Baha’i To Observe Ayyam-i-Ha, Bahá’í Fast

February 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Bermudian Bahá’í community will be observing the Ayyam-i-Ha beginning at sundown of February 24th and then the 19 day Baha’i Fast, beginning at sundown of February 28th.

A spokesperson said, “The dawn of every religion brings a new calendar, a new way to mark time, and with it new holy days, new festivals to celebrate, and renewed ways of connecting with the Divine, ourselves, and our communities. But look deeper, and one sees commonalities among these calendars- each of them having times of celebrations when gifts are exchanged, acts of charity are brought to the fore, and a period of abstinence from material things either literally or symbolically.

“The Bahá’ís of Bermuda as well as those of the global community are getting ready for some of these holy days. The Bahá’í Faith uses a lunar calendar and has 19 months of 19 days each, totaling 361 days. The other four days [five days in Gregorian Leap Years] comprise “Ayyám-i-Há”, Feb 24th-28th. Translated as “Days of Joy” or “Days outside of time”, Bahá’ís perform extra acts of charity and service, give gifts to friends and family, and attend social celebrations. Of course, in the current COVID climate, these celebrations will look very different to years past.

“An important aspect of Ayyám-i-Há is the mental and spiritual preparation for the month of fasting that follows. This year the Fast runs from March 1-19 and during that time all adult Bahá’ís around the world are obligated to refrain from food and drink between the hours of sunrise and sunset. Certain circumstances, both medical and personal, can exempt individuals from the obligation of fasting.

“But why fasting, you may ask? It is an outward expression of an inner process and a time for us to take stock of our spiritual state. This element of fasting is not a new one, and if you look at all the world’s religious traditions [Lent in the Christian calendar, and Ramadan in the Muslim one, for example] you will see a recurrent common thread of fasting being used to reorient one’s faith and dedication to God.

“On the day after the end of the Fast, Bahá’ís celebrate Naw-Rúz or New Year. Coinciding with the spring equinox, it is a time to celebrate new and renewed life in all its freshness and joy.

“The Bermuda Bahá’í community observes its monthly First Sunday Spiritual Gatherings on Zoom at 11am; Meeting ID: 517 275 575; Password: 1844.”

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