Letter: Baha’i celebrates the New Year

After 19 days of fasting, the Baha’is in Gilroy celebrated
Naw-Ruz, the Baha’i New Year after sundown on March 20, the eve of
the vernal equinox.
Dear Editor,

After 19 days of fasting, the Baha’is in Gilroy celebrated Naw-Ruz, the Baha’i New Year after sundown on March 20, the eve of the vernal equinox. Thousands across the U.S. communities, celebrated the ancient New Year festival celebrated mainly in Iran, but also west, central, and south Asia. Baha’is observe Naw-Ruz through prayer, meditation, readings from Baha’i scripture and festive gatherings.

For Baha’is Naw-Ruz celebration marks the end of the 19-Days of Fasting. Baha’is between ages 15 and 70 begin the annual 19-Day Fast by abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset from March 2 to 20. Like Lent in Christianity and Ramadan in Islam, the Baha’i Fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer when the individual reflects on his or her own spiritual life.

It symbolizes the importance of detachment and self-restraint and serves as a spiritual preparation for the new year. Baha’is often will gather before dawn or after sunset to say prayers before their meals. Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) is the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions and one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States. Baha’is view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Baha’i beliefs include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, the eradication of all forms of prejudice, the harmony of science and religion and universal education. To learn more about the Baha’i Faith in Gilroy, visit http://www.bahai.us/

Frank Azad, the Public Information Officer of Gilroy Baha’i Community

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