WATCH: Shiite Muslims hold ‘Ashura’ mourning rituals outside White House

Shiite Muslims marked Ashura, which falls on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar, with self-flagellation and other mourning rituals outside the White House.

The day commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE, a pivotal event for Shiites who view Hussein as the Prophet’s rightful successor. Commemorations involve mourning rituals, passion plays reenacting the martyrdom, and in some regions, large processions with participants engaging in ritualistic self-flagellation including chains and blades as an expression of grief.