Ashura is a public holiday in Pakistan, as it is in many other nations with large Muslim populations, including neighbouring Afghanistan and India.
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The term “Ashura” comes from the Arabic word for “tenth,” and Ashura falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram.
Both Sunni and Shia Muslims celebrate Ashura, but they do it differently and for different reasons. Pakistan is mostly Sunni, but estimates are that 10 to 25 percent of the population is Shia. Given that there are over 200 million people in Pakistan, this may equal as much as 40 million Shias, the third-highest Shia community in the world. Thus, both Ashura traditions are strong in Pakistan.