The Bab (1819-1850) was the Prophet-Herald of the Baha’i Faith, whose mission was to proclaim the imminent arrival of “Him Whom God shall make manifest,” namely Baha’u'llah (1817-1892), the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. (The title Bab means “the Gate” in Arabic.)
On Oct. 20, Baha’is observe this Holy Day by abstaining from work. There are no prescribed ceremonies, but gatherings usually involve prayers, devotional readings, music and fellowship. (Baha’i days begin at sunset so celebrations may begin the evening of Oct 19.)
On May 23, 1844, in Shiraz, Persia, the Bab announced the impending appearance of the Messenger of God awaited by all the peoples of the world. Following this announcement, the Bab was persecuted by members of the dominant Muslim clergy in what is now Iran. The Bab was arrested, beaten and imprisoned, and, on July 9, 1850, was executed in the public square of the city of Tabriz. Some 20,000 of His followers perished in a series of massacres throughout Persia.
Today, visitors at the Baha’i World Center in Haifa, Israel, can visit the Shrine of the Bab, a majestic, gold-domed building where His earthly remains are entombed.
Read Brent Poirier’s blog on the Huffington Post - Celebration of the Birth of the Bab: Dawn of the Age of Maturity of Humanity