Bahá’í New Year a time of renewal and celebration


Garden surrounding the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh

This Thursday, March 21, Bahá’ís around the world will be celebrating the Bahá’í New Year (or Naw-Rúz), one of the nine Bahá’í holy days. The celebration comes at the end of the annual 19-day fast (March 2-20) during which Bahá’ís abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset as a way of calling to mind their spiritual nature and detaching from their material desires.

As the Bahá’í New Year coincides with the first day of spring (the vernal equinox), the outward evidences of new life symbolise a time of inner spiritual renewal, an idea shared in common with many world traditions which celebrate holidays at this time of year.

Of this time of year Bahá’u’lláh (Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith) wrote: “Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Rúz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee…Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee.”

As with all Bahá’í holy days, New Year’s celebrations will take on different forms throughout the world, as fixed rituals are eschewed by the Bahá’í teachings. Typical Naw-Rúz parties, which will begin after sunset on March 20, encourage community fellowship and often include programmes of prayer, spiritual upliftment, music and feasting.

This year, Bahá’ís welcome the year 170 of the Bahá’í Era, a cycle which began in 1844 when their calendar was initiated by the Bahá’í figure known as the Báb and later confirmed by Baha'u'llah. The Bahá’í calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), plus four or five additional "Intercalary Days" which adjust the calendar to the solar year.

Baha’is across Seychelles celebrate the New Year
This Thursday, 21 March 2013, is the Bahá’í New Year for more than two thousand Bahá’ís across Seychelles, but the celebrations will begin the evening before because the Bahá’í day begins at sunset.

The event planned for Seychelles is typical of the kind of multi-cultural celebration that will be observed in many localities where Bahá’ís - who embrace human diversity - reside around the islands.

On that great Feast Day on which the breath of life is wafted over all created things, the Bahá’í community sends its most loving greetings to all residents in Seychelles.

Contributed by the Bahá’í Faith - Seychelles

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *