Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Hosay Festival

  • Ken ChitwoodEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_259


A 10-day festival in Trinidad commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein during the Days of Ashura, which is known for its garish and colorful tadjahs (floats).


During the first 10 days of the Islamic month of Muharram, Shi’i Muslims around the world annually commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein and reenact the tragedy in many and various ways. Prominently, in places such as Iran and India, Shi’i Muslims put on passion plays that include displays of sorrow and remorse such self-flagellation and other forms of symbolic suffering. These forms of self-mortification differ according to context. In Iraq, Shi’is beat themselves with swords. In Lucknow, India tadjahs (or taziyas) feature drums and mourners who reenact the Battle of Karbala with various loud, and boisterous, chants. Shi’i Muslims also visit Hussein’s shrine in Karbala and gather together for remembrance. For Shi’i, the Days of Ashura commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein also act as a means of calling out...


Hosay Hussein Shi’i Islam Trinidad 
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  1. Korom F (2002) Hosay Trinidad: Muharram performances in an indo-Caribbean diaspora. University of Pennsylvania Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Persaud P (2019) Islam in Trinidad. In: Gooren H (ed) Encyclopedia of Latin American religions. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA