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The Badi (Baha’i) Calendar: An Overview

July 26, 2014, in Articles > Holy Days & Baha'i Calendar, by


The recent letter from the Universal House of Justice about the worldwide adoption of the Badi Calendar has generated a lot of questions and excitement, so we thought it would be a good time to provide a general overview of this unique calendar.

Are the Badi Calendar and the Baha’i Calendar the same thing?

Absolutely. The Baha’i Era began with the Declaration of the Bab. He delineated a new calendar to mark its passage of time and to set a pattern of community life and He named it the Badi Calendar. Badi means “to create anew” as well as “wondrous” and “unique” in Arabic. Baha’u’llah later approved and elucidated on the Badi Calendar. 1

What is the history of the Badi Calendar?

The details of the Badi Calendar were first set forth in the Persian Bayan. Baha’u’llah confirmed its validity in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, clarified that the last month of year is a month of fasting and that it concluded with a festivity that inaugurates a new year. He also stated that the calendar begin – in terms of counting years, not in terms of determining the new year’s day – with the Declaration of the Bab.

How is the calendar structured?

The Badi Calendar is a solar calendar and like many other calendars, it has days, months and years:

Days

As with the Gregorian calendar, a week in the Badi calendar has 7 days. They are:

  • Jalal (Glory) — this day corresponds with the Gregorian Saturday
  • Jamal (Beauty) – Sunday
  • Kamal (Perfection) – Monday
  • Fidal (Grace) – Tuesday
  • Idal (Justice) – Wednesday
  • Istijlal (Majesty) – Thursday
  • Istiqlal (Independence) – Friday 2

Months

The year is divided into 19 months of 19 days, with the Intercalary Days (Ayyam-i-Ha) of either 4 or 5 days occurring before the last month of the year. The months of the year are as follows:

  • Baha (Splendour)
  • Jalal (Glory)
  • Jamal (Beauty)
  • Azamat (Grandeur)
  • Nur (Light)
  • Rahmat (Mercy)
  • Kalimat (Words)
  • Kamal (Perfection)
  • Asma (Names)
  • Izzat (Might)
  • Mashiyyat (Will)
  • Ilm (Knowledge)
  • Qudrat (Power)
  • Qawl (Speech)
  • Masa’il (Questions)
  • Sharaf (Honour)
  • Sultan (Sovereignty)
  • Mulk (Dominion)
  • Ala (Loftiness), the month of Fasting.

Years

Each period of 19 years is called a “Vahid” and 19 Vahids are called a “Kull-i-Shay”. 3 In its letter, the beloved Universal House of Justice states that this year will conclude the 9th Vahid of the 1st Kull-i-Shay. It is an auspicious event.

Each year in a Vahid also has its own name. They are: Alif, Ba, Ab, Dal, Bab, Waw, Abad, Jad, Baha, Hubb, Bahdaj, Jawab, Ahad, Wahhab, Widad, Badi, Bahi, Abha and Wahid (or Vahid). 4

Holy Days

The Baha’i Holy Days fall on the following days of the Badi Calendar: Naw-Ruz, 1 Baha; the Festival of Ridvan, 13 Jalal to 5 Jamal; the Declaration of the Bab, 8 Azamat; the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, 13 Azamat; the Martyrdom of the Bab, 17 Rahmat; the Day of the Covenant, 4 Qawl; and the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha, 6 Qawl. These dates are fixed within the calendar and do not move – in other words, the Declaration of the Bab will always be joyously celebrated on 8 Azamat.

In contrast, there are Holy Days that move according to the movements of the moon. These Holy Days are the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha’u’llah – which are also known as “The Twin Holy Days”. Beginning next year, they will be celebrated around the world in succession after the 8th new moon following Naw Ruz.

Up until this point, the Baha’is in the West observed these Holy Days according to the Gregorian calendar on October 20th and November 12th respectively and the Baha’is in the East celebrated them on the 1st and 2nd day of the Muslim month of Muharram. Beginning next year, we will all celebrate these special events at the same time.

In its letter about the universal implementation of the Badi Calendar, the Universal House of Justice also tells us of its legislation regarding when Naw-Ruz will occur. They write:

We have decided that Tihran, the birthplace of the Abha Beauty, will be the spot on the earth that will serve as the standard for determining, by means of astronomical computations from reliable sources, the moment of the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and thereby the day of Naw-Ruz for the Baha’i world.

