Ridvan 2011: Baha’is Celebrate ‘Most Great Festival’

Baha’is all around the globe are celebrating the 12-day Festival of Ridvan from April 21 to May 2. The Festival of Ridvan marks the public announcement by Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, of His Prophethood to His companions and family prior to His banishment to Istanbul from Baghdad. The first, ninth and 12th days of Ridvan are Holy Days which Baha’is observe with community gatherings and worship and on which work is prohibited.

When the authorities came to Baha’u’llah and explained He was to be exiled, He took up a residence in a garden complex on the Tigris River in Baghdad which He named the “Garden of Ridvan (Paradise).” He referred to the first day of Ridvan as “the Day of supreme felicity” and called the Garden of Ridvan “the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendours of His Name, the All-Merciful” Baha’u’llah named the period of Ridvan the “Most Great Festival.”

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