BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CELEBRATES THE BICENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF THE BÁB
The year 2019
marked the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Báb, who was the
forerunner and herald to the Bahá’í Faith. In the weeks preceding the
anniversary Bahá'ís and their friends across Ottawa marked this special
Bicentenary with a rich tapestry of celebrations involving over 80
events and 1,800 participants. The events ranged from small, intimate
groups in homes to public events of 150 or more individuals. Artistic
endeavours formed a strong part of many events including concerts,
skits, songs and the creation of a quilt. The new bicentenary film,
Dawn of the Light, which explores the search
for truth and meaning, was
shown at several events.
In one such
event, a group of friends living in the Donald street area of Vanier,
decided to visit all the families of their children and junior youth
participants. Over the month of October, they carried out visits to all
the families involved in the educational programs in order to share
with them the joy of the news and worldwide celebration of the
Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb.
These were wonderful opportunities to learn more about the Twin
Messengers of God for this Day, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh, and the
wonderful message of love, peace and change they brought to the world.
It also created multiple spaces where friends and family joined in
prayer for the spiritual growth of their children as well as gratitude
for all the bounties received from God. Everyone was also invited to a
neighborhood celebration on the Bicentenary.
On the day of the celebration, everybody gathered – children, junior
youth, parents, teachers, animators, helpers, and other friends from
the neighborhood – in a beautifully decorated room, bringing the
attendance close to 100 people. The program started with a series of
prayers and songs presented by the children and junior youth. All the
groups and classes had learned the same songs, so the voices of the
entire room were beautifully raised as one.
Each age group was then ushered into their own room, which had a
dedicated program tailored for them. Parents and adults enjoyed some
storytelling about the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh followed by a screening of
the film documentary on the Báb titled Dawn of the Light.
children's room activities included face painting and then they all
participated in some collective coloring of big beautiful posters
marking the Bicentenary, while junior youth painted small canvases that
were collated together into a united whole. The afternoon concluded
with snacks, cake and socializing that was permeated in a spirit of
fellowship and joy.
At the other end of the city, the friends in Orléans held a Soul Food:
Special Edition celebration at the Shenkman Arts Centre, which saw
almost 80 people attending, including seven guests. The team met
several times to create the original program which included a beautiful
audio-visual presentation of the Writings of the Báb, prayers sung in
English, French, Arabic and Mandarin, along with readings from the holy
texts. A husband-wife duo sang and played guitar to a couple of prayers
as well as The Queen of Carmel, bringing further
joy to the
celebration. This was followed by refreshments where fresh flowers
adorned tables with prayer cards offered as gifts.
These are only a few of the many celebrations that occurred across the
city to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb.