Warning: Photos include blood, children, and bloody children. Tbh I wouldn’t recommend looking if you have any doubts.
The Shia Muslim festival of Ashura creates a very public and gory spectacle of mourning each year. In most countries there’s not as much blood as there is in Yangon. Ashura is the 10th day of the first month; related events happen in the lead up to it, and 40 days after for Arba’een.
Day 7 — Punja Mosque. Three days before Ashura, this fire-walking happens at one of the mosques in downtown Yangon.
After all the men in white with banners had done their thing (maybe 10 times across each?) it seemed like anyone else who wanted a go could.
Day 9 — Procession through downtown Yangon from Mogul Mosque on 30th St to Punja on 38th, past the city’s famous Sule Pagoda and along one of the busiest roads. There were a few traffic police around who helped out, but otherwise the city just kept going on around them.
Last warning about blood. I was a bit traumatised taking these.
Day 10 — Ashura