Bahá’í Holy Days

Bahá’í Holy Days and Special Occasions

There are nine Holy Days in the Bahá’í calendar that are set aside to be observed as holy days and work is suspended, and two commemorative occasions associated with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – the Son of Bahá’u’lláh (refer to http://info.bahai.org/abdulbaha.html). These holy days are celebrations and commemorations of important events in the lives of the central figures of the Bahá’í Faith. On the Bahá’í calendar each day begins at sunset and ends at sunset. Many Holy Day observances begin at the start of the day and are therefore are usually shortly after sunset the day before the event, for example Naw-Rúz is on March 21st but commonly the celebrations are held on the evening of March 20th. {Note: Resources for specific Holy Days are listed under the “Resources’ tab.} Bahá’í Holy Days and Anniversaries

Naw-Rúz (March 21): The Bahá’í New Year’s Day coincides with the spring equinox. Naw-Rúz is an ancient Persian festival celebrating the “new day” and for Bahá’ís it marks the end of the annual 19-Day Fast and is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.Ridvan Festival

Festival of Ridván (April 21-May 2): The annual Bahá’í festival commemorates the 12 days (April 21-May 2, 1863) when Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided in a garden called Ridván (literally Paradise) in Baghdad, Iraq. At this time He publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s Messenger for this age. The first (April 21), ninth (April 29) and twelfth (May 2) days are celebrated as holy days when work is suspended.

Declaration of the Báb (May 23): Bahá’ís commemorate the day for when the Báb, the herald of the Bahá’í Faith, announced in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran) on the evening* May 22nd 1844 that He was the herald of a new messenger of God. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended. (* the Bahá’í day starts and ends at sunset)

Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (May 29): Bahá’ís observe the anniversary of the death Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, on May 29, 1892, who was in exile outside Akká (also known as Akká or Acre), in what is now northern Israel. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.Shrine of The Bab

Martyrdom of the Báb (July 9): Bahá’ís commemorate the anniversary of the execution of the Báb (Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad) – the herald of the Bahá’í Faith, by a firing squad on July 9, 1850, in Tabriz, Persia (now Iran). It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.

Birth of the Báb (October 20): The day is an observance of the anniversary of the birth on October 20, 1819, in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), of Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, who later took the title of “the Báb,” meaning “the Gate.” The Báb was the herald of the Bahá’í Faith. The day is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.

Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (November 12): Bahá’ís observe the anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh (born Mirza Husayn-’Ali) on November 12, 1817, in Tehran, Persia (now Iran). Bahá’u’lláh, which means the “Glory of God,” is the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.

Day of the Covenant (November 26): Bahá’ís commemorate Bahá’u’lláh’s appointment of his eldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the Center of His Covenant.

Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (November 28): Bahá’ís observe the anniversary of the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor, on November 28, 1921 in Haifa, in what is now northern Israel.

Other significant occasions for Bahá’ís

Bahá’í Month of Fasting
The last month in the Bahá’í calendar, March 2-20, is dedicated to the Bahá’í Fast. During this time, Bahá’ís between 15 and 70 years of age do not eat or drink for 19 days from sunrise to sunset and set aside time for prayer and meditation. Exemptions from the Fast occur for illness, pregnancy, nursing mothers, extended travel and arduous physical labor.

World Religion Day (Third Sunday in January): The day is devoted to proclaiming the oneness of religion and the belief that world religion will unify the peoples of the earth. The Bahá’í-sponsored observance was established in 1950 by the Bahá’ís of the United States.

Ayyám-i-Há or Intercalary Days (February 26-March 1): Ayyám-i-Há, or “Days of Há,” are devoted to spiritual preparation for the Fast, celebrating, hospitality – helping the poor, the sick, the elderly, charity and gift giving. They are celebrated the four days (five in leap year) before the last month of the Bahá’í year.

Race Unity Day (Second Sunday in June): The Bahá’í-sponsored observance promotes racial harmony and understanding and the essential unity of humanity. It was established in 1957 by the Bahá’ís of the U.S.

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