“Going anywhere special for The Festival this year?”
“Usually we spend Paradise at home, but this year we’re going on a 12-day luxury cruise to Baghdad.”
“Really? Oh, I’m jealous. My husband just can’t miss the Ridvan golf junket in Las Vegas, so it’s going to be more reading and pomegranate tea by the pool for me…”
No, I haven’t heard many conversations like this at devotionals or reflection meetings, either! (And aren’t we lucky? Our Holy Days still focus on the holy part.) Still, it is the Most Great Festival, and who knows what it will be in futures that more or less distantly shine in our imaginations? As with the 19 Day Feast, so with Ridvan: we have only the barest notion of how to celebrate them. As with everything, we’re learning, and nothing stops our education more quickly than the thought that we know how to celebrate our festivals and nineteen-day spiritual gatherings. They will be “unimaginably glorious”, as the Guardian might have said, but for now we do the best we can. Continue reading
The most holy time of year in the Baha’i calendar is almost here, so that means it’s also time for another Baha’i Blog quiz.
Ridvan is a time of celebration and jubilation for Baha’is around the world, and if you’re still trying to come up with ideas on how you can celebrate it with your community, then check out this Baha’i Blog post for some great ways to celebrate: 16 Novel Ideas for Your Next Holy Day
You may also want to have a read of these past two Baha’i Blog articles about Ridvan in order to brief yourselves on the significance of Ridvan before you jump head-first into the quiz!
- What is Ridvan and why does it have 12 days?
- The Two Gardens of Ridvan
We hope you enjoy the quiz, and of course, the team at Baha’i Blog would like to wish everyone a very happy Ridvan!
Every year, Baha’is the world over gather in their local communities on the first day of Ridvan to elect the nine members of their Local Spiritual Assembly. Every adult Baha’i at the age of 21 is eligible to be voted for, and they have the responsibility to participate and vote for these nine members of the community who will volunteer their time to run the administrative affairs and assist in the spiritual well-being of their respective local communities for the year ahead.
When one thinks of elections, perhaps for many of us what immediately comes to mind are political parties and candidates, expensive campaigns, televised debates, the digging up of dirt on the opposing party, and copious amounts of campaign flyers and confetti.
This is not the case however with Baha’i elections. There are no political parties or independent candidates. Rather than debates, there is community consultation. Rather than smear campaigns, there is encouragement and accompaniment. Rather than campaign flyers and confetti, there are prayers and personal meditation. Continue reading
Image by Molly Stevens (Flickr)
As Baha’is, we believe that the foundation of all the divine religions is one. Ever so often, we’ll be putting up posts for our ‘Changeless Faith Series’, in which we look closer at some of the similarities between the divine religions, in an attempt to more fully understand what Baha’u’llah meant when He said, “This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future.”
This year, the Christian celebration of Easter coincides with Ridvan. What does Easter have to do with Ridvan? you might ask. Well, not very much, it would seem, and at first glance the two seem fairly unrelated. But over the past few days, I’ve found myself reading up about the Baha’i understanding of the events which Christians celebrate at Easter and I realised that once you remove the customs and traditions which have come to become synonymous with Easter, the real significance of Easter is very closely linked to the significance of Ridvan. Continue reading
Ridvan is a 12 day festival commemorating the time Baha’u’llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan meeting with visitors before His exile to Constantinople. The dates when Ridvan is celebrated shift and move in the Gregorian calendar from year to year but they always span the 13th day of Jalal to the 5th of Jamal in the Baha’i calendar. Ridvan (which means “paradise” in Arabic) commemorates Baha’u’llah’s declaration in 1863 as the Promised One of all religions.
To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the ‘Everlasting Father,’ the ‘Lord of Hosts’ come down ‘with ten thousands of saints’; to Christendom Christ returned ‘in the glory of the Father,’ to Shi’ih Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the ‘Spirit of God’; to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha. Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By
This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) describes how, as work presses on at the site for the Shrine of Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’is around the world are remembering His urgent call for universal peace, especially today, on Naw-Ruz, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and a day of spiritual renewal. Continue reading
This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) describes how journalists from over 55 media outlets across Italy attended a press conference in Milan to learn about the preparation of the marble that will clad the underside of the trellis, the central plaza of the Shrine of Abdu’l-Baha, and the eight columns of the main edifice. Continue reading
This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) describes how work on the plaza walls of the Shrine of Abdu’l-Baha has been completed, marking a new stage of the construction, and the complex process of building the intricate trellis that will span the central plaza has begun. Continue reading
This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) describes how many of the distinctive architectural features of the design of the Shrine of Abdu’l-Baha are becoming visible as work progresses. Continue reading
This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) describes how the first two columns of the main edifice of the Shrine of Abdu’l-Baha have been raised. Each now stands 11 meters above the central plaza floor. Continue reading