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Ridvan Greetings

Ridvan (pronounced Riz-wan) is a twelve-day festival, the most important one of the Baha'i year. Ridvan, which means "paradise", is the name of the garden in which Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, proclaimed His identity as a Messenger of God. This happened in 1863 as Baha'u'llah was about to be exiled from the city of Baghdad.
The twelve days of Ridvan, April 21 to May 2, commemorated the twelve days that Baha'u'llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan, on an island in The Tigris River. The First, Ninth, and Twelfth Days of Ridvan are considered significant holy days by Baha'is. The First Day (April 21) was the day that Baha'u'llah identified himself as a Messenger of God. On the Ninth Day (April 29), His family joined Him in preparation for the journey into exile. The Twelfth Day (May 2) represents the day that Baha'u'llah and His family were banished from Baghdad to Constantinople.
On the three holy days of Ridvan, Baha'is all over the world gather together to remember this joyous time in Baha'u'llah's life (He spent the majority of His life in prison, and was exiled four times). Baha'is recite prayers, sing, read from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, and celebrate His life and teachings. Because of the global nature of the Baha'i Faith, rituals are discouraged. There are no specific foods, or activities associated with Ridvan, or any of the other Baha'i Holy Days.
An aspect of Baha'i administration is associated with the time of Ridvan. There is no clergy in the Baha'i Faith, so local Baha'i communities are administered by nine-member Local Spiritual Assemblies which are elected each year. These elections take place on the First Day of Ridvan.
We extend good wishes to all staff, students and members of the Baha’i community who will be celebrating Ridvan.


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