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Beginning at sunset all around the world today – in every village, town or city where Baha’is live – you’ll encounter happy celebrations, parties, events, talks, film showings, gatherings, and service projects.
If you go to one of those celebrations, you’ll also find food, along with laughter, song, gaiety, and gratitude.
Why? Because tonight the planet’s Baha’is commemorate the birth of the Bab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah and the founder of the Babi Faith. Tomorrow, on the second Twin Holy Day, Baha’is will joyously celebrate the birthday of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith.
One observer called the Twin Holy Days “Christmas²”, because these two Baha’i commemorations successively celebrate the birth of two of God’s messengers, the founders of Faiths that brought new revelations and new hope to humanity.
In 2023, Baha’is celebrate the Birthday of the Bab on October 16th, and the Birthday of Baha’u’llah on October 17th. Because the Baha’i day starts and ends at sunset, the Birth of the Bab will actually begin when the sun goes down tonight, October 15th. These two wonderful events occurred on successive calendar days – the Bab was born in 1819, and Baha’u’llah was born in 1817. Baha’is call their birthdays the Twin Holy Days, and observe them every year in October or November.
Joy and Radiance
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. The Bab wrote “God desireth not to see … any soul deprived of joy and radiance,” and the commemoration of his birthday has created a day of joy around the world. Baha’u’llah also encouraged everyone to experience the joy and radiance of human oneness, writing:
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’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 celebrate the Declaration of Baha’u’llah in the garden of Ridvan in April of 1863 and the Declaration of the Bab in Shiraz in May of 1844.
On these days, Baha’is recognize and honor the advent of the two prophets who made their Faith possible. Baha’u’llah said: “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’is believe that the Bab, whose title means “the Gate,” opened the door for the advent of a new age of fulfillment and maturation for all humanity.
The Bab’s primary mission — to herald the arrival of a divinely-inspired spiritual educator referred to as “He Whom God shall make manifest” — cleared 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 Baha’is believe will ultimately witness the emergence of a just, unified, and peaceful world civilization.
When Baha’is celebrate these happy occasions, everyone is invited!
At the global Baha’i gatherings for the birth of the Bab today, and the birth of Baha’u’llah tomorrow, happiness and good cheer always prevails. 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 the advent of a joyful, celebratory season, when the worldwide Baha’i community comes together to commemorate the arrival of 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!