Islamic New Year’s Day is a public holiday in Syria. As in other Muslim lands, the first day of Muharram is a time of reflection, prayers and family events.
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Syrian Islamic New Year celebrations are traditionally a time when people visit family and friends door to door to wish them a blessed new year, and a time of spending time with family and friends.
In recent years, the war-torn country has had a hard time keeping up those old traditions, but some do so nonetheless.
Awal Muharram is a time when the meaning of Islam is brought into focus since this is the day in C.E. 622 when Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina.
Muharram is also a time when Muslims, especially Shia Muslims, remember the tragic martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Husayn ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram, 61 AH. Also on 10 Muharram, Sunni Muslims remember the deliverance of Moses and the Israelites from Pharoah.