Baha'i Holy Days

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Mar 21, 2004.

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  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    In the Badi` calendar of the Bab, Naw-Ruz is the day of Baha of the month of Baha, a day called by the Bab `the Day of God' (yawmu'llah). It was also the `Day of the Point' (yawm-i-nuqt3ih) -- i.e. the day of the Bab. Finally, it was a day associated with Him Whom God shall make manifest, the Promised One of the Bab. The remaining eighteen days of the month were associated with the eighteen Letters of the Living, an indication that the Bab envisioned the Naw-Ruz festivities encompassing the nineteen days of the month of Baha, just as the traditional Iranian Naw-Ruz festivities last thirteen days. During Naw-Ruz the Bab permitted the use of musical instruments and other luxuries prohibited at other times. During the night of Naw-Ruz each believer was to recite 361 times the verse `God beareth witness that there is no God but Him, the Ineffable, the Self-Subsistent'; and during the day, `God beareth witness that there is no God but Him, the Precious, the Beloved'. Fasting was prohibited during the whole month of Baha. During the six years of His mission, the Bab and His followers observed Naw-Ruz, although it is difficult to say how much this represents a distinctively Babi holy day. Baha'u'llah adopted the Babi holy day of Naw-Ruz as the feast day following the fast and stressed that it is associated with the Most Great Name, bearing as it does Baha'u'llah's own name.

    `Abdu'l-Baha explained the significance of Naw-Ruz in terms of the symbolism of the new life of spring. Baha'u'llah defines Naw-Ruz as the Baha'i day on which the vernal equinox occurs. Thus, even if the equinox should occur just before sunset, that day -- which in the Baha'i calendar began at the moment of sunset on the previous day -- is Naw-Ruz. At present, however, Naw-Ruz is fixed as 21 March for Baha'is in all countries outside the Middle East, regardless of exactly when the equinox occurs.

    - From Baha'i Encyclopaedia Article by John Walbridge
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    If I may ask, where does Naw-Ruz fall in the Gregorian Calendar?

    EDIT: My bad - saw in another that it's March 21st - the day the original thread was posted. :)
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Baha'is celebrate Naw-Ruz on March 21st!

    That's alright...I should have made it clearer when i posted.

    Baha'is celebrate Naw-Ruz on March 21st. It's supposed to coincide with the Vernal Equinox ... Sometimes the Vernal Equinox can fall on March the 20th. For this reason it's possible in the future we Baha'is could vary by a day when we celebrate it, but for now we observe it on March 21st!

    We suspend work and attending school on Naw-Ruz and generally celebrate socially.

    The next Baha'i Holy Day is actually a series of three days called Ridwan in April between April 21st, April 29th and May 2nd.

    I'll have more to say on that later, but generally Ridwan is a celebration of the Declaration of the Mission of Baha'u'llah in the Ridwan Garden near Bagdad in 1863 and April 21st is also important for us because we hold elections all over the planet on the local level for our Spiritual Assemblies!

    There are no priests or professional clergy in the Baha'i Faith and our elected local bodies the Local Spiritual Assemblies represent our local administration.

    More on that later!

    - Art
     
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Declaration of the Bab May 22-23rd:

    The evening of May 23nd begins the observance of the Declaration of the Bab which occurred in the Moslem calendar on 5 Jama'diyul Avval 1260 A.H. in Shiraz....

    "Has your teacher," He further enquired, "given you any detailed indications as to the distinguishing features of the promised One?" "Yes," I replied, "He is of a pure lineage, is of illustrious descent, and of the seed of Fatimih. As to His age, He is more than twenty and less than thirty. He is endowed with innate knowledge. He is of medium height, abstains from smoking, and is free from bodily deficiency." He paused for a while and then with vibrant voice declared: "Behold, all these signs are manifest in Me!" ....

    "That night, the eve of the fifth day of Jamadiyu'l-Avval, in the year 1260 A.H., corresponded with the eve preceding the sixty-fifth day after Naw-ruz, which was also the eve of the sixth day of Khurdad, of the year Nahang. "This night," He declared, "this very hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals. Render thanks ..."

    Source:

    http://www.bahaindex.com/writings/DawnBreakers/chapters/3.html#52

    The House of the Bab where this event occurred and which was a Baha'i Holy Place and a site of pilgrimage was seized and destroyed.

