Meanwhile, some people have travelled to Zanjan from foreign countries including Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Qatar and the Republic of Azerbaijan to take part in the mourning event. Officials have put the number of the mourners at 500,000.
The Zanjanis hold the ceremony each year on the 8th day of the month of Muharram, that is, two days before Ashoura, which is the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.
Ashoura marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the third Shia Imam, and his 72 faithful companions at the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE.
They were martyred at the hands of the army of Yazid ibn Muawiyah, the oppressive caliph of the time.