How to insert background image on HTML <i> Tag using css?

This question might be silly to you but It’s the reason why I asked is because I always see the source code of some big commercial website having this tag for example and I’m wondering why:

<a href="" title="" target="_blank"><i class="myclass" id="myId"></i></a>

and it displays images or icons I guess. So I’m curious and I want to know how to insert an image on html i tag with css. Thanks in advance.

Source: css3

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