The Bahá'í year consists of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), with the addition of “Intercalary
Days” (four in ordinary and five in leap years) between the eighteenth and nineteenth months to
adjust the calendar to the solar year. The months are named after the attributes of God.
The Bahá'í New Year coincides with the March equinox (March 21). The Bahá'í Era commenced with
the year of the Bab’s declaration (1844 A.D.). Each Bahá'í community holds a Nineteen Day Feast
on the first day of each Bahá'í month. The Feast has spiritual, administrative and social functions
and is the principal gathering of Bahá'ís of a particular locality. Because the Bahá'í day lasts from
sunset to sunset, the Nineteen Day Feast is generally held in the evening on the day before the
first day of the Bahá'í month according to the Gregorian calendar.
Bahá'í Month of Fasting
The last month in the Bahá'í calendar, March 2-20, is dedicated to the Bahá'í Fast. During this time,
Bahá'ís between 15 and 70 years of age do not eat or drink for 19 days from sunrise to sunset and
set aside time for prayer and meditation. Exemptions from the Fast occur for illness, pregnancy,
nursing mothers, extended travel and arduous physical labor.
Bahá'í Holy Days and Commemorative Days:
World Religion Day (Third Sunday in January): The day is devoted to proclaiming the oneness
of religion and the belief that world religion will unify the peoples of the earth. The Bahá'í-sponsored
observance was established in 1950 by the Bahá'ís of the United States.
Ayyam-i-ha or Intercalary Days (Feb. 26-March 1): Ayyam-i-ha, or “Days of Ha,” are devoted to
spiritual preparation for the Fast, celebrating, hospitality, charity and gift giving. They are
celebrated the four days (five in leap year) before the last month of the Bahá'í year.
Naw-Rúz (March 21): The Bahá'í New Year’s Day coincides with the spring equinox. Naw-Ruz is an
ancient Persian festival celebrating the "new day" and for Bahá'ís it marks the end of the annual 19-
Day Fast and is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.
Festival of Ridvan (April 21-May 2): The annual Bahá'í festival commemorates the 12 days (April
21-May 2, 1863) when Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, resided in a garden called
Ridvan (Paradise) in Baghdad, Iraq. At this time He publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s
messenger for this age. The first (April 21), ninth (April 29) and twelfth (May 2) days are celebrated
as holy days when work is suspended.
Declaration of the Bab (May 23): The Bahá'í commemorates May 23, 1844, when the Bab, the
herald of the Bahá'í Faith, announced in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), that he was the herald of a new
messenger of God. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.
Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (May 29): Bahá'ís observe the anniversary of the death in exile of
Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, on May 29, 1892, outside Akko (also known as Akka or
Acre), in what is now northern Israel. It is one of the nine holy days of the year where work is
Race Unity Day (Second Sunday in June): The Bahá'í-sponsored observance promotes racial
harmony and understanding and the essential unity of humanity. It was established in 1957 by the
Bahá'ís of the U.S.
Martyrdom of the Bab (July 9): The holy day commemorates the anniversary of the execution of
the Bab (Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad), the herald of the Bahá'í Faith, by a firing squad on July 9, 1850, in
Tabriz, Persia (now Iran). It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.
Birth of the Bab (Oct. 20): The day is an observance of the anniversary of the birth on Oct. 20,
1819, in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), of Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, who later took the title of “the Bab,”
meaning “the Gate.” The Bab was the herald of the Bahá'í Faith. The day is one of the nine holy
days of the year when work is suspended.
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Nov. 12): Bahá'ís observe the anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh (born
Mirza Husayn-‘Ali) on Nov. 12, 1817, in Tehran, Persia (now Iran). Bahá’u’lláh, which means the
“Glory of God,” is the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when
work is suspended.
Day of the Covenant (Nov. 26): The festival commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s appointment of his
eldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the Center of His Covenant.
Ascension of 'Abdu’l-Bahá (Nov 28): Bahá'ís observe the anniversary of the death of
'Abdu’l-Bahá, son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed succesor, on Nov 28, 1921 in Haifa, in what is
now northern Israel.
Bahá'í Holy Days:
"Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit
of friendliness & fellowship."