Sometimes seen as a kind of 'Baha'i Christmas', Ayyam-i-Ha does not actually celebrate a special event. Our more accurate alternative to Christmas is the Birth of Baha'u'llah but on that occasion we generally prefer to keep our celebrations focused on the spiritual nature of the event. Ayyam-i-Ha is not associated with Holy Days and so we are free to give gifts and make merry. We are also encouraged to spend this time in service to others and showing generosity.
So what is it all for then? Well, the Baha'i calendar has 19 months each of 19 days long, which makes 361 days. The Baha'i year starts at the Spring Equinox (20th or 21st March). The last month of the Baha'i year leading up to the new year is a month of fasting, in which adult Baha'is abstain from eating and drinking during the daylight hours. Ayyam-i-Ha is made up of the 4 or 5 extra days in the year, and runs immediately before the fast - a bit like the eating of pancakes before Lent.
Makes sense yet? Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations, period of fasting, New Year celebrations!
For more about the Baha'i beliefs visit www.bahai.org.uk
|Our family getting decorations ready!|