Tasht gozari

“Tasht gozari” or “tasht gardani” is a typical custom of Ardabil, and takes place in the cities ofWestern Azerbaijan and eastern, in Âstârâ, Tâlesh, in the region of Mâzandarân and even in Varâmin. In this rite, the basin (tasht) symbolizes the water of the Farât river which was prevented from entering Imam Hossein and his companions. This rite takes place three days before the start of Moharram and is accompanied by particular and deeply felt ceremonies. The basins that are used in this ritual are made of bronze or copper and are usually a few years old; they say that the oldest existing basin is found in the mosques of Ardabil, and belongs to the mosque "Bâzâr Châghusâzân" whose age dates back to that of "Shâh Abbâs I". After the funeral lamentations, the most important characters and followers of Imam Hossein in every neighborhood take the basins on their shoulders and enter the mosque and those present rise as a sign of respect and beat their chests in front of them; after which the most authoritative people go around the mosque, arrange the basins in their place and fill them with the water contained in the amphorae they have carried on their backs. Lighting candles and drinking the blessed water from these bowls together with funeral laments are typical practices of this rite.
After the ceremony is over, people take the water left in the basins home as a sign of blessing or distribute it to all relatives.

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