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December 11, 2015

Ottawa Bahá'í Community Celebrates the Life of Bahá’u’lláh

On November 13, over 700 Ottawa Bahá'ís and their friends gathered at the Hellenic Centre on Prince of Wales Road to celebrate the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá'í Holy Days are special occasions for the community to join together with music, food, prayers and friends.

“I love the atmosphere at Bahá'í events – creativity, joy, laughter,” said Tamara Wong. “Everyone is welcome. Everyone is a new friend.”

The evening began with a musical meditation on cello and piano. A program of prayers, readings and music, including a songs led by the community choir, all helped those gathered to reflect on the significance of the life of Bahá’u’lláh.

“It happens once a year, and you meet new people and old friends. That’s the beautiful thing,” explained Noel Hollandais. “And it’s the first time these anniversaries have been celebrated together,” referring to the commemoration of the “twin holy birthdays” of Bahá’u’lláh and the Bab. As the Ottawa community and their friends gathered together, it was with the knowledge that communities all around the globe were celebrating this special event with them.

“The most important thing for everyone is to feel part of a community, ” emphasized Amin Rashidi. Looking around the room, he noted both a diversity and commonality that bound everyone together like a “glue,” in his words. “We often lack this, not only a physical but a spiritual community.” It was always nice to get together with friends, he said, “but at these holy days there is such an immense amount of unity and diversity.”

Of course, the peaceful unification of all the peoples of the world is a central Bahá'í teaching. Perhaps translating this ideal into reality is the most fitting way for the community to commemorate the life of Bahá’u’lláh.

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