Shias, Sunnis, and people of other faiths from world countries have been on a spiritual sojourn to the Iraqi city — many from Iran and on foot — since almost three weeks ago.
Karbala is the site of Imam Hussein’s Holy Shrine.
This year, October 30 is the Day of the Arbaeen, when many of the pilgrims hope to be at the shrine to observe mourning rituals.
At least two million pilgrims have passed border checkpoints from Iran into Iraq.
Iran has established camps along the paths leading to the border with Iraq to accommodate the pilgrims.
According to Press TV, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has set up a field hospital near one border crossing, and, as of Sunday, has provided medical services to at least 5,000 pilgrims.
Many people, mainly Iranians and Iraqis, are doing volunteer work along the routes to Karbala — offering everything from drinking water, sugar dates, meals, and clothing to sewing work and shoe polishing — all of them free of charge.
Arbaeen, meaning “the fortieth” in Arabic, is observed 40 days after Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar calendar month of Muharram, when Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was martyred along with dozens of his companions at the hands of the tyrant of the time, Yazid I, more than thirteen centuries ago.