Up until now, the Badi Calendar has been temporarily tethered to the Gregorian calendar and all of its months have been fixed. With this exciting legislation, the Badi Calendar will begin with the astronomically accurate vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and the entire year will be celebrated accordingly.

Where can I find out more about the Badi Calendar?

Gerald Keil’s book Time and Baha’i Era: A Study of the Badi Calendar, which was published by George Ronald in 2008, is a fascinating and in-depth study of the subject.

Nineteenmonths.com is a wonderful website that showcases photographs from various Baha’i artists each Baha’i month. It can be a unique tool to mark the passage of time according to the Badi Calendar.

Enablemetogrow.com has a great post about teaching children the names of the months and it includes a poster, video and song.

The implications, the meaning and the significance of the Badi Calendar will further unfold over time but in its 10 July 2014 letter, the Universal House of Justice wrote these stirring words:

The adoption of a new calendar in each dispensation is a symbol of the power of Divine Revelation to reshape human perception of material, social, and spiritual reality. Through it, sacred moments are distinguished, humanity’s place in time and space reimagined, and the rhythm of life recast. Next Naw-Ruz will mark yet another historic step in the manifestation of the unity of the people of Baha and the unfoldment of Baha’u’llah’s World Order.


Footnotes & Citations
  1. Gerald Keil, Time and the Baha’i Era, p.73[]
  2. Ibid. p.111[]
  3. Ibid. p.96[]
  4. Ibid. p.103[]
Posted by

Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.
Sonjel Vreeland

Discussion 35 Comments

Thank you so very much for the kind service of this article. I believe the month “Kamal” is missing from the list.

Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Phyllis Edgerly Ring (July 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM)

Hi Phyllis, thanks so much for your support and thanks for catching that! I’ve added the month of Kamal now. Thanks again!

Naysan

Naysan (July 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM)

This is a really great explanatory article. Gaining awareness of this calendar and learning to abide by it in its own right — rather than in relation to our traditional calendars — is going to be a fascinating adventure in the years ahead.

I hate to be one of those people who only comments when he finds a correction is needed, but … according to the relevant article that was published in numerous volumes of The Baha’i World, the book by the Bab that established the names and ordering of the days, months and years of the Badi calendar was the Kitab-i-Asma, the Book of Names. (The historian Nabil-i-Azam was given, by Baha’u’llah, the task of compiling and codifying the calendar through analysis of the original text of the Bab, according to that article; of course that’s a level of detail that isn’t completely necessary in the article as you’re presenting it, but I think it’s interesting anyway.) Also, in the last paragraph in the “Holy Days” section, I’d suggest using the word “astronomically” rather than “astrologically” — while either word would be accurate, there are overtones in the concept of astrology that aren’t universally well-received. Thanks so much and great job!

Bud Humphrey

Bud Humphrey (July 7, 2014 at 3:48 PM)

I heartily agree with your suggestion to change “astrologically” to “astronomically.” I disagree that the former word is at all appropriate. Astrology is in no way scientific. An excellent article otherwise. Thank you!

David Rome

David Rome (August 8, 2014 at 9:22 AM)

Despite of the missing Baha’i month of Kamal, the article is “deepening for old and new Baha’i’s alike. I posted a similar article at my page on Allvoices.

Alfredo B. Ancheta
Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines

Alfredo Ancheta

Alfredo Ancheta (July 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM)

Anyone else wonder why the word Baha is translated as Splendour when in all the other Writings it is translated as Glory (Glory of God, Most Glorious)? It seems more correct to me that the first month of the year would be Glory in English to correspond to the English translation of the Most Great Name.

Stephanie Eijsink

Stephanie Eijsink (July 7, 2014 at 7:57 PM)

I asked the World Center and they gave me a quote where the Guardian says that Baha can mean ‘at once the Glory, the Splendour and the Light of God.’
So that’s my answer!

Stephanie Eijsink

Stephanie Eijsink (September 9, 2014 at 1:51 PM)

I believe the quote Stephanie refers to is the one on page 94 of God Passes By. These three words also appear together in the Glossary of The Dawn-Breakers, defining the word “Baha.”

