The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Index term: Holy Days
k16.
O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name; and when they end -- these days of giving that precede the season of restraint -- let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind. The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous.
k16.
O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name; and when they end -- these days of giving that precede the season of restraint -- let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind. The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous.
k110.
All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days -- the first of the Most Great Festivals being those days whereon the All-Merciful shed upon the whole of creation the effulgent glory of His most excellent Names and His most exalted Attributes, and the second being that day on which We raised up the One Who announced unto mankind the glad tidings of this Name, through which the dead have been resurrected and all who are in the heavens and on earth have been gathered together. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Ordainer, the Omniscient.
k111.
Happy the one who entereth upon the first day of the month of Bahá, the day which God hath consecrated to this Great Name. And blessed be he who evidenceth on this day the bounties that God hath bestowed upon him; he, verily, is of those who show forth thanks to God through actions betokening the Lord's munificence which hath encompassed all the worlds. Say: This day, verily, is the crown of all the months and the source thereof, the day on which the breath of life is wafted over all created things. Great is the blessedness of him who greeteth it with radiance and joy. We testify that he is, in truth, among those who are blissful.
k112.
Say: The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King of Festivals. Call ye to mind, O people, the bounty which God hath conferred upon you. Ye were sunk in slumber, and lo! He aroused you by the reviving breezes of His Revelation, and made known unto you His manifest and undeviating Path.
n25.
We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period
Fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two pillars that sustain the revealed Law of God. Bahá'u'lláh in one of His Tablets affirms that He has revealed the laws of obligatory prayer and fasting so that through them the believers may draw nigh unto God.
Shoghi Effendi indicates that the fasting period, which involves complete abstention from food and drink from sunrise till sunset, is

. . . essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.

Fasting is enjoined on all the believers once they attain the age of 15 and until they reach the age of 70 years.
A summary of the detailed provisions concerning the law of fasting and of the exemptions granted to certain categories of people is contained in the Synopsis and Codification, section IV.B.1.-6. For a discussion of the exemptions from fasting see notes 14, 20, 30 and 31.
The nineteen-day period of fasting coincides with the Bahá'í month of 'Alá', usually 2-20 March, immediately after the termination of the Intercalary Days (see notes 27 and 147), and is followed by the feast of Naw-Rúz (see note 26).
n26.
and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast
The Báb introduced a new calendar, known now as the Badí' or Bahá'í calendar (see notes 27 and 147). According to this calendar, a day is the period from sunset to sunset. In the Bayán, the Báb ordained the month of 'Alá' to be the month of fasting, decreed that the day of Naw-Rúz should mark the termination of that period, and designated Naw-Rúz as the Day of God. Bahá'u'lláh confirms the Badí' calendar wherein Naw-Rúz is designated as a feast.
Naw-Rúz is the first day of the new year. It coincides with the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, which usually occurs on 21 March. Bahá'u'lláh explains that this feast day is to be celebrated on whatever day the sun passes into the constellation of Aries (i.e. the vernal equinox), even should this occur one minute before sunset (Q&A 35). Hence Naw-Rúz could fall on 20, 21, or 22 March, depending on the time of the equinox.
Bahá'u'lláh has left the details of many laws to be filled in by the Universal House of Justice. Among these are a number of matters affecting the Bahá'í calendar. The Guardian has stated that the implementation, worldwide, of the law concerning the timing of Naw-Rúz will require the choice of a particular spot on earth which will serve as the standard for the fixing of the time of the spring equinox. He also indicated that the choice of this spot has been left to the decision of the Universal House of Justice.
n107.
first day of Ridván
This is a reference to the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh and His companions in the Najíbíyyih Garden outside the city of Baghdád, subsequently referred to by the Bahá'ís as the Garden of Ridván. This event, which took place thirty-one days after Naw-Rúz, in April 1863, signalized the commencement of the period during which Bahá'u'lláh declared His Mission to His companions. In a Tablet, He refers to His Declaration as "the Day of supreme felicity" and He describes the Garden of Ridván as "the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendours of His Name, the All-Merciful". Bahá'u'lláh spent twelve days in this Garden prior to departing for Istanbul, the place to which He had been banished.
The Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh is celebrated annually by the twelve-day Ridván Festival, described by Shoghi Effendi as "the holiest and most significant of all Bahá'í festivals" (see notes 138 and 140).
n138.
All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days
This passage establishes four great festivals of the Bahá'í year. The two designated by Bahá'u'lláh as "the two Most Great Festivals" are, first, the Festival of Ridván, which commemorates Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration of His Prophetic Mission in the Garden of Ridván in Baghdád during twelve days in April/May 1863 and is referred to by Him as "the King of Festivals" and, second, the Báb's Declaration, which occurred in May 1844 in Shíráz. The first, ninth and twelfth days of the Festival of Ridván are Holy Days (Q&A 1), as is the day of the Declaration of the Báb.
The "two other Festivals" are the anniversaries of the births of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb. In the Muslim lunar calendar these fall on consecutive days, the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on the second day of the month of Muharram 1233 A.H. (12 November 1817), and the birth of the Báb on the first day of the same month 1235 A.H. (20 October 1819), respectively. They are thus referred to as the "Twin Birthdays" and Bahá'u'lláh states that these two days are accounted as one in the sight of God (Q&A 2). He states that, should they fall within the month of fasting, the command to fast shall not apply on those days (Q&A 36). Given that the Bahá'í calendar (see notes 26 and 147) is a solar calendar, it remains for the Universal House of Justice to determine whether the Twin Holy Birthdays are to be celebrated on a solar or lunar basis.
n138.
All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days
This passage establishes four great festivals of the Bahá'í year. The two designated by Bahá'u'lláh as "the two Most Great Festivals" are, first, the Festival of Ridván, which commemorates Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration of His Prophetic Mission in the Garden of Ridván in Baghdád during twelve days in April/May 1863 and is referred to by Him as "the King of Festivals" and, second, the Báb's Declaration, which occurred in May 1844 in Shíráz. The first, ninth and twelfth days of the Festival of Ridván are Holy Days (Q&A 1), as is the day of the Declaration of the Báb.
The "two other Festivals" are the anniversaries of the births of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb. In the Muslim lunar calendar these fall on consecutive days, the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on the second day of the month of Muharram 1233 A.H. (12 November 1817), and the birth of the Báb on the first day of the same month 1235 A.H. (20 October 1819), respectively. They are thus referred to as the "Twin Birthdays" and Bahá'u'lláh states that these two days are accounted as one in the sight of God (Q&A 2). He states that, should they fall within the month of fasting, the command to fast shall not apply on those days (Q&A 36). Given that the Bahá'í calendar (see notes 26 and 147) is a solar calendar, it remains for the Universal House of Justice to determine whether the Twin Holy Birthdays are to be celebrated on a solar or lunar basis.
n138.
All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days
This passage establishes four great festivals of the Bahá'í year. The two designated by Bahá'u'lláh as "the two Most Great Festivals" are, first, the Festival of Ridván, which commemorates Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration of His Prophetic Mission in the Garden of Ridván in Baghdád during twelve days in April/May 1863 and is referred to by Him as "the King of Festivals" and, second, the Báb's Declaration, which occurred in May 1844 in Shíráz. The first, ninth and twelfth days of the Festival of Ridván are Holy Days (Q&A 1), as is the day of the Declaration of the Báb.
The "two other Festivals" are the anniversaries of the births of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb. In the Muslim lunar calendar these fall on consecutive days, the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on the second day of the month of Muharram 1233 A.H. (12 November 1817), and the birth of the Báb on the first day of the same month 1235 A.H. (20 October 1819), respectively. They are thus referred to as the "Twin Birthdays" and Bahá'u'lláh states that these two days are accounted as one in the sight of God (Q&A 2). He states that, should they fall within the month of fasting, the command to fast shall not apply on those days (Q&A 36). Given that the Bahá'í calendar (see notes 26 and 147) is a solar calendar, it remains for the Universal House of Justice to determine whether the Twin Holy Birthdays are to be celebrated on a solar or lunar basis.
n139.
the first day of the month of Bahá
In the Bahá'í calendar the first month of the year and the first day of each month are given the name "Bahá". The day of Bahá of the month of Bahá is thus the Bahá'í New Year, Naw-Rúz, which was ordained by the Báb as a festival and is here confirmed by Bahá'u'lláh (see notes 26 and 147).
In addition to the seven Holy Days ordained in these passages of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Báb was also commemorated as a Holy Day in the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh and, as a corollary to this, 'Abdu'l-Bahá added the observance of the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, making nine Holy Days in all. Two other anniversaries which are observed, but on which work is not suspended, are the Day of the Covenant and the anniversary of the Passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. See the section on the Bahá'í calendar in The Bahá'í World, volume XVIII.
n140.
The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King of Festivals
A reference to the Ridván Festival (see notes 107 and 138).
n147.
The number of months in a year, appointed in the Book of God, is nineteen.
The Bahá'í year, in accordance with the Badí' calendar, consists of nineteen months of nineteen days each, with the addition of certain intercalary days (four in an ordinary year and five in a leap year) between the eighteenth and nineteenth months in order to adjust the calendar to the solar year. The Báb named the months after certain attributes of God. The Bahá'í New Year, Naw-Rúz, is astronomically fixed, coinciding with the March equinox (see note 26). For further details, including the names of the days of the week and the months, see the section on the Bahá'í calendar in The Bahá'í World, volume XVIII.
q1.
 
