How does your faith celebrate the changing seasons?
Answer: Unlike more
ancient calendars, the Bahá’í calendar generally has no special months
or days that celebrate the changing seasons. The most notable
exception would be its celebration of the New Year, usually
called by its Persian name, Naw Ruz (New Day). Naw Ruz occurs at the
vernal equinox, which is usually March 21st, the first day of spring,
depending on the time of the equinox, i.e. when the sun passes into the
constellation of Aries.
Naw Ruz is the first day of spring in the ancient Zoroastrian solar
calendar, a religion founded by the prophet Zoroaster, a faith that
also originates in Iran. The ancient Zoroastrian ritual, having been
celebrated for several thousand years, is celebrated to this day as New
Year in Iran and all the neighbouring countries in the Iranian plateau,
even though the majority of the population in these countries
The Bahá’í calendar begins on May 23, 1844, with the declaration of the
Báb (1819-1850), the herald and forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892),
the Prophet-Founder of this youngest of the world’s religions. The Báb
created a solar calendar consisting of 19 months of 19 days, with each
month being named after one of the attributes of God (glory, beauty,
grandeur, perfection, etc). The worship service for each month is
called “The Nineteen Day Feast” because it is celebrated once every 19
days. The 361 days are completed by 4 “Intercalary Days”—5 days on leap
year—to make 365.
To celebrate the Bahá’í new year, the Báb adopted the ancient Iranian
spring festival. The calendar was sanctioned but modified by
Bahá’u’lláh. He also retained March 21st as the first day of the new
year, which has equal hours of daylight and darkness in the northern
In spring, the world experiences a regeneration of life.
Bahá’ís view their new year’s day as a manifestation of the quickening
of spiritual life, the “divine springtime” as Bahá’u’lláh
called it, which symbolizes the coming of a new Manifestation of God.
The community looks forward to the coming year with hope and
enthusiasm. We are currently in the year 168 of the Bahá’í Era. - Jack