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Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i) – April 2023

The Ridván Festival is a twelve-day long festival in the Baha’i faith which occurs from April to May every year. This year, it takes place from April 21 to May 2. The festival begins exactly a month after the March equinox and celebrates Baháʼu’lláh’s declaration that he was a Manifestation of God. It starts at sundown on the 13 of Jalál, which corresponds to the 20 or 21 of April, depending on the March equinox date. The Ridván Festival is known as the “Most Great Festival” and the “King of Festivals” and it is the holiest festival in the Baha’i faith.

History of Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i)

Siyyid ʻAlí-Muhammad of Shiraz declared himself the “Báb” and his followers were known as Bábís. Báb’s writings established the concept of “He whom God shall make manifest,” a Messianic figure whose arrival was predicted in all the world’s great faiths, according to Baháʼís.

While imprisoned at the Syáh-Chál in Tehran, Iran, in 1852, Baháu’lláh claimed that his mission as the Promised One of the Báb was revealed to him. Baháu’lláh was exiled from Persia after his release from the Syáh-Chál, and he settled in Baghdad, which became the center of Báb activity. Even though he did not openly disclose this prophetic mission, he grew to be the Báb community’s leader.

The revival of the Persian Báb community, as well as Baháu’lláh’s rising prominence in the city, drew the attention of his enemies in the Islamic clergy and the Persian government, who were eventually successful in having Baháu’lláh summoned from Baghdad to Constantinople by the Ottoman rulers. Many people came to see Baháu’lláh before he left. He moved to the Najibiyyih garden across the Tigris river from Baghdad to give his family time to prepare for the trip and to be able to greet all of these visitors. Although he was accompanied by his sons, Bahá’lláh’s family could not join him until April 30, the ninth day, because the water had risen and made passage to the garden difficult, although the flooding was only nine days long. Baháu’lláh and his family left the garden on the twelfth day of their stay and embarked on their journey to Constantinople.

For Baháʼís, the time Baháu’lláh spent at the Garden of Ridván in April 1863, as well as the associated festival and celebration, is extremely significant. Baháu’lláh refers to it as one of two “Most Great Festivals.”

Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i) timeline

1844
The Bab

Siyyid ʻAlí-Muhammad of Shiraz declares himself to be the "Báb."

April 22, 1863
Ridván Begins

Baháʼu'lláh enters the garden.

April 30, 1863
The Ninth Day

His family joins the garden.

May 2, 1863
Ridván Ends

The entire family leaves the garden for Constantinople.

Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i) FAQs

How old is the Baha'i faith?

The origin of the Baha’i faith can be dated back to 1844.

What do Baha'is believe in?

The Baha’i faith revolves around the oneness of humanity.

Is the Baha’i faith common?

As of 2020, there are over 8,500,000 followers of the Baha’i faith in the world.

Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i) Activities

  1. Decorate with roses

    Recreate the garden from the original story by decorating your house with beautiful roses. This will even enable you to pay homage to the story.

  2. Reflect and chant

    A good way to celebrate is to get together and exchange stories about Ridván and its significance. Chants and songs can also be shared.

  3. Celebrate spring

    One of the writings about Ridván talks about nature’s awakening. Celebrate the season of spring and nature in whatever way you can.

5 Interesting Facts About Baha'i Faith

  1. It has a unique calendar

    In the Baha’i faith, one year is 19 months and one month is 19 days.

  2. There are Arabic roots

    Symbols are derived from the Arabic word ‘Baha’ meaning ‘splendor’ or ‘glory.’

  3. Significance in numbers

    The number nine is significant, and the nine-pointed star is one of its most common symbols.

  4. Belief in the One

    Their belief is in a single, almighty God who is the creator of the universe.

  5. There are prohibitions

    Indulging in alcohol, drugs, and gambling is prohibited.

Why We Love Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i)

  1. Reason to celebrate

    The festival is a time of celebration that brings with it a wave of light and happiness. Who doesn’t love a few days of celebration with your community?

  2. Trip down memory lane

    In the hustle and bustle of life, a celebration like this reminds people of their faith’s roots and gives them a chance to revisit and relearn its stories. It is a reminder of important moments in history.

  3. Faith reconnection

    The festival enables people to set aside some time to reconnect with their faith and beliefs and practices. It is an opportunity to develop a deeper connection individually and with the community as a whole.

Ridvan Festival (Bahá'i) dates

YearDateDay
2022April 21Thursday
2023April 21Friday
2024April 21Sunday
2025April 21Monday
2026April 21Tuesday

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