Today I start with this Introduction to the Ridvan Festival in the Spirit of our inspiring project: Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan (initiated by All Done Monkey with participation of few Baha’i Moms Bloggers). Every Day during the next 12 days you can read the Ridvan story, check out crafts and special ideas dedicated to the occasion.
April 21st through May 2nd are very significant for the Baha’is all over the world. These are the Days when Baha’u’llah, the Messenger of God and the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, proclaimed His Mission as the Promised One.
This historical event of Baha’u’llah proclaiming His Mission took place in the beautiful Garden of Ridvan (means “Paradise”) and the Festival lasts 12 days, commemorating 1st, 9th and 12th day. On the 1st day, April 21st, Baha’u’llah arrived to the Garden of Ridvan . On the 9th day His family joined him. And on the 12th Day Baha’u’llah and His family departed to the next destination of their exile.
The 1st Day of Ridvan has become a significant day for the Baha’i communities all around the world also because we elect our Spiritual Assemblies on Local and National levels. All adults above 21 years old gather together to vote or send their votes in order to choose 9 people who, once gathered together, take upon themselves a responsibility to make important decisions for the prosperity of their community.
The Baha’i elections are very simple: first, the prayers are read. Then, friends take pieces of paper with all adult members listed there and after thinking, praying some more, and meditating they choose 9 people who will become the members of the Spiritual Assembly.
During this Day Baha’is also enjoy some social program with the community or within their homes, serve meals and tea, enjoy activities and performances.
For our celebration of Ridvan this year I decided to decorate the play area in our living room making it sort of a tent. I used a colorful bed sheet and just attached her above the play area. I also put a lovely Turkish rug we got as a wedding present so we could sit down and say our prayers there together every morning and even evening during the Ridvan Festival.
If you are looking for more ideas on how to prepare and celebrate the Ridvan Festival, check out Enable Me To Grow‘s Bringing the Ridvan Festival to Life.