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Muharram/Ashura in India

Muharram (or Muharrum) is a gazetted holiday in India, marking the start of the Islamic year. It is a day off for many workers in India.

Man Reading Quran
Making time for prayer during Muharram.
Making time for prayer during Muharram.
©iStockphoto.com/Samina Imran

What do people do?

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Some Muslims fast during daylight hours on the ninth and 10th or 10th and 11th days of the month. They may also attend special prayer meetings in mosques or private homes.

Not all Muslim groups observe this occasion in the same manner. Some Muslims regard Muharram as the month of mourning, commemorating the Battle of Karbala. Muharram is primarily an Islamic holiday but people of other religions may also take part in or observe the Muharram activities in India.

Public life

The tenth day of Muharram is a gazetted holiday in India so government offices, post offices and banks are closed on the day. Islamic stores, businesses and other organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. Those wishing to use public transport on the day may need to contact the local transport authorities to check on timetables.

Large prayer meetings, parades and marches may cause local disruption to traffic. This is particularly true of areas of India with a predominantly Muslim population.


Both Sunni and Shia Muslims observe the 10th day of Muharram in India and worldwide. Many Shia Muslims observe Muharram as a month of mourning. The 10th of Muharram marks the date when carnage took place at Kerbala and when Imman Hussain died in 680 CE. Imman Hussain was the Prophet Muhammed's grandson. Many Muslims believe that he died on the ninth, 10th or 11th day of the month of Muharram. It is also believed that God created Adam and Eve on the 10th of Muharram, which was also when an Egyptian pharaoh and his soldiers drowned in the Red Sea later in time.

Muharram/Ashura Observances

Note: During a gazetted holiday, government offices and most businesses are closed so people have a day off work.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
TueJan 302007Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
MonDec 282009Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
FriDec 172010Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
TueDec 62011Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
SunNov 252012Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
ThuNov 142013Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
TueNov 42014Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday
SatOct 242015Muharram/AshuraGazetted Holiday

Quick Facts

Muharram, or the Islamic New Year, is a public holiday in India.

Muharram/Ashura 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Name in other languages

Note: During a gazetted holiday, government offices and most businesses are closed so people have a day off work.
List of dates for other years

Other holidays in October 2015 in India

Other calendars

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