Since the earliest beginnings of human history, the measurement of time has been fundamental to the organization of societies.
The adoption of a new calendar in each religious era is a symbol of the power of divine revelation to reshape human perception of material, social, and spiritual reality. Through it, sacred moments are distinguished, humanity’s place in time and space reimagined, and the rhythm of life recast.
The Baha’i Faith has its own calendar, the Badí’ Calendar, which was standardized and adopted globally for Baha’i observances in 2015. The Badí’ Calendar is a solar calendar consisting of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), with the addition of “Intercalary Days” (four in ordinary years and five in leap years) to adjust the calendar to the solar year. The days and months are named after the attributes of God. The Nineteen Day Feast, the primary community gathering for Baha’is in each town and city, is held on the first day of each Baha’i month.
The Baha’i New Year coincides with the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere. It can fall on March 20 or 21, and the remaining Feast and Holy Days are adjusted accordingly. Calendar dates for the next 50 years are listed here.
Baha’i Months and Feast Days
Ayyám-i-Há (Intercalary Days)
March 20 or 21
April 8 or 9 April
April 27 or 28
May 16 or 17
June 4 or 5
June 23 or 24
July 12 or 13
July 31 or August 1
August 19 or 20
September 7 or 8
September 26 or 27
October 15 or 16
November 3 or 4
November 22 or 23
December 11 or 12
December 30 or 31
January 18 or 19
February 6 or 7
Floats between February 25 and March 1
Month of Fasting, begins after Ayyám-i-Há
Baha’i Month of Fasting
The last month in the Baha’i calendar, ‘Alá’ (Loftiness), is dedicated to the Baha’i Fast. During this time, Baha’is between 15 and 70 years of age do not eat or drink for 19 days from sunrise to sunset and set aside time for prayer and meditation. Exemptions from the Fast occur for illness, pregnancy, nursing mothers, extended travel and arduous physical labor.
Bahá’í Holy Days
Naw-Rúz (March 20 or 21): The Baha’i New Year’s Day coincides with the spring equinox. Naw-Rúz is an ancient Persian festival celebrating the “new day” and for Baha’is it marks the end of the annual 19-Day Fast and is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school.
Festival of Ridván: The annual Baha’i festival commemorates the 12 days when Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s messenger for this age. Elections for local, national and international Baha’i institutions are generally held during the Festival of Ridvan. The first (April 20 or 21), ninth (April 28 or 29) and twelfth (May 1 or 2) days are celebrated as holy days when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school.
Declaration of the Báb (May 23 or 24): This Holy Day commemorates May 23, 1844, when the Báb, the herald of the Baha’i Faith, announced in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), that He was the Herald of a new Messenger of God. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school.
Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (May 28 or 29): Baha’is observe the anniversary of the death in exile of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, on May 29, 1892, outside Akko (also known as Akka or Acre), in what is now northern Israel. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school.
Martyrdom of the Báb (July 9 or 10): The holy day commemorates the anniversary of the execution of the Báb (Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad), the herald of the Baha’i Faith, by a firing squad on July 9, 1850, in Tabriz, Persia (now Iran). It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school.
Twin Holy Birthdays: The Birth of the Báb (October 20, 1819) and the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (November 12, 1817) occurred on consecutive days according to the Islamic lunar calendar (1 and 2 Muharram, respectively). These Holy Days are celebrated on the first and second days of the eighth lunar month after Naw-Rúz, and may fall as early as October 20-21 and as late as November 11-12. They are two of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school. Dates for the next 50 years are listed here.
Day of the Covenant (Nov. 25 or 26): The festival commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s appointment of His eldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the Center of His Covenant.
Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Nov 27 or 28): Baha’is observe the anniversary of the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor, on Nov 28, 1921 in Haifa, in what is now northern Israel.
Ayyám-i-Há or Intercalary Days (floats between Feb. 25 and March 1): Ayyám-i-Há, or “Days of Ha,” are devoted to spiritual preparation for the Fast, hospitality, charity and gift giving. They are celebrated during the four days (five in leap year) before the last month of the Baha’i year.