    See:

    http://www.uga.edu/bahai/2002/020722.html

    The Badi Calendar which was revealed by the Bab begins in 1844 and Baha'i Celendars begin with that year, so this is the 161st year after the Declaration of the Bab in Shiraz.
     
  5. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi, Brian! :)

    Naw-Ruz, the Baha'i New Year, falls in the West on the day from sunset March 20 (when we end our Fast) to sunset March 21.

    Best! :)

    Bruce
     
  6. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Declaration of the Bab coming up

    the next Baha'i Holy Day coming up is the Declaration of the Bab - May 23rd (actually starting the evening of the 22nd)

    1844 was a most prophetic year.... It was also 1260 of the Moslem calendar.....

    It was about an hour after sunset when my youthful Host began to converse with me. "Whom, after Siyyid Kazim," He asked me, "do you regard as his successor and your leader?" "At the hour of his death," I replied, "our departed teacher insistently exhorted us to forsake our homes, to scatter far and wide, in quest of the promised Beloved. I have, accordingly, journeyed to Persia, have arisen to accomplish his will, and am still engaged in my quest." "Has your teacher," He further enquired, "given you any detailed indications as to the distinguishing features of the promised One?" "Yes[....]" He paused for a while and then with vibrant voice declared: "Behold, all these signs are manifest in Me!" He then considered each of the above-mentioned signs separately, and conclusively demonstrated that each and all were applicable to His person. I was greatly surprised, and politely observed: "He whose advent we await is a Man of unsurpassed holiness, and the Cause He is to reveal, a Cause of tremendous power. Many and diverse are the requirements which He who claims to be its visible embodiment must needs fulfill[....] I vowed to God that should my Host again refer to the subject, I would, with the utmost humility, answer and say: "If you be willing to substantiate your claim, you will most assuredly deliver me from the anxiety and suspense which so heavily oppress my soul. I shall truly be indebted to you for such deliverance."[....]He took up His pen and with incredible rapidity revealed the entire Surih of Mulk, the first chapter of His commentary on the Surih of Joseph. The overpowering effect of the manner in which He wrote was heightened by the gentle intonation of His voice which accompanied His writing. Not for one moment did He interrupt the flow of the verses which streamed from His pen. Not once did He pause till the Surih of Mulk was finished. I sat enraptured by the magic of His voice and the sweeping force of His revelation. At last I reluctantly arose from my seat and begged leave to depart. He smilingly bade me be seated, and said: "If you leave in such a state, whoever sees you will assuredly say: `This poor youth has lost his mind.'" At that moment the clock registered two hours and eleven minutes after sunset.[....]"This night," He declared, "this very hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals.
     
  7. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Eugene Burnhoff

    Among the least know aspects of the date of 1844 is the fact that emediately in that period (say fall 1843 through April 1844) this man did two remarkable things - established that modern day Zoroastrianism is actually the same religion as the ancient religion of the Parsi - and - the first modern translations of Buddhism into a western language (French) which then Thoreau translated into English in May 1844.

    It's extremely hard to document these events today. The closest I can come on the internet is this citation which speak obliquely of certain publications. Another partial reference is here . Here is partial mention of some of his work on Zoroastrianism ("decoded the grammatical structure of this ancient language".)
     
  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thoreau and oriental thought:

    Allah'u'Abha!

    I was interested in your note that:

    "first modern translations of Buddhism into a western language (French) which then Thoreau translated into English in May 1844."

    I don't recall anything about Thoreau translating Buddhist writings from French to English... Could you provide a source for that? I am aware he liked the Bhagavad Gita but i think he read it in English....as I recall.

    Nice to read your notes!

    - Art
     
  9. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Thoreau

    Thanks!


    " The American encounter with Buddhism began in 1844 with Henry David Thoreau's translation of a passage from a French edition of the Lotus Sutra and Edward Elbridge Salisbury's lecture on the history of Buddhism at the first annual meeting of the American Oriental Society."

    This reference states the translation was based on Salisbury's work but everything else I've seen bases it on Burnhoff - perhaps the "French edition" spoken of is Burnhoff's work.

    The matter may not be entirely clear as I also see this claiming a Unitarian did the first translation. It is possible Thoreau did a snippet but the first full work was by her. I don't know. I've just read several references to Thoreau's translation from the French but perhaps it was just his editorship as this second site suggests. In fact this is kind of suggested here

    In any case - between the millenial expectations of Christianity (which borrows heavily from Judaism) and Islam, and this moment of notable breakthroughs for Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, 1844 in hindsight is a most interesting year!!
     
  10. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Huh! Well whatya know!

    Thanks.... I learned something new today about Henry David Thoreau!

    I didn't know that!

    - Art[​IMG]
     
  11. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    more on 1844

    This paper tape recording of the historic message transmitted by Samuel F. B. Morse reads when decoded, "What hath God wrought?" It was sent by him from the Supreme Court room in the Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore. Morse's early system produced a paper copy with raised dots and dashes, which were translated later by an operator. Across the top of this historic achievement Morse has given credit to Annie Ellsworth, the young daughter of a good friend, for suggesting to him what message to send. She obtained it from the Bible, Numbers 23:23.
     
  12. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    1844 summary

    So in 1844 you have the Protestant Christian Millerites looking for the fullfilment of religious prophecy, the Shayki Shi Muslims also looking, the first modern western translations of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism (thus linking modern Zoroastrianism with the ancient religion of the Persians and the Magi wise men who found Jesus as a Babe), and the first telegraph message, the founding event of the Babi and Baha'i Faiths, and finally also the birthday of 'Abdu'l-Baha who would one day be it's Head, and Exemplar.

    Happy Declaration of the Bab!
     
  13. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    This weekend on Saturday May 29th is the anniversary of the ascension of Baha'u'llah and is usually observed by a prayer meeting around 3:00 a.m. It is a Holy Day on which work is suspended. Baha'i days begin and end at sunset as in Judaism and Islam.

    "As to the influence of holy Beings and the continuation of Their grace to mankind after They have put away Their human form, this is, to Baha'is, an indisputable fact. Indeed, the flooding grace, the streaming splendours of the Holy Manifestations appear after Their ascension from this world. The exaltation of the word, the revelation of the power of God, the conversion of God- fearing souls, the bestowal of everlasting life - it was following the Messiah's martyrdom [crucification of Christ] that all these were increased and intensified. In the same way, ever since the ascension of the Blessed Beauty [Baha'u'llah], the bestowals have been more abundant, the spreading light is brighter, the tokens of the Lord's might are more powerful, the influence of the Word is much stronger, and it will not be long before the motion, the heat, the brilliance, the blessings of the Sun of His reality will encompass all the earth."

    - Abdul-Baha
     
  14. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi, Art! :)

    In fact, this is true of ALL the Abrahamic religions!

    The day begins at sunset in Christianity (just as in Judaism, Islam, the Babi Faith, and the Baha'i Faith)!

    This is why Christmas Eve, for example, is a full-fledged Christmas celebration!

    And I can, for example, show you passages in the Lutheran Service Book that, describing when certain liturgical colors are to be used (on altars, stoles, etc.) say things like

    "WHITE. From the vespers of Christmas Eve to, but not including, the vespers of Septuagesima eve"

    and

    "RED. From the vespers of the eve of Pentecost to, but not including, the vespers of Trinity Sunday eve."

    So if not a universal, day-beginning-at-sunset is at least a commonplace. . . .

    Best! :)

    Bruce
     
  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks Bruce!

    Allah'u'Abha and thanks Bruce!

    Hope you have a meaningful Holy Day.... I had a small gathering at my home this morning from 2:30-4:30 a.m. and we read the Prayer of Visitation from Baha'u'llah and read from the fourth book of Adib Teherzadeh's Revelation of Baha'u'llah ...The part about the Ascension of Baha'u'llah written by Nabil-i-Azam, a very poignant and beautiful piece indeed...

    I recall one Ascension of Baha'u'llah where we went on a prayer vigil from midnight till dawn... Some of our "Gung-Ho" Baha'is used to show up for this sort of thing....

    Save the Lutheran Service Book though as I was a Lay Eucharistic Minister in the Episcopal Church and used to asist the Priest on occasion so saw the color of the altar and the vestments change around from season to season.

    The Priest used to have me consume the Sacramental elements left over from the Eucharist and well... well another time for that story!

    but glad to be a Baha'i and proud of it!

