The occasion is one of the most important ones among Shiite Muslims, who have a strong devotion to Imam Mahdi (PBUH).
Imam Mahdi (PBUH) was born on the 15th day of the month of Sha’ban on the lunar calendar around 1,200 years ago.
He is known as the Savior among Shiites, who believe he will reappear on earth as per divine decree, establishing peace and ridding the world of injustice, discrimination, and other instances of evil.
Imam Mahdi (PBUH)’s father, Imam Hassan al-Askari, would keep his birth and identity from the tyrants of the time, who had learned about the divine prophesy concerning Imam Mahdi. Their efforts and ill intention, however, failed to either come in the way of the Imam’s birth or harm him afterwards.
Shiite Muslims thus await the Imam’s reemergence, which is expected to transpire on a Friday, with enthusiasm.
To mark the Imam’s birthday, Iranians bedeck the streets, hang lights around villages, towns, and cities, attend festive events at mosques and religious centers, and distribute votive refreshments.
What follows are photos of the celebrations across Iran, including those of the people of Isfahan gifting flowers to foreign tourists on the occasion of Imam Mahdi’s birthday: