"Fortunate are ye to have obeyed the commandment of God, and kept this fast during the holy season. For this material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God."
[Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Baha, #35]
Bahá'u'lláh called on Bahá'ís to refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset for nineteen days each year from March 2nd to March 20th. This fasting period, is considered a time for deep reflection on one's own spiritual progress. Efforts are made to detach oneself from material desires. Bahá'ís rise before dawn to eat breakfast and to pray. Those who are ill are exempt from fasting, as are pregnant and nursing women, people under 15 or over 70 years old, travelers, and those engaged in arduous physical labor. The dinner to break the fast is eaten after the sun set each day. The period of fast ends with the celebration of "Naw Ruz" the Bahá'í New Year (the Spring Equinox).
Following is the list of the Sunrise and Sunset times for the city of Athens GA. (March 2006). For other areas of Unites States, a list of the times can be found at the U.S. Naval Observatory's Web Site
Sunrise Sunset Date _________________________________________________ 07:01 18:31 `Alá' 1 March 2 Thursday 07:00 18:31 `Alá' 2 March 3 Friday 06:58 18:32 `Alá' 3 March 4 Saturday 06:57 18:33 `Alá' 4 March 5 Sunday 06:56 18:34 `Alá' 5 March 6 Monday 06:54 18:35 `Alá' 6 March 7 Tuesday 06:53 18:36 `Alá' 7 March 8 Wednesday 06:52 18:36 `Alá' 8 March 9 Thursday 06:51 18:37 `Alá' 9 March 10 Friday 06:49 18:38 `Alá' 10 March 11 Saturday 06:48 18:39 `Alá' 11 March 12 Sunday 06:47 18:40 `Alá' 12 March 13 Monday 06:45 18:40 `Alá' 13 March 14 Tuesday 06:44 18:41 `Alá' 14 March 15 Wednesday 06:43 18:42 `Alá' 15 March 16 Thursday 06:41 18:43 `Alá' 16 March 17 Friday 06:40 18:43 `Alá' 17 March 18 Saturday 06:39 18:44 `Alá' 18 March 19 Sunday 06:37 18:45 `Alá' 19 March 20 Monday** ** The Vernal Equinoxe takes place on March 20, 2006 at 12:33 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC)Naw-Ruz (The Baha'i New Year) coincides with the Vernal Equinox. In 2006, in Athens, GA it will be March 20th, at 7:33am (US Eastern Standard Time). Baha'u'llah explains that this day is to be celebrated on whatever day the sun passes into the constellation of Aries (the Vernal Equinox), even should this occur one minute before sunset (Q and A 35). Hence Naw-Ruz could fall on 20th, or 21st of March, depending on the time of the Equinox.
To obtain U.S. civil time from UTC, use the following table. To obtain Atlantic Daylight Time subtract 3 hours from UTC Atlantic Standard Time subtract 4 hours from UTC Eastern Daylight Time subtract 4 hours from UTC Eastern Standard Time subtract 5 hours from UTC Central Daylight Time subtract 5 hours from UTC Central Standard Time subtract 6 hours from UTC Mountain Daylight Time subtract 6 hours from UTC Mountain Standard Time subtract 7 hours from UTC Pacific Daylight Time subtract 7 hours from UTC Pacific Standard Time subtract 8 hours from UTC Alaska Daylight Time subtract 8 hours from UTC Alaska Standard Time subtract 9 hours from UTC Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time subtract 9 hours from UTC Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time subtract 10 hours from UTC Samoa Standard Time subtract 11 hours from UTC
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