RELIGION

Muslim Shiites mark their most important religious ceremony

  • Lebanese Shiite supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, hold portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Shiite Yemeni rebels, as they march during the holy day of Ashoura, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Lebanese Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. The Arabic words in background read:"God is great, Death for America." (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese Shiite supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, hold portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Shiite Yemeni rebels, as they march during the holy day of Ashoura, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Lebanese Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. The Arabic words in background read:"God is great, Death for America." (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lebanese Shiite supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, hold portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Shiite Yemeni rebels, as they march during the holy day of Ashoura, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Lebanese Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese Shiite supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, hold portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Shiite Yemeni rebels, as they march during the holy day of Ashoura, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Lebanese Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lebanese Shiite supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, beat their chests as they march during the holy day of Ashoura, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Lebanese Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese Shiite supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, beat their chests as they march during the holy day of Ashoura, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Lebanese Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of men, boys, and several women, are commemorating the 7th century martyrdom of Prophet's Muhammad's grandson Hussein, in a Shiite tradition in Lebanon's south by lashing their foreheads and backs in a blood-soaked, open air parade.

Wednesday's ceremony was an ode to devotion to Hussein, killed on Ashoura, or the 10th day of battle in Karbala, in modern day Iraq, in 680 AD. The battle and his death marked the first major schism in Islam.

In the courtyard of the historic mosque of the southern town of Nabaityeh, boys as young as three wailed in bewilderment as they received incisions with a razor blade on their foreheads, to facilitate bleeding from the lashes.

Women, too, proceeded to the courtyard to cut their foreheads and pound their brows.