TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Millions of Shiite pilgrims are converging on the holy city of Kerbala for the Arbaeen religious commemoration, the largest annual gathering of Muslims.
Every year, a march is organized in which Muslims walk approximately 92 kilometers from the city of Najaf to Karbala.
The whole route is divided into 1,452 poles for the ease of pilgrims, where the distance between each pole is 50 meters. The approximate walking time is 16 to 23 hours, but pilgrims continue to arrive in Karbala after walking for about four to five days.
The walk officially starts on the 16th day of Safar in the lunar calendar, four days prior to Arbaeen. Pilgrims are expected to arrive in Karbala on the night or evening before Arbaeen.
Throughout the Najaf-Karbala route, food and services like medical support, housing, and prayer areas, resting spots, refreshments and even massaging services are provided free for those who participate in the walk. All these services are provided individually by Iraqi citizens and some foreign communities as well.
Millions of Shiite Muslims partake in this epic journey every year to visit the Holy Shrine of Imam Hossain (AS) on foot to commemorate the 40th day after martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).