The Festivals of Ridván

Entrance to the Ridván Gardens outside of Akká, Israel

This pleasant garden spot outside of Akká was occasionally visited by Bahá’u’lláh and referred by Him as “Our Verdant Isle.” The river that once flowed around it is long gone, but at that time this was the entry point. The Universal House of Justice has plans to restore this Holy Place so that it is once again surrounded by water.


Join Bahá’ís in your area for Ridván Celebrations !

The Holy Days are:

The First Day of Ridván        April 21st

The Ninth Day of Ridván      April 29th

The Twelfth Day of Ridván   May 2nd

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.  

                                                                  Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas


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 Ridvan, which commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s Declaration of His Prophetic Mission in the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad 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 Shiraz. The first, ninth and twelfth days of the Festival of Ridvan are Holy Days … 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 Bab 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…  

Commentary from The Kitab-i-Aqdas


The passing to the Abhá Kingdom of Mary J. Langrall came to the Webmaster’s attention in the latest edition of The American Bahá’í (March/April 2009). Her passing was noted in the In Memoriam section, where it listed her passing as being on November 8, 2008, in Orange Park, Florida.  This must be a reference to Mary Jane Langrall, who I knew at the Bahá’í World Centre in the mid-1980’s. She served there for about a year as the secretary at the Purchasing Office, and then departed, telling us that she had received an offer to type the manuscript of a book for a member of her family. She was, so I was told, the aunt of actress Joanne Woodward and the in-law of Paul Newman. My memory of Mary Jane is that she was was most cheerful person I ever met. She was effusively, wonderfully cheerful. Cheerfulness radiated from her soul in her words, her tone of voice, and her demeanor. She was almost sunshine incarnate. If someone with a black cloud over their head met Mary Jane, just a minute in her presence would burn it away.  


Here is a prayer from Bahá’u’lláh in honor of Mary Jane.

Glory to Thee, O my God! One of Thy handmaidens, who hath believed in Thee and in Thy signs, hath entered beneath the shadow of the tree of Thy oneness. Give her to quaff, O my God, by Thy Name, the Manifest and the Hidden, of Thy choice sealed Wine that it may take her away from her own self, and make her to be entirely devoted to Thy remembrance, and wholly detached from any one beside Thee.

Now that Thou hast revealed unto her the knowledge of Thee, O my Lord, deny her not, by Thy bounty, Thy grace; and now that Thou hast called her unto Thyself, drive her not away from Thee, through Thy favor. Supply her, then, with that which excelleth all that can be found on Thine earth.  Thou art, verily, the Most Bountiful, Whose grace is immense.

Wert Thou to bestow on one of Thy creatures what would equal the kingdoms of earth and heaven, it would still not diminish by even as much as an atom the immensity of Thy dominion. Far greater art Thou than the Great One men are wont to call Thee, for such a title is but one of Thy names all of which were created by a mere indication of Thy will.

There is no God but Thee, the God of power, the God of glory, the God of knowledge and wisdom.


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