Bahai News - Bahais celebrate New Year

Bahais celebrate New Year

AFTER 19 days of fasting, the local Bahai community celebrated Naw Ruz or its New Year on March 21.

Naw Ruz falls on the day of the vernal equinox (when both hemispheres of the Earth are equally lit up by the sun).

The fasting starts in February. It requires Bahai followers to abstain from any food or drink from sunrise to sunset.

Spiritual Assembly (Malaysia) director-general (external affairs) Dr G. Gopinath said it is a day of praise and expression of gratitude to the Almighty.

"Naw Ruz is an ancient Persian festival but is now the biggest Bahai festival where we hold large gatherings and celebrate the day with joy, prayer and laughter.

"The celebration continues with the holding of `open house' the next day to entertain guests," he said at Restaurant Putra, Dataran Merdeka where the celebration was held.

Over 400 people from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor turned up for the dinner organised by the Local Bahai Community of Kuala Lumpur.

Entertainment included group singing, solo dancing, Indian classical dance, comedy and quiz.

Gopinath said the Bahai faith first came to Malaysia in 1951.

"There are about 5,000 Bahai followers in the Klang Valley," he added.

The Bahai faith started 157 years ago by BahaU Llah, a Persian who now has followers around the world.

©Copyright 2001, New Straits Times

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