At Iran's multiple border crossings with Iraq, a terrific number of pilgrims surge forward to one of the biggest religious pilgrimages on the planet.

Iran (IMNA) - Men and women, young and old, toddlers in strollers and elderly pushed in wheelchairs, they converge from all over the Islamic republic of Iran in Karbala, the holiest sites of Shia Islam where the shrine of Imam Hussein is located.

The pilgrims stream past crossing stays, called “Mokebs”, where people dish out free foods to the pilgrims around the clock ranging from full meals to fruit juices. In addition to refreshments, free blankets and tents are offered to anyone needing a rest.

For Shiites the Arbaeen march is holy to the extent that just serving the pilgrims is thought to bring heavenly reward.

The pilgrimage marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and his followers at Karbala, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), who refused to accept the leadership of Yazid as he took the position of power by force.

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