Nakhl is a tall wooden object and because of its resemblance to the date palm tree, is known Nakhl among Iranians. Now that you have learned the name of our bizarre object, you may be wondering what this Nakhl is good for?
As Peter Chelkowski explains, Nakhl is described as a wooden bridal pavilion, decorated with mirrors, lanterns, precious pieces of cloth and silk shawls. Sometimes, flowers and green branches are also added to Nakhl for decoration. Furthermore, it is also described as a bier to which swords, daggers, mirrors and valuable fabrics are attached.
Mostly, Nakhls are used in a ritual ceremony called Nakhl-Gardani (carrying Nakhls) in the procession of Ashura, the 10th day of the Arabic month of Muharram when Imam Hussain was killed in Karbala by the troops of Yazid, the second Caliph of the Omayyid Caliphate. Actually, the nakhl is a symbol of Imam Hussein’s coffin, carried around during his mourning ceremonies.
If you pay careful attention, Nakhl also bears a resemblance to the cypress tree, the symbol of beauty in Iran, and thus representing the beauty of Imam Hussein. The daggers and swords attached to the nakh represent the objects by which Imam Hussein was wounded and killed. In addition, mirror decorations attached to the nakhl reflect light, turning it into a glittering object, signifying the shining aura of Imam Hussein’s corpse. Mirrors reflecting the mourners also gratify their wish of identification with their wronged Imam.