Bahai News - Festivals Bahai Ridvan
Festivals Bahai Ridvan
The festival of Ridvan, considered the "most great festival" in Bahai, is a
12-day celebration that started at sunset Friday and runs through sunset
May 2. Ridvan marks the public declaration of Baha Allah to his claim as
the great messenger of God, "The Promised One of All Religions," that the
Bab, Allah's predecessor, had predicted in 1844. The Bab had a six-year
ministry in Persia, where he called on people to purify and prepare
themselves for the coming of "He whom God shall make manifest."Within the
holiday, the first, ninth and 12th days are Holy Days, when work is
suspended. These days mark Baha Allah's arrival in the garden two hours
before sunset, the arrival of his family and his departure. Bahais have no
rituals, so there aren't many traditions, but most Bahai bodies do hold
elections for their governing bodies on the first day of Ridvan.
The day Baha Allah entered the garden, he made three announcements:
Followers were prohibited from fighting to advance or defend their faith.
One thousand years would pass before another prophet would appear.
At that moment, all the names of God would be fully manifest in all
things. Baha Allah, a top follower of Bab, was imprisoned in 1853. Bahais
believe that while he was there, God revealed he was to be that Promised
One. However, after his release he kept the revelation secret for 10 years.
Despite his quietness on that topic, he became very influential with the
people, prompting authorities in Baghdad to send him and his followers to
Constantinople. Before his departure in 1863, Baha Allah went to a garden
that has become known as the Garden of Ridvan. Ridvan means paradise, good
pleasure or splendor. (One source suggests riz-wan as its pronunciation.)
He spent 12 days there, preparing for the long journey. Guests of all walks
of life came to pay their respects. At some point in this period, Baha Allah
declared to some of the people gathered that he was the Promised One.
What happened today?
Christian History magazine, published by Christianity Today Inc.,
posts important dates in Christianity on its Web site. (http://
www.christianitytoday.com/)Here are today's events as quoted from
April 21, 1109
Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury and one of the most profound
thinkers of the Middle Ages, dies around age 76. He is known for his
argument that faith is the precondition of knowledge ("credo ut
intelligam"), his "satisfaction theory" of the atonement ("No one but
one who is God-man can make the satisfaction by which man is saved")
and for his ontological argument for God's existence.
April 21, 1142
Medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian Pierre Abelard
dies. Though well-known for his writings on revelation and the
relationship between faith and knowledge, he is probably most famous
for his love letters to Heloise, a nun.
April 21, 1855
Edward Kimball, a Sunday school teacher in Boston, leads 18-year-old
shoe salesman Dwight L. Moody to Christ at the Holton Shoe Store.
Moody went on to become the most successful evangelist of his day.
April 21, 1897
A.W. Tozer, devotional writer ("The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge
of the Holy") and influential pastor in the Missionary Alliance
Church, is born.
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Page last updated/revised 042401
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