Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Naw Ruz! The Beginning of Spring and the Baha'i New Year 166 B.E.

O peoples of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and its close have designated for you Naw-Ruz as a feast.

Naw-Ruz signifies the end of the Baha'i Fast and the beginning of the New Year. We had wonderful celebrations all weekend. Friday night was Feast at Hong and Sally's. We had a potluck dinner to break our Fast, and prayers and readings, a video of the chanting of the Naw Ruz tablet in Arabic, and beautiful singing by Denali, Hayden, and Chelan. Later we chatted over dessert and toured Hong's studio and looked at his magnificent paintings.

Saturday afternoon and evening was our Naw Ruz Holy Day celebration. Bettina decorated the room so beautifully with flowers, a Haft Sin table, and ornaments with Baha'i writings and prayers on them. Dinner was wonderful, and we had an inspiring devotional program. Later we celebrated with music and singing, dancing, and a bonfire!

As I left to go home, I paused in the darkness and looked up at the night sky and saw Orion shining low on the horizon, a sign of the end of Winter and the beginning of the New Year.

In addition to being a Baha'i Holy Day, Naw Ruz is also an Iranian cultural celebration. A Haft Sin table is a Persian tradition which includes seven items starting with the Farsi letter S, traditionally including sprouted wheat or lentils, flowers, garlic, apples, sumac, vinegar, a mirror, special books, fruit, and coins. Baha'is sometimes adopt variations of this Persian tradition to honor the cultural roots of our Faith.

Flowers symbolize Spring in many traditions.

Bettina decorated branches of a tree with beautiful ornaments with Baha'i writings on the back.

Butterflies and ribbons

These are just the appetizers! You should have seen the dinner!

The youth painted some posters of Unity, Love, and Hope.

Hanging out and chatting by the fire.

Jamila and Noor say a prayer.

During dinner we paused to read some devotional writings.

A prayer in English and Spanish

Denali and friend

After dinner Sally led some circle dancing. Some of us went outside by the fire and chatted and enjoyed the stars and the night air.

Chelan and Hayden sang several beautiful songs for us.

Henry sings for us.

Kenna plays the flute.

Denali, Hayden, and Chelan.



At 9:09 PM, Blogger Racn4acure said...

Sounds like a lot of fun Anne, and a good way for people in your faith to get together and to celebrate as a community.

I always love seeing Orion.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks Art, yes we had a wonderful time!

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Gorilla vs. Rex said...

Great pictures Anne! Glad I found your blog!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks! I'm glad you found it too!


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