Days of Ha

February 26-March 1

“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” —Tablets of Baha’u’llah

From February 26th (technically sunset on February 25th) until March 1st millions of Baha’i throughout the world celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha, literally “Days of Ha.”

“It behoveth the people of Baha, 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.”

The Baha’i celebrate through feast, song, and prayer. Themes of the holiday are hospitality, charity and service to the community.The 4-day holiday—five in leap year—prepares celebrants for the upcoming month of Ala. Ala is the last month of the Baha’i, during which people fast for the entire month. They fast during the day only.The Baha’i calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days each. Count ‘em up, that’s 361 days. The “Ayyam-i-Ha”are the additional 4 days (or 5 for Leap Year) inserted after February 25.The tradition of tossing extra days after February 25 is not unique to the Baha’i. In fact, such an intercalary goes back thousands of years to the Ancient Romans…

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha! (pronounced “I am eeha!”)

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