2,500 pilgrims arrive in Mashhad on foot 

May 22, 2023 - 18:42

TEHRAN –Some 2,500 foreign and domestic pilgrims have recently entered Mashhad on foot to celebrate the birthday of Imam Reza (AS) on Wednesday, a local official has said. 

The pilgrims are from the Iraqi cities of Karbala, Samarra, and Najaf, as well as different Iranian cities, Hossein Rezai explained on Monday. 

Until Wednesday, an estimated 7,500 pilgrims who have started their foot pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam, will also arrive in the city, the official added. 

Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Razavi province, is Iran’s holiest and second-largest city which embraces the shrine complex of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam.

Before the coronavirus puts almost everything on lockdown, Mashhad played host to thousands of travelers and pilgrims who come from various Iranian cities, neighboring countries, and even across the globe to visit the holy shrine.

Over the past couple of years, neighboring Iraq has been one of Iran’s most important markets for tourism and pilgrimage. In January, the deputy tourism chief Ali-Asghar Shalbafian announced that Iran had renewed arrangements to facilitate travels for Iraqi nationals. “For Iraqi tourists visiting Iran, a new system has been implemented to ensure their safety and comfort.”

In 2021, the two neighbors agreed to abolish visa requirements for air travelers.

The announcement came after President Ebrahim Raisi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met in Tehran, discussing various issues including visa waiver, a joint railway project, and increasing the level of trade.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Iraqi constituted Iran’s largest source of tourists. In return, hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims head for the holy Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala each year to attend the Arbaeen pilgrimage, aka the Arbaeen trek, to mark an end to the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).



Leave a Comment