To celebrate the birthday of the savior of mankind, the Owner of the Order and Time (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), the annual festival of candles in its sixteenth edition was held near his holy shrine on Saturday evening 13th Sha'ban 1437 AH corresponding to the 21st May, 2016, under the auspices of the two general secretariats of the holy shrines of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them), under the slogan "Imam Al-Mahdi: the hope of the oppressed on earth", in the presence of a large number of visitors of the holy city of Karbala and a number of the notables and officials of the two holy shrines.
The ceremony included lightig 1182 candles, the age of the Imam of our Time (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), arranged in a creative artistic way to form a specific expression that varies each year, and this year, the design was "Al-Mahdi The Heir of the Prophets."
The festival began with the recitation of verses of the holy Quran by the Reader Hasanein Al-Hilo, followed by the word of the two general secretariats of the holy shrines of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them), delivered by Sheikh Ali Al-Asdi from the Department of Religious Affairs at the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine, he started is by presenting the congratulations and blessings to all believers in all over the world in the birth anniversary of the savior of humanity, the Sultan of the Order and the Time (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), urging them at the same time to adhere to his principles that are the principles of his fathers and grandfathers (peace be upon them) and to pray for his holy reappearance. Sheikh Al-Asdi has also spoken about what the believers should do in the time of the occultation of their Imam.
Then many poems followed to urge on the love of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), following their path and morals, with the participation of poets from inside and outside Iraq, such as Ali 'Asili Al-'Amili from Lebanon, 'Aqeel Al-Lewati from Oman in addition to Abi Mohamad Al-Miyahi, Feras Al-Asdi, Karrar Al-Karbalai, Ghassan Al-Quraishi and Jassem Harbi, as well as the participation of the Radood Ahmad Al-Musawi and the young radood Yusuf Al-Maliki.
The attendees then headed to lighten the candles, and the first lighted candle was named after one of the martyrs of the brigade of Ali Al-Akbar (peace be upon him), the martyr Taha Ahmad Al-Hanoon, and which was lighted by his father, who has thanked the organizing committee of this festival for this gesture.
It is to mention that the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine has announced earlier its readiness to welcome the visitors of the eve of mid Sha'ban for the Ziyarat of Imam Al-Hussayn abd his brother Aba Al-Fadl Al-Abbas (peace be upon him) and that it has prepared a security and service plans for this purpose.
It is worth mentioning that the Imam Al-Mahdi (peace be upon him) is Abu Al-Qassem Mohammad son of Al-Hassan, Mahdi of this nation and its desired hope who will revive the right and justice and will restore to the nation its freedom and dignity and will fill the earth with justice and equiy after that it was filled with injustice and oppression. He was born on the fifteenth of Sha'ban 255 AH in Samurra in northern Iraq, and he was the unique child of his parents, and it was almost a month before that the Muhtadi Al-Abbasi takes the reigns of power. His aunt Lady Hakeema daughter of Imam Mohammad Al-Jawad (peace be upon both of them) attended his birth. His father Imam Al-Hassan Al-'Askari (peace be upon him) was martyred and he was then five years old. And Allah granted him the wisdom and made him a proof for the two worlds and the Imam of Muslims, as he made Jesus son of Mary a prophet in the cradle. His father Imam Al-Hassan Al-'Askari (peace be upon him) hid him from the people eyes and only the closest Shia knew about him. The Muslims followers of Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon him) celebrate his birthday every year in such blessed days of mid Sha'ban.