Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892) founded the Bahá'í faith on the belief of the oneness of God, religion and humanity. Adherents value universal principals such as love, equality, social justice, honesty, kindness, etc. while accepting social and scientific changes in their day-to-day lives. Followers of the faith take personal responsibility for their spiritual growth. The Bahá'í faith is governed by spiritual assemblies made up of nine or more members and does not have clergy to guide worship.
In the Bahá'í calendar, there are 19 months of 19 days each with four intercalary days (five in leap year). Each month represents an attribute of God. The first month starts with the New Year and the last ends with 19 days fast. The Bahá'í day starts at sunset.
Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
This day commemorates the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Bahá'ís observe the Holy Day of Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá at 1:00 am, about the time of His ascension. Bahá'ís do not suspend work on this day.
Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
This day marks the anniversary of the death of the founder of the Bahá'í faith. Bahá'ís suspend work on this day.
During the nineteenth and final month of the Bahá'í year (‘Ala’ or Loftiness), Bahá'ís fast for 19 days in preparation for Naw Ruz. Those who are healthy and of age abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.
Birth of Bahá'u'lláh
The anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í faith. Bahá'ís suspend work on this day.
Birth of the Báb
This day celebrates the birthday of Siyyid Alí Muhammád, who declared himself the Báb, or “Gate of God,” in 1844.
Day of Covenant
This day celebrates the anniversary of the appointment of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of Bahá'u'lláh, as the Centre of the Covenant. Bahá'u'lláh established the covenant in order to prevent division of the faith into sects and denominations. Bahá'ís do not suspend work on this day.
Declaration of the Báb
This day commemorates the day in 1844 on which Siyyid Alí Muhammád announced His identity as the Báb, or “Gate of God”, the Herald of the new age. This date marks the beginning of the Bahá’í faith and calendar. Bahá’ís do not work on this day.
Festival of Ridvan
The Festival of Ridvan (lasting for 12 days), termed by Bahá'u'lláh the “Most Great Festival” and the “King of Festivals”, commemorates the twelve days that Bahá'u'lláh spent in the garden of Ridvan outside Baghdad. The festival commemorates Bahá'u'lláh’s public declaration of His mission to His family and closest followers. The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are Bahá'í Holy Days on which work is suspended.
Ayyam-i-Ha are the intercalary days inserted between the eighteenth and nineteenth months to complete the 365 or 366 day solar year. These are days of feasting, hospitality, rejoicing, charity and giving of presents, as well as ministering to the poor and ill, in preparation for the Fast.
Martyrdom of the Bab
This day memorializes Siyyid Alí Muhammád’s death. Bahá'ís suspend work on this day.
Naw Ruz (New Year)
This day marks the start of the New Year. Bahá'ís feast and celebrate during the evening. The first month of the Bahá'í year is Bahá (Splendour).