Happy Ayyam-i-Ha

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Happy Ayyam-i-Ha! A Truly Global Celebration!
Submitted by venustiano on Mon, 02/20/2012 - 17:29

 
by Venustiano Olguín and Anita Cleven
 
It’s going to be time to “Let’s Celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha” once again! In the Beaverton Baha’i community, the actual festivities will take place this coming Saturday, February 25th, from 7:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at the Beaverton Baha’i Center, which located at 5355 SW Murray Blvd. The evening will feature music, entertainment and a special surprise for children. There will no admission charge. Desserts and snacks will be provided on a potluck basis.
And throughout the rest of the world, the more than 5 million Baha’is living in more than 100,000 localities in nearly every country on earth, and led by more than 10,000 elected Local Spiritual Assemblies, will celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha from sunset February 25th to sunset March 1st.
Baha’is representing close to 2,100 tribes, races and ethnic groups will be observing Ayyam-i-Ha festivities in more than 800 languages – a truly global celebration of exchanging gifts, hospitality towards family and friends, whether Baha’is or not, and engaging in acts of charity.
Why do Baha’is celebrate Ayami-i-Ha? The festival of Ayami-i-Ha is rooted in the uniqueness of the Baha’i calendar, which was established as the result of the birth of the Baha’i Faith. The festival comes toward the end of the Baha’i year, which is divided into 19 months of 19 days each. These “intercalary” days, between the 18th and 19th months of the Baha’i calendar, are necessary to align the calendar with the 365-day Gregorian solar calendar.
Baha’u’llah has designated the intercalary days "amid all the nights and days" as manifestations of the letter “Há" -- that is, as Days of the Divine Essence. These four extra days (five days in leap years) stand apart from the ordinary cycle of weeks and months and the human measure of time. They are not "bounded by the limits of the year and its months"--just as the infinite reality of the divine Essence of God is unbounded and cannot be captured or comprehended within the cycle of time or any other human measurement.
Thus, Ayyám-i-Há can be thought of as days outside of time, days that symbolize eternity, infinity, and the mystery and unknowable Essence of God Himself. Contemplation during these days of the timeless mystery of the Essence of God provides us the "joy and exultation" with which to "sing His praise and magnify His Name."
Ayyám-i-Há also serves as a spiritual preparation the 19-Day Fast, which follows during the last month of the Baha’i calendar from March 2 to March 20, during which Baha'is abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset. The purpose of the 19-Day Fast is remind Baha’is of the need for individuals to control their material desires. The Fast is immediately followed by the celebration of Naw-Ruz, the Baha’i new year beginning on March 21, the first day of spring
Once again, you all invited to come and participate in the celebration of Ayyam-i-Ha at the once again at the Beaverton Baha’i Center, located at 5355 SW Murray Blvd., this Saturday, February 25th, from 7:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!