Whether you know any Baha’is or not, you’re invited to join in a joyous and radiant celebration of the Twin Holy Days this weekend.

All around the world this weekend, in every village, town or city where Baha’is live, you’ll find happy celebrations, parties, events, talks, film showings, gatherings and service projects commemorating the birthday of the Bab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah and the founder of the Babi Faith; and the birthday of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith.

This year Baha’is celebrate the Birthday of the Bab on October 21st, and the Birthday of Baha’u’llah on October 22nd. Because they occur in succession, Baha’is call them the Twin Holy Days, and observe them every year in October or November. Like the celebratory observance of the anniversary of the birth of any prophet of God, these days mark one of the happiest and most delight-filled times of the year all across the global Baha’i community:

God desireth not to see … any soul deprived of joy and radiance. – The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 80.

They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations. – Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 35.

Baha’is happily gather and celebrate this way because Baha’u’llah, in his Most Holy Book, asked the Baha’is to annually commemorate a feast of unity and joy on each of these two special days, which makes them second in importance in the Baha’i calendar to the two “Most Great Festivals”—which commemorate the Declaration of Baha’u’llah in the garden of Ridvan in 1863 and the Declaration of the Bab in Shiraz in 1844.

The room which the Bab declared himself to Mulla Hussayn in Shiraz, Iran.

The room which the Bab declared himself to Mulla Hussayn in Shiraz, Iran.

On these days, Baha’is recognize and honor the advent of the two prophets who made their Faith possible:

This is the day when [the Bab] set foot in this world and illumined it with his light. There is every reason for rejoicing … – Baha’u’llah, quoted by Mirza Habibu’llah Afnan, The Twin Holy Days, p. 37.

The Shrine of the Bab on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel.

The Shrine of the Bab on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel.

Baha’is believe The Bab, whose title means “the Gate,” opened the way for the advent of a new age of fulfillment and maturation for all humanity. His primary mission—to herald the arrival of a divinely-inspired spiritual educator the Bab referred to as “He Whom God shall make manifest”—paved the way for the coming of a new messenger of God—Baha’u’llah. Just as John the Baptist did, the Bab instructed his followers to prepare for the appearance of a new prophet. Baha’u’llah fulfilled the Bab’s prophecies by inaugurating the Baha’i Faith, which means that The Bab heralded the coming of a new era in human history, one that would witness the emergence of a just, unified, peaceful world civilization.

When Baha’is celebrate these happy occasions, everyone is invited—including you. At the worldwide Baha’i gatherings for the birth of the Bab today, and the Bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah tomorrow, happiness and good cheer will prevail. Music will play, friends will come together, children will laugh and warm fellowship will fill the air. Refreshments will definitely be served!

These Twin Holy Days signal a joyful, celebratory season, when the global Baha’i community comes together to commemorate the advent of their two prophets of God, the Bab and Baha’u’llah, the twin founders of their Faith, and to recognize the dawn of a new era in human unity.

Happy Birthday of the Bab!

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

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