    - Art
     
  16. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Martyrdom of the Bab - July 9th Noon

    The next major Baha'i Holy Day will be an observance by the world Baha'i community of the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab which occurred 7/9/1850 .... Work and school is suspended and the community gathers for prayers at noon on the 9th of July.

    There are many parallels between the martyrdom of the Bab and the Gospel version of the crucifixion of Christ... The Bab was thirty years old and His mission was about six years in duration... There was a trial which was similar in some ways to the reported Sanhedrin where Jesus was convicted... The Bab was elevated on a post in a court yard of a carravansery... and there was an odd event associated with the execution.... A regiment fired a volley of bullets and when the smoke cleared, the Bab was no where to be seen. He was later found finishing a conversation He had with a bekliever nearby... but the crowd watching the execution was unnerved by this and a new regiment had to be found to carry the execution forward.

    A young man who was a disciple of the Bab stepped forward and insisted n being executed with Him ...so he was positioned over the heart of His Beloved and executed along with Him... Their remains were cast into the Tabriz mote and overnight the Bab's disciples took them and hid them for some fifty years...later the remains were placed in the Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel.

    For more information see

    http://bahai-library.com/books/dawnbreakers/chapters/23.html

    - Art
     
  17. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Re: Martyrdom of the Bab - July 9th Noon

    There is also an interesting cached newspaper story about this and related information.
     
  18. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Birth of Baha'u'llah observed November 12th

      2500.12 in reply to 2500.11 
    November 12th is the observed by Baha'is as a Holy Day commemorating the Birth of Baha'u'llah. So work and school are suspended and Baha'is and their friends gather for prayers and socializing.

    The Birth of the Abhá Beauty [Bahá'u'lláh] was at the hour of dawn on the second day of the month of Muharram [first month of the Islamic lunar calendar] or November 12, 1817 in the Gregorian calendar.

    Bahá'u'lláh was born on November 12, 1817, two years before the Báb, Whose revelation set the stage for His own. As with the Báb, there are no elaborate traditions surrounding His birth. He was born Husayn Alíy-i-Núrí in Tehran. His father was Mírzá Abbás Núrí, also known as Mírzá Buzurg, a prominent and wealthy man who had been a minister at the court of Fath-'Alí Sháh and subsequently the governor of Burujird and Luristan.
     
  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The Day of the Covenant November 26th

    The Day of the Covenant (November 26)

    Baha'is observe this day to remember the Covenant of Baha'u'llah with us. It is not a day though where we suspend work or school activities:

    'Abdu'l-Bahá was born on May 23, 1844, the very day that the Báb declared His mission to Mullá Husayn. Although a number of Bahá'ís wished to celebrate the Master's birthday, He wouldn't permit it. That day, He insisted, belonged to the Báb, not to Him. In the face of repeated requests, however, He established the Day of the Covenant as a day Bahá'ís could celebrate in His honor if they wished.

    While the Day of the Covenant is in a sense a celebration of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's life, it is in a larger sense a celebration of the establishment of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh, His promise that in exchange for His followers' obedience He would ensure their unity and through them establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the "Center of this Covenant", the one to whom Bahá'u'lláh commanded His followers should turn after His death. The Master and the Covenant cannot be separated; any celebration of one is automatically a celebration of the other.

    - From "Planet Baha'i" at Delphi Forums
     
  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

    Not really a Holy Day but a festive occasion before our Nineteen Day Fast, Ayyam-i-Ha lasts for four days and means "Days of Four" on a leap year we add a day! and get FIVE DAYS to celebrate.

    Baha'is gather in each others homes or Baha'i Centers and share food and gifts or just have fellowship over a four-five day period. These days are our Inter-calary Days... The Baha'i Calendar (more correctly called the BADI Calendar) was deviised by the Bab and consists of nineteen months with nineteen days in each month. Each month and day is named after an attribute of God.

    Multiplying 19 months x19 days = 361 days for the year and adding four days for Ayyam-i-Ha you have the solar year of 365 days....366 in a leap year.

    Ayyam-i-Ha is followed by a nineteen day fast in which food and drink are abstained from beween sunrise and sunset.

    More about that later...

    - Art

    :) :) :) [​IMG]
     
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