Bahai News - Festival serves as preparation for fast
Festival serves as preparation for fast
SINGAPORE, 25 February 2003 (BWNS) -- Baha'is in more than 200 countries and territories are celebrating a four-day festival
involving hospitality, gift giving, charity and social gatherings.
The festival, which runs from the evening of 25 February until sunset on 1 March, serves as a spiritual preparation for a fast during the
last month of the Baha'is calendar, which begins on March 2 and ends on March 20.
Celebrations of Ayyam-i-Ha, as the festival is called, are taking different forms in different locations. In Singapore, for example,
Baha'is are observing Ayyam-i-Ha with a blood donation drive and a picnic for families in a beachside park.
In Hungary, Baha'is plan to celebrate the festival with a musical program and a costume party for children in the Hungarian Culture
Foundation building in Budapest.
In Milford, New Hampshire, in the United States, the Baha'is have invited friends and neighbors to join them for devotions and then
entertainment, which will include learning a local folk dance, watching jugglers, enjoying music, and gift-giving.
The Baha'i calendar was initiated by the Bab, the Forerunner of the Faith's Prophet-Founder, Baha'u'llah, who later confirmed it.
The calendar comprises 19 months of 19 days. The Ayyam-i-Ha festival falls on the four days (five in a leap year) needed to balance out
the solar year of 365 days. The time of this festival is also known as "Intercalary Days".
Of this period Baha'u'llah writes: "It behoveth the people of Baha, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their
kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify
During the fast which follows, Baha'is abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset as a reminder of the need for individuals to
control their material desires. It is seen as a time of meditation and prayer during which Baha'is refresh and reinvigorate themselves
There are exemptions from the fast for the young and elderly, and for those who are pregnant, ill or who are engaging in heavy work.
The fasting period ends with the joyous Naw Ruz (New Year) festival, which begins at sunset on March 20.
©Copyright 2003, Baha'i World News Service
Return to: UGA Baha'i Association's Home Page
Baha'i News Archives' Index
This page was designed by Sohayl Moshtael suggestions, and news submissions are welcome, and
The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the
University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.
Page last updated/revised 030225