Question: Concerning the Most Great Festival.
Answer: The Most Great Festival commenceth late in the afternoon of the thirteenth day of the second month of the year according to the Bayán. On the first, ninth and twelfth days of this Festival, work is forbidden.
q1.
 
Question: Concerning the Most Great Festival.
Answer: The Most Great Festival commenceth late in the afternoon of the thirteenth day of the second month of the year according to the Bayán. On the first, ninth and twelfth days of this Festival, work is forbidden.
q2.
 
Question: Concerning the Festival of the Twin Birthdays.
Answer: The Birth of the Abhá Beauty [Bahá'u'lláh] was at the hour of dawn on the second day of the month of Muharram [first month of the Islamic lunar calendar], the first day of which marketh the Birth of His Herald. These two days are accounted as one in the sight of God.
q2.
 
Question: Concerning the Festival of the Twin Birthdays.
Answer: The Birth of the Abhá Beauty [Bahá'u'lláh] was at the hour of dawn on the second day of the month of Muharram [first month of the Islamic lunar calendar], the first day of which marketh the Birth of His Herald. These two days are accounted as one in the sight of God.
q35.
 
Question: Concerning Naw-Rúz.
Answer: The Festival of Naw-Rúz falleth on the day that the sun entereth the sign of Aries [the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere], even should this occur no more than one minute before sunset.
q36.
 
Question: If the anniversary either of the Twin Birthdays or of the Declaration of the Báb occurreth during the Fast, what is to be done?
Answer: Should the feasts celebrating the Twin Birthdays or the Declaration of the Báb fall within the month of fasting, the command to fast shall not apply on that day.
q36.
 
Question: If the anniversary either of the Twin Birthdays or of the Declaration of the Báb occurreth during the Fast, what is to be done?
Answer: Should the feasts celebrating the Twin Birthdays or the Declaration of the Báb fall within the month of fasting, the command to fast shall not apply on that day.