Paul Mantle

Paul Mantle (September 9, 2014 at 12:12 AM)

is the calendar on http://calendar.bahaiq.com/ going to be updated with the Holy Days as mentioned in the letter?

Isra

Isra (July 7, 2014 at 5:37 AM)

sorry… i hope that didn’t come out as rude or demanding… i’m very grateful for this site and the calendar site has been helpful when i create our community calendar 🙂

Isra

Isra (July 7, 2014 at 5:41 AM)

Hi Isra,

No it didn’t come across as rude or demanding at all, but the calendar.bahaiq.com site is not ours so we have no idea if it will be updated or not. We are however hoping to create our own calendar for Baha’is to use and will let everyone know once that’s ready.

Thanks for your support and I’m glad you like our site! 🙂

Naysan

Naysan (July 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM)

Hi Naysan,

We are interested in installing a Badi calendar module on our website ‘Archives – the Memory of Community’
It would be nice if we can add today’s date somewhere on the website similar to the one they have at the right upper corner of their website at
http://www.bahaiq.com
When your calendar is ready, can you share a code of your calendar module with us? Then with a little luck (We don’t have much experience with programming) we can rewrite it to meet our needs and put on our website.

Archivarius

Archivarius (July 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM)

Here’s another small–really small–nitpick. Under the heading “Years” where you list the Vahids, there should be a comma after “Hubb.” (Otherwise it looks like ‘Hubb Bahdaj” is all one name and we only get 18 Vahids.) Excellent article you have here though!

Paul Mantle

Paul Mantle (July 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM)

Thanks Paul!

Naysan

Naysan (July 7, 2014 at 9:43 PM)

Thank you for this useful explanation of our Calendar. Another thing to be grateful for: our beloved House of Justice taking this momentous and unifying action and the blessing of wonderful Baha’i websites such as yours which promulgate the Message. Thank you for your service! The discussion here is rich and enlightening.

Anne

Anne (August 8, 2014 at 4:26 AM)

Thank you very much for such a lovely written, informative and helpful article on the Badi Calendar and the upcoming transition the House of Justice will soon make on the calendar’s worldwide unific implementation.

Reggie Newkirk

Reggie Newkirk (August 8, 2014 at 12:46 PM)

It will be interesting to see what the worldwide bicentennial observances in 174 & 176 BE, (2017 and 2019), will be like for observing the births of two Manifestations of God when we consider the power and majesty of what took place in 1992 for the Centenary of Baha’u’llah’s passing. Holy Years? Will 175 BE in between be designated a Holy Year?

Paul Mantle

Paul Mantle (August 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM)

One way of getting to know the calendar better is through http://www.bahaidate.today – it shows the current day on the Badi calendar every day, including the names of the weekday, day of the month and month. You can subscribe to be notified via email or through Facebook.

Lessan Vaezi

Lessan Vaezi (August 8, 2014 at 5:42 PM)

I appreciate sincerely your loving and very useful initiative.

Dr.F.Rahimi

Dr.F.Rahimi (December 12, 2014 at 9:55 PM)

The Baha’i Holy Day dates are fixed but the Gregorian date moves when it’s leap year as it is on the martyrdom of the Bab which falls on the 10th July in 2015.

Pesa White

Pesa White (September 9, 2014 at 2:15 AM)

If you are wondering why the date to commemorate the martyrdom of the Bab is moved from 9th of July to the 10th of July next year, when leap year is actually on the year 2016, is because the year 2016 according to our calendar begins on Naw-Ruz (March 21) next year(2015). ( happy to answer any questions or queries)

Pesa White

Pesa White (September 9, 2014 at 7:22 AM)

I have been asked if there are any other Baha’i Holy days dates that’s been moved because of leap-year. I’m assuming the twin Holy Birthdays because UHJ said to commemorate them on the days after the occurrence of the 8th new moon. Next year the 8th new moon occurs on the 11th of November so technically the twin Holy Birthdays should be commemorated on the 12th and 13th but UHJ said it will be commemorated on the 13th and 14th of November. ( if you want more information;email me ([email protected]) )

Pesa White

Pesa White (September 9, 2014 at 2:22 AM)

Great article, and very helpful. To add to it, my graphic design for the Badi calendar, updated for 172 BE, is on the calligraphy page on my website, for free download and distribution: http://randalldighton.webplus.net/calligraphy.html

Randall Dighton

Randall Dighton (October 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM)

I would like to reconfirm that it was The Bab who named the calender Badi. So it was not named after Badi

Tempat Store

Tempat Store (February 2, 2015 at 2:34 AM)

Thank you for this great article.
But I have a question :
The word ” Vahid”, how this word is pronounced? واحد or وحید
Every 19th year is called “Vadih”.
Is this pronounced واحد or وحید ؟
Thank you.

Mike Rahmani

Mike Rahmani (July 7, 2015 at 5:22 PM)

It is pronounced واحد

Shideh Shayani

Shideh Shayani (March 3, 2017 at 3:23 AM)

To make daily use of the Badí calendar, in professional and private life, I’ve created a Bahá’í Calendar app that integrates directly with the iPhone’s (or iPad’s) own calendar systems and all additional accounts, like Google, Outlook, corporate calendars and more. This app can replace or be used in parallel with Apples Calendar app (as it shares the same data). Please take a look at http://Bahá’í calendarapp.com for more.

Per-Willy Schulz

Per-Willy Schulz (August 8, 2015 at 8:09 AM)

Thanks for laying this out in an easy-to-read article. And there’s an APP for that – for learning the complete name of any weekday / year /month / day / . Here is a link to show you what it looks like http://bit.ly/1PkyPaS . (Android)

Druzelle Cederquist

Druzelle Cederquist (August 8, 2015 at 12:03 AM)

With naw ruz at sunset on March 19, and feast dates 1 day earlier, why isn’t martyrdom of the Bab on July 8?

Trip

Trip (March 3, 2016 at 1:42 AM)

Hi Trip,
because if naw ruz falls on march 21st the martyrdom of the Bab is commemorated on the 10th of July, and if naw ruz on the 20th march then the martyrdom on the 9th.
In the Badi Calendar the martyrdom of theBab is commemorated on the 17 Ramat and it does not change regardless of the changes in the Gregorian dates

Pesa White

Pesa White (February 2, 2020 at 4:43 AM)

A resource for drawing on the names in the Baha’i Calendar as spiritual resources:

Transforming Time: Turning Godly Perfections Into Goodly Actions
• 20 articles

http://bahaiteachings.org/series/transforming-time-turning-godly-perfections-into-goodly-actions

All of the names of the Baha’i months have been covered so far. There are a few more articles to follow.

Christopher Buck

Christopher Buck (May 5, 2016 at 7:45 PM)

I had the impression that the Badi calendar was based on a fast prayer by the 5th imam from which the Bab took the names of the Badi calendar months. I think I have read this prayer translated, starting with “Baha.” I am not having any luck finding it right now.

Margaret Zambrano

Margaret Zambrano (August 8, 2016 at 10:46 PM)

Hello Margaret,

Thank you for your insightful comment! I have found a reference note in Gerald Keil’s book Time and the Baha’i Era in which Gerald, in turn, cites Badi’u’llah Panahi as writing:

“The names of the months correspond to the attributes of God listed in the fasting prayer of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq. Baha’u’llah makes reference to this, and in particular, to the Most Great Name Baha which occurs as the first in the list, in a Tablet to be found in the Ma’idiy-i-Asamani IV p.23.”

Gerald Keil goes on to say: “Some sources assign the authorship of this prayer instead to Ja’far’s predecessor, Iman Muhammadu’l-Baqir. The prayer begins: ‘O my God! I beseech Thee by thy Baha in its supreme splendour, for all thy Baha is truly luminous. I verily, O my God, beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Splendour.’ This supplication is then repeated eighteen times, each time substituting the word baha and its derivatives with another of the divine attributes used by the Bab as the names of the months.” (p.287)

I realize this is a cumbersome reply — quoting a reference note that quotes another author’s notes is not a very straightforward reply! This is what I was able to find on this subject and I hope it proves helpful.

Thank you again for your comment!

-Sonjel

Sonjel Vreeland

Sonjel Vreeland (August 8, 2016 at 11:30 PM)

Another website that provides today’s information in the Badí’, or Wondrous, calendar… https://wondrous-badi.today/

Glen Little

Glen Little (November 11, 2017 at 5:53 AM)

I have nothing to sa.y apart from thanking you

wirsiy edward

wirsiy edward (November 11, 2022 at 7:32 AM)

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