Festival of Ridvan celebrated around the world

BAHA’I WORLD CENTRE — For 12 days at the end of April and beginning of May, Baha’i communities around the world celebrated their most holy festival: Ridvan.

This annual festival marks the anniversary of the days Baha’u’llah spent along the River Tigris in Baghdad.

In 1863, Baha’u’llah stayed in a garden on the banks of the Tigris River for 12 days, during which His many admirers in the city came to bid Him farewell. Baha’u’llah announced to the friends gathered with Him during those days that He was God’s Messenger for a new age, foretold in the world’s scriptures. He called the garden they were gathered in “Ridvan,” meaning “paradise.”

The Ridvan period was also a time when Baha’u’llah proclaimed the foundational spiritual principles that lie at the heart of His teachings—signaling the arrival of a new stage in the evolution of the life of humanity, characterized by peace and an end to violence.

Today, the festival of Ridvan is the most joyous of Baha’i holy days. In villages, towns, and cities around the world, Baha’i communities celebrate these special days with gatherings open to all.

In thousands of localities around the globe on the first day of Ridvan, Baha’is also vote for their local governing councils. And throughout the 12-day festival of Ridvan, national conventions are held in some 180 countries and territories, during which delegates gather to vote for their National Spiritual Assembly, a nine-member council responsible for guiding, coordinating, and stimulating the activities of the Baha’is in its jurisdiction. Baha’i elections are distinct for their lack of nomination and campaigning. This year, national elections took place over two weekends: 22-23 April and 29-30 April.

Every year on the first day of Ridvan, the Universal House of Justice addresses a message to the Baha’is of the World. This year’s message calls attention to the reality that “humanity’s ultimate well-being is dependent upon its differences being transcended and its unity firmly established.”

“Every contribution Baha’is make to the life of their society,” it states, “is aimed at fostering unity; every community-building endeavour is directed towards the same end.”

Republished from the Bahá’í World News Service.

Arlington Musical Prayer Station with Yosi Mesbah


“We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion.”

(Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 38)

What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, live music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, cake shared with a smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing songs and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator and recharges us for days ahead.

We invite you and your loves ones to a very special Musical Prayer Station and house concert with Yosi Mesbah on Thursday, November 10th, at 7:30 pm. The event host Mitko Gerensky met Yosi and recorded with her at the recent Music Industry Weekend in California and he claims that this young lady has bright future. With her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, this young singer-songwriter will make you smile, cry, and overall reflect on life and its meaning.

You don’t want to miss this! And you should tell your friends about it too!

What: Musical Prayer Station – house concert with Yosi Mesbah
When: Thursday, November 10th at 7:30 pm
Where: Arlington, VA

Contact Mitko for details.

Centenary of the Interment of the Sacred Remains of the Báb

The Shrine of the Bab in 1909Naw-Rúz, 166 B.E. – observed March 21, 2009 by members of the Baha’i Faith – marked the 100th anniversary in the of the interment of the sacred remains of the Báb in the shrine on Mt. Carmel – an occasion that Shoghi Effendi describes in the following passage from God Passes By, p. 276:

On the 28th of the month of Safar 1327 A.H., the day of the first Naw-Ruz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands-in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving-the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion.

When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr Prophet of Shiraz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God’s holy mountain, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotions.

The Shrine of the Bab 2006“The most joyful tidings is this,” He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, “that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb… after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquility has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel… By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Rúz, a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city… and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.”

Arlington Baha’is Celebrate the Feast of Bahá

March 21st marks the first day of Bahá (Splendor) which first month of the Bahá’í calendar. After breaking the fast together on Friday March 20th, on March 21st the Arlington community gathered together to celebrate the first Nineteen-Day Feast of the new year. Nineteen-Day Feast is a centerpiece of the Bahá’í Community. The Bahá’í calendar consists of 19 months, with 19 days in each month. Therefore at the beginning of each month, Baha’is all over the world gather together for a “Feast.” There are three portions to every Nineteen-Day Feast, a devotional part during which prayers are read, an administrative portion during which the affairs of the community are discussed, and a social portion. ‘Abdu’l-Baha stated:

“As to the Nineteen Day Feast, it rejoiceth mind and heart. If this feast be held in the proper fashion, the friends will, once in nineteen days, find themselves spiritually restored, and endued with a power that is not of this world.”

We invite you to enjoy a short slideshow of pictures taken this weekend in Arlington from the Feast of Bahá.