The Baha’i New Year – NAW-RÚZ

ABN Bahá’í News  The Naw-Ruz means new day in Persian and it is one of nine holy days on which Baha’is suspend work. They typically celebrate the holy day at sunset on March 20 by gathering for prayer, as the sunset on which the holiday begins comes at the end of the Fast.
The Baha’i year begins on the Spring Equinox (March 21) with the celebration of Náw-Rúz. The Baha’i Era began in 1844. March 21, 2008 marks the beginning of the year 166 B.E. (Baha’i Era).

The Baha’i calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), and four or five “intercalary days” between the 18th and 19th months – which the celebration of Ayyám-Al-Há takes place – to adjust the calendar to the solar year. Baha’i months are named for the attributes of God, which are:

Bahá (Splendour), Jalál (Glory), Jamál (Beauty), ‘Azamat (Grandeur), Núr (Light), Rahmat (Mercy), Kalimát (Words), Kamál (Perfection), Asmá’ (Names), ‘Izzat (Might), Mashíyyat (Will), ‘Ilm (Knowledge), Qudrat (Power), Qawl (Speech), Masá’il (Questions), Sharaf (Honour), Sultán (Sovereignty), Mulk (Dominion), and ‘Alá (Loftiness).

Naw-Rúz is the first day of the first Baha’i month (Bahá ). Bahá’u’lláh said in The Kitáb-AL-Aqdas,p111 about this Feast:

“Happy the one who entereth upon the first day of the month of Bahá, the day which God hath consecrated to this Great Name. And blessed be he who evidenceth on this day the bounties that God hath bestowed upon him; he, verily, is of those who show forth thanks to God through actions betokening the Lord’s munificence which hath encompassed all the worlds. Say: This day, verily, is the crown of all the months and the source thereof, the day on which the breath of life is wafted over all created things. Great is the blessedness of him who greeteth it with radiance and joy. We testify that he is, in truth, among those who are blissful. “

Náw-Rúz festival is usually observed with meetings for prayer and celebration. Visiting friends and relatives, and exchanging gifts.

“All should rejoice together, hold general meetings, become as one assembly, so that the national oneness, unity and harmony may be demonstrated in the eyes of all.”

“As it is a blessed day it should not be neglected, nor deprived of results by making it a day devoted to the pursuit of mere pleasure.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in a talk on the Feast of Naw-Rúz, in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1912

Prayer for NAW-RÚZ

Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Rúz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee.
Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who 263 from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.
Thou art He through Whom the ensign “Praiseworthy art Thou in Thy works” hath been lifted up, and the standard “Obeyed art Thou in Thy behest” hath been unfurled. Make known this Thy station, O my God, unto Thy servants, that they may be made aware that the excellence of all things is dependent upon Thy bidding and Thy word, and the virtue of every act is conditioned by Thy leave and the good pleasure of Thy will, and may recognize that the reins of men’s doings are within the grasp of Thine acceptance and Thy commandment. Make this known unto them, that nothing whatsoever may shut them out from Thy Beauty, in these days whereon the Christ exclaimeth: “All dominion is Thine, O Thou the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)”; and Thy Friend (Muḥammad) crieth out: “Glory be to Thee, O Thou the Best-Beloved, for that Thou hast uncovered 264 Thy Beauty, and written down for Thy chosen ones what will cause them to attain unto the seat of the revelation of Thy Most Great Name, through which all the peoples have lamented except such as have detached themselves from all else except Thee, and set themselves towards Him Who is the Revealer of Thyself and the Manifestation of Thine attributes.”
He Who is Thy Branch and all Thy company, O my Lord, have broken this day their fast, after having observed it within the precincts of Thy court, and in their eagerness to please Thee. Do Thou ordain for Him, and for them, and for all such as have entered Thy presence in those days all the good Thou didst destine in Thy Book. Supply them, then, with that which will profit them, in both this life and in the life beyond. Thou, in truth, art the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Bahá’u’lláh

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