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 eighteenth edition was held near the holy Maqam of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), 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), in cooperation with Haj Miqdad Karim al-Ta'i from Essawirah district; the person who had the first initiative, 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 festival, which was held on the evening of (13th of Sha'ban 1439 AH) corresponding to (April 30, 2018) near the Maqam of the Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance) included lighting (1184) candles representing the age of the Imam of our time (may our souls and the souls of both worlds be a redemption for the soil of his arrival), formed to write "al-Mahdi, Nassir al-Mu'mineen [supporter of the believers]" arranged in an artistic manner that forms a particular phrase that changes each year.
The ceremony began with the recitation of verses from the holy book of Allah by the reader of the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine Haj Mustafa Al-Sarraf, then the national anthem was played and Surat Al-Fatihah was read in honor of the martyrs of Iraq. This was followed by the speech of the General Secretaries of the two holy shrines delivered by Sheikh Maitham al-Zaidi, in which he said: "Thanks to God, we were successful to attend and participate in this blessed forum celebrating the birthday of the Savior of mankind (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), and this occasion coincides with his 1184 years old…"
Then many poems followed to urge on the love of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), and on following their path and morals, with the participation of many poets, such as, Taleb al-Furati, Fallah al-Baroodi, Mohamad al-Fatimi and Hussam al-Hamzawi. Then the Radood Ahmed al-Musawi closed the ceremony by reciting the Dua al-Faraj.
It is worth mentioning that this festival is an annual tradition that the Iraqis held since 15 years, before the fading of the dictatorship in 9th of April, 2003, which was one of the darkest circumstances that prevailed in Iraq since it exists. And despite the harshness of those days, this Iraqi citizen fulfilled his dream in order to commemorate the night of the fifteenth of Sha'baan, and since the small ceremony of lighting the candles for the birth anniversary of the saviour of mankind, Imam Al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance) was developed to be a festival under the supervision of the holy shrines of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them).
Haj. Miqdad Karim Hadi is a citizen from the City of Essawirah in Wasit Province, he was the founder of the tradition of lighting the candles by the number of the age of Imam Al-Hujjah son of Al-Hassan (peace be upon both of them), he adds a candle each year, as an indication of the age of the Awaited Imam (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance). And this year 1439 AH, thanks to the Almighty and the care of the Imam of the Time (peace be upon him), during the festival, 1184 candles were lighted.