The Festival of Ridvan is a 12-day festival of the Baháʼí faith celebrated every year and starting on either April 20 or April 21- depending on the March equinox – and will be marked this year from April 21 to May 3. ‘Ridvàn’ is a word that means ‘paradise’ in Arabic and the 12 days of the festival commemorate the 12 days Baháʼu’lláh spent in the garden of Ridvàn in Baghdad, the modern-day capital of Iraq in 1863. This was where he declared himself as ‘The Promised One’ to his followers. The first, ninth, and last days of the Ridvan festival are holy and so no work is done on those days.
History of Festival of Ridvan
In 1844, Sayyed ʻAlí Muḥammad Shírází declared himself as The Bab, which means ‘gate’ in Arabic, and he’s known as one of the key individuals of the Baháʼí faith. The Bab’s followers were known as Bábís. In one of Bab’s writings, he predicted that a messiah was coming and his coming had already been announced in different scriptures. The Bab saw himself as the one that was to prepare the way and the minds of the people. He called this concept “He whom God shall make manifest.” His teachings and the Babi movement led to his eventual execution by the Persian rulers in 1850.
In 1853, Baháʼu’lláh, one of the followers of the Bab, was imprisoned in Siyah-Chal in Tehran, Iran. He is said to have gotten the revelation as the promised one while imprisoned. After his release, he was banished from Persia and that is how he settled in Baghdad. Baghdad became the center of the Babis’ activities and the Bábís had already begun to look up to Baháʼu’lláh as their leader and often went to him for guidance since the Bab had been executed.
The Persian government and Islamic clerics increasingly saw the revival of the Babis movement as a threat to them and succeeded in having Baháʼu’lláh summoned to Constantinople. Before he departed to Constantinople, Baháʼu’lláh moved into the Garden of Ridvan to allow him to receive the many visitors coming to pay him respect and to help his family prepare for the trip. He entered the garden on April 22, 1863, and spent 12 days there. It was in the garden he made the declaration of his mission as the promised one the Bab spoke about. What was supposed to be a sad farewell for the Babis turned out to be a celebration of a new faith.
Festival of Ridvan timeline
Sayyed ʻAlí Muḥammad Shírází announces himself as the Bab.
The Bab is executed by the Persian authorities.
Baháʼu'lláh, one of Bab's followers, is put in prison and receives a revelation.
Baháʼu'lláh declares himself the promised one in the garden of Ridvan.
Festival of Ridvan FAQs
Who are the current leaders of Baha’i?
The seven leaders of the Baha’i religion are Fariba Kamalabadi, AFif Naeimi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm.
How did Baha’u’llah die?
Baha’u’llah died of an illness in Bahji on May 29, 1892, at the age of 74 years.
Who succeeded Baha’u’llah as the leader of the Baháʼí faith?
His son, ʻAbdu’l-Bahá succeeded him as the leader of the Baháʼí faith.
How to Observe Festival of Ridvan
Observe the holy days
The first, ninth, and twelfth days are regarded as the holy days of the festival. For Baha’i adherents, on these days, all work should be suspended.
Spread the love
The festival of Ridvan is a period of celebration and joy. As such, no ill deeds should be perpetrated and only love should be shared.
Use the hashtag
Let everyone know what this festival is about! Post a link to our article and don't forget to use the hashtag #festivalofridvan
5 Important Facts About The Festival Of Ridvan
The first day is a holy day
The first day of the festival commemorates the day Baha’u’llah entered the garden of Ridvan and declared that he was the promised one.
The ninth day is important
On the ninth day, Baháʼu'lláh's family joined him in the garden of Ridvan.
The twelfth day is special
On the twelfth and final day, Baháʼu'lláh departed to Constantinople where he was exiled.
His messages live on
During the Festival of Ridvan, Baha’u’llah’s messages from the garden are read to believers of the Baháʼí faith.
A Baha’i World Centre
In the Baha'i world center in Haifa, Israel, a convention is held every five years to elect the members of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha'i faith.
Why Festival of Ridvan is Important
It’s an important festival
The festival of Ridvan is regarded by Baha’i followers as the king of festivals. This makes it a very important festival all over the world.
It commemorates a new faith
The festival of Ridvan happened because Baháʼu'lláh brought with him a new faith. This ushered in a new era of the Baháʼí faith.
It celebrates the founder of the faith
The Ridvan Festival is celebrated by Baháʼí believers to celebrate Baháʼu'lláh. It’s also to celebrate the salvation he brought to them.
Festival of Ridvan dates