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November 3, 2015

Ottawa Bahá'ís Prepare to Celebrate the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Celebration will be the first in Ottawa to follow the “Badi” Calendar

The house of Bahá’u’lláh in Takur, Mázindarán, destroyed by the Iranian government in 1981. (Bahá'í World Centre Archives 1975)The Ottawa Bahá'í community is preparing to celebrate the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh on the evening of Friday November 13th. Bahá'ís recognize Bahá’u’lláh as the latest in a long line of divine educators - including Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and others - who have brought spiritual teachings for the advancement of humanity. The commemoration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh provides an opportunity to gather together to celebrate the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

For Bahá'ís in Ottawa, and around the world, this year’s celebration is unique because for the first time, it will be celebrated according to the “Badi” calendar. The Bab who was the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh, created a new calendar in 1844, marking a clear break from Islam. Last year, the central governing body of the Bahá'í community, the Universal House of Justice, announced that 2015 would see the final stage of the gradual adoption of the Badi calendar throughout the worldwide Bahá'í community.

Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, BahjiUntil this year, Bahá'í Holy Days have been fixed to the Gregorian calendar, with the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh celebrated on November 12 and the Birth of the Bab on October 20. These two Central Figures of the Bahá'í faith were born in different years but on consecutive days in the same lunar month of the old Islamic calendar. At that time, their birthdays were celebrated as “Twin Holy Days” but in the West, their birthdays have been celebrated one month apart, based on the solar calendar. The Badi calendar is also a solar calendar but it retains lunar elements to identify these two Holy Days. From 2015 onward, the birthdays of the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh will be respectively celebrated on the first and second days after the eighth new moon of the Bahá'í New Year, which begins with the spring equinox.

The Badi calendar, which was initiated 172 years ago to mark the dawn of a new era, will this year be fully implemented in Bahá'í communities around the world. Bahá'ís look forward to the first historic celebration of the “Twin Holy Days” as a sacred moment to gather and strengthen the devotional and social life of the community. “The adoption of a new calendar in each dispensation,” wrote the Universal House of Justice, “is a symbol of the power of Divine Revelation to reshape human perception of material, social, and spiritual reality. Through it, sacred moments are distinguished, humanity’s place in time and space reimagined, and the rhythm of life recast.”

On Friday November 13th, a public celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh will take place at 7:30pm at the Hellenic Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive. All are welcome. Map

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