PLAINVILLE – Baha’is in Plainville and in thousands of U.S. communities recently observed Ayyam-i-Ha, a period of charity and gift-giving that was from Feb. 26 to March 1. The holiday is followed by an annual 19-Day Fast which started on March 2.
During the days of Ayyam-i-Ha this year, Plainville Baha’is hosted a Friday night fish dinner women’s celebratory devotional gathering and a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for PARC.
The Baha’i calendar has 19 months of 19 days each, for a total of 361 days, so the days of Ayyam-i-Ha are necessary to align the calendar with the 365-day solar calendar. The days of Ayyami-i-Ha thus stand apart from the ordinary cycle of weeks and months and can be thought of as days outside of time that symbolize eternity and mystery of God. Baha’is celebrate these sacred days through acts of love, fellowship, unity, charity and goodwill.
Immediately after Ayyam-i-Ha, Baha’is between ages 15 and 70 begin the annual 19-Day Fast, abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset from March 2 to 20. Like Lent in Christianity and Ramadan in Islam, the Baha’i Fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer when the individual reflects on his or her own spiritual life. It symbolizes the importance of detachment and self-restraint and serves as a spiritual preparation for the new year, which takes place on March 21.
The Bahai Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions and one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States. Baha’is view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Baha'i beliefs include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, the eradication of all forms of prejudice, the harmony of science and religion and universal education.
To learn more about the Baha'i Faith in Plainville or to get more information about our upcoming celebrations please contact Allissa Robinson at (732) 272-5689 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more background information check the Religion Newswriters Association’s “Source Guide on the Baha’i Faith” at www.religionlink.org/tip_090211.php or visit www.bahai.us.