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Tonight, beginning at sunset, Baha’is everywhere will take part in the joyous and radiant first celebration of the Twin Holy Days — the birthday of the Bab, the founder of the Babi Faith.
During both of these days – from sunset on October 25th to sunset on the 27th – the world’s Baha’is and their friends and families will celebrate and joyously commemorate the twin birthdays of the prophets who brought the Baha’i teachings to humanity – remembering, as the Bab wrote, that “God desireth not to see … any soul deprived of joy and radiance.”
The Bab was born on the first day of the lunar month named Muharram, and Baha’u’llah was born on the second day, while the Bab’s birth took place in 1819 and Baha’u’llah was born two years earlier in 1817. Baha’is observe the two holy birthdays as one continuous 48-hour “day,” as Baha’u’llah proclaimed: “… two great festivals have been joined into one, auguring a brilliant future.”
Like the observances of the birthday of any prophet of God multiplied by two, these Baha’i holy days mark one of the happiest and most delightful times of the year all across the global Baha’i community.
In a sense, however, Baha’is aren’t just celebrating the birthdays of two messengers of God on the Twin Holy Days – they’re also celebrating the coming of a new global consciousness and the dawn of world citizenship. Even before the advent of Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i teachings of the oneness of religion and the unity of humanity, the Bab wrote:
Become as true brethren in the one and indivisible religion of God, free from distinction, for verily God desireth that your hearts should become mirrors unto your brethren in the Faith, so that ye find yourselves reflected in them, and they in you. This is the true Path of God, the Almighty, and He is indeed watchful over your actions.
The Twin Holy Days came about because Baha’u’llah, in his Most Holy Book, asked the Baha’is to celebrate a feast of unity, joy and commemoration on each of these two special days, making them second in importance in the Baha’i calendar to the two “Most Great” Baha’i 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.
Baha’is believe that 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” — would pave the way for the coming of a new messenger of God, Baha’u’llah. Like John the Baptist, the Bab instructed his hopeful followers to prepare for the appearance of that new prophet.
At the same time he also announced the coming of a new era in human history, one that would witness the emergence of a just, unified, peaceful world civilization.
Would you like to celebrate with the world’s Baha’is? Of course, when Baha’is commemorate these happy occasions, everyone is invited, including you. At the worldwide Baha’i gatherings for the birth of the Bab tonight and tomorrow, and the birth of Baha’u’llah tomorrow night and the following day, happiness and good cheer will definitely prevail. Music will play, friends will come together, children will laugh and warm fellowship will fill the air. Refreshments will definitely be served!
The Twin Holy Days signal a joyful, celebratory season of the Baha’i year, when the 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 hail the beginning of a new era in human unity. Happy Birthday of the Bab!