This week: Celebrating RidvanEdited by: Prosperous Snow
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He walked at midnight
Inhaling perfumes of rose
As nightingales sang
A sleepless lover
Watched as He paced the garden
As faith’s roses bloomed
He recited odes
Chanted gratitude’s prayers
His voice echoing
Down history’s corridors
New heaven and Earth
The Glory of God
A light shining in darkness
The divine poet
Every year, between sunset on April 20 to sunset on May 2, Baha'is across the world celebrate the twelve days of Ridvan. Ridvan, also called the Festival of Paradise or the King of Festivals, is an Arabic word meaning paradise and is pronounced rez-vahn. This festival celebrates 1863 declaration of Baha'u'llah's mission.
The celebration occurred just before Baha'u'llah was banished from Baghdad to Constantinople (now Istanbul). Baha'u'llah, along with many of his followers, crossed the Tigris River to an island, that was given the name Ridvan because of the beauty of its garden. Growing in the garden were roses, while nightingales could be heard singing.
Baha'u'llah, his family, and some of his followers left Baghdad to begin their exile. However, before starting for Constantinople, they stopped in the Garden of Ridvan for twelve days to celebrate. It was during this time that Baha'u'llah proclaimed His mission to those in attendance. Now every year, Baha'is across the planet celebrate the Festival of Paradise with their friends and families.
The first, ninth, and twelfth days are Holy Days, on which work should be suspended. The first day was when Baha'u'llah crossed the Tigris River and enter the Garden. The ninth day Baha'u'llah's family joined him in the Garden of Paradise. On the twelfth day everyone went back across the Tigris River, and began their journey to Constantinople. Baha'u'llah revealed some of His tablets while He and His followers were celebrating on the island.
What Holy Days will you be celebrating in April? Have you written any poems or stories about those celebrations? Please, let me know because I enjoy reading about the various sacred days celebrated by other faiths?
Excerpt: My wife and I sat patiently in the nondescript and antiseptic lobby of St. Joseph Women's Hospital and waited for an update on our daughter Rachel's condition. We were just a few feet away from the small, brightly lit, gift shop that featured a myriad of lovely, colorful, and upbeat items designed to celebrate the birth of blessed events. It contained such things as T-shirts, ball caps, and cuddly animals. The hospital's "welcome desk" was aligned almost perfectly with the entrance's automated sliding glass doors. A child's play area was located just a few feet from the tan, soft cushioned seats where we waited. A television set bolted onto the wall, a few feet above ideal viewing height, flickered images of national and international import. I think it was tuned to CNN.
Excerpt: Three sisters there were, born moments apart; Faithful - the saintly,
True - the loving, and Courageous, the brave of heart.
The years came and went, as the years always do, and in time, each left the home they knew.
Excerpt: Bouncing heel-ball, heel-ball,
the boy dances while the music plays
and young girls snap their fingers,
Excerpt: In 1972, an Icelandic sheep farmer named Sveinbjörn Beinteinssonpetitioned the Icelandic government to recognize the Icelandic fellowship of Asatru faith as a religious organization. The government agreed in 1973 and other counties soon followed...
Excerpt: The violence is everywhere
It’s tearing me apart
In the churches, in the schools
No one follows the golden rule
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