The St. John’s Bahá’í community will celebrate its most joyous festival of the year with two public events at the Network Café on Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 29. All are welcome!
This weekend, the Bahá’í community will begin celebrations of the Festival of Ridvan – several festive, joyous holy days between April 21 and May 2. Each year, these special days provide the occasion for the holiest and happiest days of the Bahá’í year.
The Ridvan Festival commemorates the anniversary of the garden sojourn during which Bahá’u’lláh declared His mission outside Baghdad during the twelve days before his banishment to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) in 1863.
Bahá’u’lláh had been exiled to Baghdad ten years earlier in 1853 by a Persian government that feared the rapid spread of His teachings and their progressive impact on society. Yet, His teachings continued to spread and threaten the status of the clerics. So now Bahá’u’lláh was being sent into further exile because of pressure from that same government
This year, the local Bahá’í community will hold two public celebrations, to which all members of the public are invited.
The celebration of the First Day of Ridvan will take place at the Network Café starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21. This occasion commemorates the day that Bahá’u’lláh arrived in the Garden of Ridvan, the time during which He revealed that He was the latest Messenger from God for all of humanity.
The celebration of the Ninth Day of Ridvan takes place also at the Network Café on Sunday, April 29, starting at 2 p.m.
On this day, Bahá’u’lláh’s family joined Him in the Garden of Ridvan, so our celebration on that day focuses on the family. Our presenters will mostly be members of Bahá’í children’s classes, and our activities are designed to be of interest to children.
Personal and community transformation
All of God’s Messengers come with a two-fold mission: to transform both the individual and society. It is the promise of these transformations that were heralded by Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden of Ridvan (which means ‘Paradise’).
A pivotal concept in the Bahá’í teachings is that the refinement of one’s inner character and service to humanity are inseparable facets of life. The purpose the Divine Teachers is to support our personal growth and development, as well as to help us build spiritually empowered communities.
We participate in this dual process through gatherings in homes and in public venues that strengthen the devotional character of the community, classes that nurture the hearts and minds of children, groups that empower youth to serve their communities, and discussion groups aimed at learning how to apply Bahá’í teachings to individual and collective life.
Ask us about these activities, and know that you would be welcome to join us in these explorations.
You can find more information about these activities in our community by clicking the following links: