A response to the article "21st of March labeled as the Baha'i New Year!?"

March 21st had been declared by Baha’u’llah the Prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith in mid 1880s.  The Baha'i calendar is devised of 19 months of 19 days each.  4 days (5 in a leap year) remaining days of celebration complete a solar cycle of 365 days.  Naw Ruz also ends a 19 day period of fasting for the Baha'is all over the world.  It is a joyous, festive and holy occasion when Baha'is are bidden to take off from work and to spend time with family and friends much like Iranians have done for thousands of years as previous articles have expressed.

The fact that the Baha'is celebrate Naw Ruz in the same way should not be misconstrued as lack of originality and should not preclude Baha'is from calling it a Baha'i New Year.  It is in fact a recognition and reaffirmation of the beginning of the year at the vernal equinox by Baha’u’llah.  Though an Iranian new year, it is celebrated by millions of Baha'm adherents all over the world who come from various other religions and backgrounds for that reason.  The other contributors to this article are correct in that the mention of this day as Baha'i new year is probably due to the fact that Amnesty International is well aware of and has been in contact with Baha'i institutions for many years.  Many cities in US have inter-religious organizations that produce a common calendar that includes all Baha'i holy days including Naw Ruz.  I am sure Amnesty International would not have any issues in declaring that day and Iranian New Year as well.


Shadan Tofighi