On 21-22 October this year the Baha’is around the world will commemorate two holy days that are both unique in the Baha’i calendar and of immense significance in human history. These holy days mark respectively the births of the two most important Luminaries of the Baha’i Faith, the Birth of the Bab (meaning the Gate) and the Birth of Baha’u’llah (meaning the Glory of God). This year’s celebration observes the bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah, and in 2019, the bicentennial of the birth of the Bab.
The significance of these Holy Days has to do with the Baha’i understanding of the extraordinary lives and teachings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab. Those two Manifestations of God appeared on the horizon of human history in the nineteenth century bearing a message for humankind, announcing a new era in our collective history on this planet.
To many their names are as yet unfamiliar, but the writings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab describe a period of transition in our history that has overtaken humanity these past two centuries, and is currently undergoing rapid acceleration. That transition, however painful and promising by degrees, is leading to an age of collective maturity for the human race. It will be characterized by our essential oneness, in a pattern of global unity that embraces all our rich and beautiful diversity. To the extent humankind comes together, civilization will move resolutely forward towards the peace, justice, and prosperity that has been the dream of seers and poets, prophets and philosophers, throughout the past ages and myriad cultures and communities that comprise our shared history.
Embracing ideals that combine service and worship, Baha’is are engaged in a worldwide effort at community-building that, with no sectarian or congregational aspiration, aims to contribute to a pattern of collective life on earth that is informed by the uplifting teachings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab – teachings that reinforce and amplify the teachings of all the world’s great religions.
Baha’u’llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith, was born in 1817, in Tehran, Iran. The births of Baha’u’llah, and his predecessor the Bab, are considered as sacred days in the Baha’i Faith.
More than 5 million Baha’is will observe the bicentennial celebrations this year, in around 100,000 localities around the world. They will be open to people from all communities and systems of beliefs.