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Bahá'í Holidays

Updated on September 15, 2015
A Welcome Center at Chicago’s Bahai Temple has just opened. The temple itself is considered one of Illinois’ “Seven wonders”, according to the state tourism office
A Welcome Center at Chicago’s Bahai Temple has just opened. The temple itself is considered one of Illinois’ “Seven wonders”, according to the state tourism office

The Bahá'í Holidays refers to the sacred days in the Bahá'í Religion, also known as Bahá'í faith. It is a religion based onthe principles that were propagated by Bahá'u'lláh, who founded it in the 19th-century Persia. Bahá'í faith emphasizes the spiritual unity of humankind as it aims to unify all the human beings. Bahá'í Holidays follow the Bahá'í calendar, which is a Solar calendar used to mark the days around the year that are considered important by observers of the Bahá'í religion. Bahá'í is also called Badí‘, which means “wondrous” or “unique”. The solar calendar of Badí‘, unlike the Gregorian calendar, consists of years composed of 19 months. Every month contains 19 days each (361 days). Along with that 19 months and 19 days, there is also a provision for "Intercalary Days" which is an extra period. Years in the Badí‘ calendar system begin at thevernal equinox, and are counted with thedate notation of BE or Bahá'í Era, being the March 21st of 1844CE (common era) the first day of the first year, in which theBáb proclaimed his religion. However, there have been efforts to integrate the Badí‘ calendar to the Gregorian one, for the sake of convenience. The period from March 21st 2015 to March 20th 2016 is the year 172 according to their account.

Shrine Of The Martyrdom of the Bab Garden
Shrine Of The Martyrdom of the Bab Garden

The Bahá'í week, unlike the Gregorian calendar, starts on Saturday and ends on Friday. ResemblingIslam and Judaism, days begin at sunset on the previoussolar day and end at sunset of the present solar day. Additionally, Bahá'í writings state that Friday is to be kept as resting day.

One of the most important days for the Bahá’i is the Naw-Rúz. It literally means "New Day", and is celebrated at the spring equinox. Like many other cultures and religions, it symbolizes the triumph of nature over the cold winter. Spring is a time to celebrate and be thankful. The day before the arrival of Naw-Rúz, there is a feast as the sun sets. The event includes music and traditional dances. This is also a time to visit friends and relatives. Usually, these gatherings are accompanied with meals and gift exchanges.

Naw-Rúz also signals the first month of the Bahá´i calendar.

The other most significant holiday for Bahá´i is the birth of their prophet Báb. There is not much information about him, other than he was born on October 20th in 1819, in Persia. People celebrate his arrival telling stories about his childhood and praying. This is a day of spirituality and social bonding, not for work. It is open to everyone, so if you happen to live close to a Bahá´i circle, you will surely be invited to share their devotion for nature and god.

In total, there are eleven holy days in the Bahá'í calendar; on which nine of these, work is suspended.

The Bahá'í holidays and special days in accordance to the Gregorian calendar are as follows:

  • March 2nd - 21st - Nineteen Day Fast
  • March 21st - Bahá'í New Year or Naw Ruz
  • April 21st - First Day of the Ridván Festival
  • April 29st - Ninth Day of the Ridván Festival
  • May 2nd - Twelfth Day of the Ridván Festival
  • May 23rd - Declaration of the Báb
  • May 29th - Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
  • July 9th - Martyrdom of the Báb
  • October 20th - Birth of the Báb
  • November 12th - Birth of Bahá'u'lláh
  • November 26th - Day of the Covenant (work not suspended)
  • November 28th - Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá (work not suspended)

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