The Baha’i Holy Days
Dear Baha’i Friends,
We are very pleased to provide the following information and extracts of guidance concerning the correct time of day for the commemoration of the Baha’i Holy Days.
« The Guardian would advise that, if feasible, the friends should commemorate certain of the feasts and anniversaries at the following time: »
- The anniversary of the declaration of the Bab on May 22nd, at about two hours after sunset.
- The first day of Ridvan, at about 3 p.m. on the 21st of April.
- The anniversary of the martyrdom of the Bab on July 9th, at about noon.
- The anniversary of the ascension of Baha’u’llah, on May 29th, at 3 a.m.
- The ascension of Abdu’l-Baha on November 28th, at 1 a.m.
« On other anniversaries the believers are free to gather at any time during the day which they find convenient. »
From a letter dated 27 November 1938 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada.
« As the Guardian indicated, the commemoration of the Ascension of Baha’u’llah should be held, if feasible, at 3 a.m. on 29 May, and that of the Ascension of Abdu’lBaha at 1 a.m. on 28 November. These times should be measured according to standard time in each area. If daylight saving time is being used in the country, the commemorations should continue to be observed according to standard time. »
From a letter dated 15 March 1992 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly.
Tablets of Visitation
Some of the friends have also asked if there is a specific time at which the Tablets of Visitation should be recited during Holy Day meetings. This has been clarified by the Universal House of Justice as follows:
« Nothing has been found in the Writings to indicate that reciting the Tablets of Visitation is mandatory at commemorations of the anniversaries associated with the Central Figures of the Faith, nor has any Text been found concerning the timing of the recitation of these Tablets during Holy Day observances.
Although, as an act of reverence, the friends generally stand and face the Sacred Threshold when reciting the Tablet of Visitation in, or within the precincts of, one of the Holy Shrines, nothing has been found in the Writings requiring the friends to stand and face the Qiblih whenever the Tablets of Visitation are read on other occasions.
All questions concerning such secondary matters are left to the discretion of the relevant National and Local Spiritual Assemblies, which are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that Holy Day observances are conducted in the proper spirit.
The friends should safeguard the unity of the community and not allow any of these points to become a cause of argument and disagreement. Certainly no issue should be made about such matters while a Holy Day programme is being held. »
From a letter dated 8 February 2012 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual
We trust that the above information is helpful.
With loving Baha’i greetings,
Web Steering Committee