Every year hundreds of thousand Iranians visit the fronts of the Iran -Iraq war (1980-1988) during their New Year (Noruz) holiday, in the last week of March. This trip is called ' Rahian-e Noor', or, Caravan of Light. Coming August 2008 it will be 20 years ago that a ceasefire between the two countries was signed.
The pilgrims, often family members of those who died, travel with busses from all over the country to visit the places where the fighting was the heaviest. Iran lost over half a million soldiers during the eight year trench war with neighbouring Iraq. The ones who have fallen, ' martyrs' as they are called here, are revered all over the Shia country.
Exhibitions show portraits of those who have fallen, the pilgrims travel in groups along the front lines where they pray, look at staged war scenes and have lunch right on the former battlefields.