24, 2011 The Bahá’í Community of
Ottawa celebrates the Festival of Ridván
Bahá'ís gathered on April 21 to celebrate the beginning of the Bahá'í
Festival of Ridván, one of nine holy days in the Bahá'í calendar. The
Festival lasts for a period of 12 days, commemorating the public
declaration by Bahá’u’lláh in 1863 that he is a Messenger of God.
The Ottawa festival began Wednesday night with the annual election of
nine community members to serve on the Local Spiritual Assembly, the
governing body for Ottawa’s Bahá’í community.
The following afternoon, committees appointed by the Assembly made
presentations detailing their efforts and achievements over the past
year. The results of the previous evening’s elections were also
announced to the community.
Following the presentations, hundreds of local Bahá'ís and their guests
enjoyed a memorable program that included devotions and prayers from
the Bahá'í sacred writings followed by artistic and musical
presentations on the significance of the Festival of Ridván. Children
were enthralled with a dramatic retelling of the Story of Ridván.
Following the story, they lay silk roses around the stage representing
the roses that the early believers placed in and around Bahá’u’lláh’s
tent in the Ridván Garden, in Baghdad, Iraq. It was in this garden, on
an island in the Tigris River, that Bahá’u’lláh revealed to his family
and friends that he was the Messenger of God appointed for this day.
Before the twelve-day festival concludes on May 2nd, two other
important historical events connected to Ridván will be commemorated in
neighbourhood-based celebrations around the city. See photos... Watch Video...