuries ago.

Here in Iran's northeast city of Mashhad, the shrine of Imam Reza is brimming with pilgrims who have come days ahead of the sacred festival.

Eid al-Ghadir comes eight days after another major festivity on the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. The occasion marks the climax of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Imam Reza is the eighth Shia Imam, whose bloodline goes back to the Prophet of Islam. He holds a special position among Iranians, since he spent his last years of life in Iran, away from his birthplace in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

His shrine hosts millions of pilgrims from around the world throughout the year, especially during religious occasions.

Iranians never miss a chance to come and visit the shrine of Imam Reza. This Eid al-Ghadir will be the first since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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