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Naw-Rúz is the Bahá’í New Year, falling on the spring equinox and marking the end of the annual 19-Day Fast. Bahá’ís celebrate this day along with Zoroastrians, Sufis, some Muslims and other peoples. Naw-Rúz—meaning “new year” or “new day” in Farsi originated as an ancient Persian festival heralding the spring.

For Bahá’ís, the New Year is observed with feasting, celebrations and spreading joy. It also is a reminder that spring, just as it brings renewal of the physical world, also ushers in new spiritual light and reawakening.

Festival of Ridván 

This festival celebrates the 12 days in 1863 when Bahá’u’lláh, The Founder of the Bahá’í faith, announced His mission as the Messenger of God. During this time, He stayed in a garden in Baghdad that He called “The Garden of Ridván.” (Ridván means paradise in Arabic.) Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed Ridvan as the Holiest of Bahá’i festivals, with the first, ninth and twelfth days as Holy Days.

The First Day of Ridván begins at sunset on 13 Jalál (April 20 or 21), one month after the Gregorian calendar equinox. Bahá’í assemblies hold local, national and international elections on this day.

On the Ninth Day of Ridván, on April 29, the flooding Tigris receded enough to allow His family to cross and join Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden of Ridvan. 

On the Twelfth Day of Ridván on May 2, Bahá’u’lláh together with His family and a number of His disciples, Bahá’u’lláh left for Constantinople. The journey would turn into a lifelong exile for Bahá’u’lláh. Yet Bahá’ís celebrate this day with joy as the new beginning of their Faith. It is a symbol of renewal, peace, and Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of unity and progress for all.


Declaration of the Báb

May 23, 1844 marks the beginnings of the Babí/Bahá’í Faith in Shiraz, Iran when Sayyid `Alí Muhammad, a young merchant, proclaimed himself a new Manifestation of God. He further heralded another, Greater Messenger of God who would usher in an age of peace and justice. After His announcement, He took the title of Báb, which means “The Gate” in Arabic.

Holy Room
Ascention of Baha'u'llah_edited_edited.j

Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’u’lláh ascended after a brief illness in 1892. After spending most of His life as an exile and a prisoner, He was able to live His final years in relative tranquility. On this day, Baha’is around the world gather at 3 a.m. to observe the anniversary of the passing of Baha’u’llah. Filled with meditative contemplation and remembrance, Baha’is everywhere will reflect on the powerful teachings of this new Faith and remember the extreme sacrifices it took to bring the Bahá’í message of unity to humanity. The final resting place of Bahá’u’lláh is located in Bahji (in present day Israel).

Martyrdom of the Báb

Each year, Bahá’ís mark the Anniversary of The Báb's Martyrdom in 1850 by a firing squad of 750 soldiers along with a beloved disciple named Anis who begged to share His martyrdom. The Báb, which means “the Gate” in Arabic, was a Messenger of God whose role was to herald the coming of the latest Manifestation of God: Bahá’u’lláh. Today the remains of the Báb and Anis repose under a golden dome on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel. 

Shrine of the Báb

The Twin Holy Birthdays

The Festival of the Twin Birthdays or the Twin Holy Birthdays refers to two successive holy days in the Bahá'í calendar that celebrate the births of Two Central Figures of the Bahá'í Faiththe Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. They are observed on the first and the second day following the occurrence of the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz. This results in the observance of the Twin Birthdays moving, year to year, within the months of Mashíyyat, ‘Ilm, and Qudrat of the Bahá'í calendar, or from mid-October to mid-November in the Gregorian calendar.

Gardens of Akka

Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

This day commemorates the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The eldest son and successor of Bahá’u’lláh. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ascended from His earthly life on November 28, 1921, at His home in Haifa, Israel. He was The Exemplar of the Bahá’í teachings. Baha’u’llah referred to Him as “the Mystery of God” and “a shelter for all mankind”, however he preferred to be called “‘Abdu’l-Bahá” which means “the Servant of Baha” in reference to His servitude to Bahá’u’lláh. When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá passed away on 28 November 1921, He was eulogized as One who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” as a “pillar of peace” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”



​The Bahá’í solar calendar adds four intercalary days in most years and five days in leap years. These days, called Ayyám-i-Há (“Days of Ha”), generally fall between February 25 and March 1 on the Gregorian calendar. Bahá’ís celebrate this time with festivities, gifts, and charitable deeds. It is also a period of spiritual preparation for the annual 19-day fast, which takes place immediately following.

The Bahá’í Fast

Bahá’u’lláh designated nineteen days each year when adult Bahá’ís fast from sunrise to sunset each day. This period coincides with the Bahá’í month of Ala (meaning Loftiness). This is the month immediately preceding the Bahá’í new year, which occurs the day of the vernal equinox. The period of fasting is therefore viewed as a time of spiritual preparation and regeneration.

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