The Baha’ís in Arlington begin celebrating their holiest religious festival at sunset on Sunday, April 20, 2014. It is also the time during which the community will elect a new Local Spiritual Assembly, the governing body for the Arlington Baha’í community.
The Festival of Ridvan is a twelve-day period commemorating Baha’u’llah’s announcement of His claim to prophethood and his departure from Baghdad in 1863, observed from sunset 20 April to sunset, 2 May. The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are major Bahá’í holy days on which work should be suspended.* Baha’i elections are normally held during Ridvan. The name derives from the Najibiyyih Garden in Baghdad where Baha’u’llah stayed during this period and to which He gave the name Ridvan (Paradise).