Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ayyam-i-Ha at Banani

“Baha’u’llah enjoined upon His followers to devote these days to feasting, rejoicing and charity. In a letter written on Shoghi Effendi’s behalf it is explained that ‘the intercalary days are specially set aside for hospitality, the giving of gifts, etc.” (from the Notes section of The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 180)

“The Baha’i year…consists of nineteen months of nineteen days each, with the addition of certain intercalary days (four in an ordinary year and five in a leap year) between the eighteenth and nineteenth months in order to adjust the calendar to the solar year. The Bab named the months after certain attributes of God. The Baha’i New Year, Naw-Ruz, is astronomically fixed, coinciding with the March equinox.” (from the Notes section of The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 227)

The above photo is of all the service youth and the dorm matron, Mrs. Mukendi

The evening of February 26 the service youth at Banani put the finishing touches to the devotional program and decorations for the Ayyam-i-Ha celebration to be held at the William Masetlha Institute. We blew up balloons and cut out quotes, decorating them with cut out flowers and colourful paper. Lollipops, chips, and chocolate were added to goody bags to be gifted to the children. Working in unity, we had delivered invitations and made a poster advertising the date.

Chisha, who works at the institute, began arranging plates of cookies and brownies. The youth took the plates to the Insitute Hall as people began arriving.

Then the power went out and we were left in darkness. There was only a moment of surprised silence before children broke out into chaos. A few clever individuals brought their torches and shared with others. Four candles were brought out and stuck to the tables and floors. The show must go on….we held our program in the dark, beginning with four prayers from children, and the prayer for the Intercalary Days with Native American flute played softly in the background. After a few readings on the topic of joy and happiness, a group of Baha’is from Kitwe sang three songs inspired by Baha’i quotes. And just as they finished their last song…the lights flipped on. Just in time for the social portion and brownies. Possibly the most joyful and uplifting Ayyam-i-Ha celebration I have ever attended or been a part of.

1 comment:

  1. "O my God, my Fire and my Light!" You really got the import of that line for this holiday, I see.