The Sunday Mail
Bahá’ís of Harare will be celebrate their new year — Naw-Ruz — on Wednesday.
The event will be observed in many of the 116 000 localities where Bahá’ís – who embrace human diversity – reside around the world.
The Bahá’í calendar is based on the solar year which is divided into 19 months of 19 days each. Four intercalary days are added (and in the leap years a fifth day) to make up the year.
The months are named after some of the attributes of God such as might, glory and grandeur.
The Bahá’í calendar dates its years from 1844, which marks the beginning of the Bahá’í Era. This year is 175BE.
All around the world Bahá’ís will be celebrating Naw-Ruz as an annual feast of renewal, as the spiritual and physical springtime.
Naw-Ruz is not only a celebration – it serves as a symbolic reminder of the oneness of all the Messengers of God, and the spiritual springtime they brought to humanity.
As the Bahá’í Writings state: “When the Sun of Reality returns to quicken the world of mankind a divine bounty descends from the heaven of generosity.
“The realm of thoughts and ideals is set in motion and blessed with new life.
“Minds are developed, hopes brighten, aspirations become spiritual, the virtues of the human world appear with freshened power of growth and the image and likeness of God become visible in man.”
Naw-Ruz comes at the end of a 19-day fast in which Bahá’ís abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset as a reminder of the need for individuals to be detached from their material desires.
Naw-Ruz is the first day of the Bahá’í calendar.
Although the Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions, it has followers in more than 200 countries and dependent territories and is the second-most widespread Faith in its geographic reach.
It is among the fastest growing world religions.
Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, teaches that humanity is one, that the diversity of ethnic backgrounds adds to the beauty and perfection of the whole.
It is the Bahá’í view that nothing but the transforming power of the Word of God, shared with us through His Manifestation for this day, can ultimately succeed in bringing about this unity.
With unity that honours the full diversity of mankind, the problems which face humanity today, can be solved.
In this regard Bahá’u’lláh writes: “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established” and “So powerful is the light of unity,” is His further testimony, “that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
At the present time the Bahá’ís of Harare, as well as the Bahá’ís in virtually every other locality and country in the world, are
engaged on a path of action that promotes the spiritual development of the individual and channels the collective energies of its members towards the spiritual transformation of society.
They welcome everyone to join them in a united effort to build a divine civilisation based on justice and peace.