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The Bahá'í calendar, also called the Badí‘ calendar, used by the Bahá'í Faith, is a solar calendar with regular years of 365 days, and leap years of 366 days. Years are composed of 19 months of 19 days each, (361 days) plus an extra period of "Intercalary Days" (4 in regular and 5 in leap years). Years in the calendar begin at the vernal equinox, and are counted with the date notation of BE (Bahá'í Era), with March 21, 1844 CE being the first day of the first year. The period from March 21, 2007 to March 20, 2008 is the year 164 BE.
The Bahá'í calendar started from the original Badí‘ calendar, created by the Báb. Bahá'u'lláh confirmed and adopted this calendar and made Naw-Rúz or the vernal equinox the first day of the year, and also clarified the intercalary days.
Although the vernal equinox can occur on March 20, 21 or 22, Shoghi Effendi declared that, for the time being, the Badí‘ calendar is 'locked' to the Gregorian calendar with the new year always starting at sunset on March 20. Without this, the calendar could vary by a day or two when compared to the Gregorian calendar. The implementation of the variable calendar with respect to the beginning of Naw-Rúz will require the Universal House of Justice selecting a single location for the fixing of the date of the equinox. This 'locked' calendar is the one described in this article.
Years in the Bahá'í calendar are counted from Thursday, March 21, 1844, the beginning of the Bahá'í Era or Badí‘ Era (abbreviated BE or B.E.). Year 1 BE thus began at sundown March 20, 1844. Using the Bahá'í names for the weekday and month, day one of the Bahá'í Era was Istijlál (Majesty), 1 Bahá (Splendour) 1 BE. As detailed below, the names of the Bahá'í months and days reflect attributes of God.
For several early years after Tom Morey founded what would become Morey Watersports, the boogie boards his company produced were stamped with the B.E. year of production. This may have been the first "external" use of B.E. dates, and almost certainly the first on a commercial product.
The Bahá'í calendar is composed of 19 months, each with 19 days. The Nineteen Day Fast is held during the final month of ‘Alá’ (March 2 - 20), and is preceded by the intercalary days, known as Ayyám-i-Há. There are 4 Intercalary Days in a regular year, and 5 in a leap year. The month of fasting is followed by Naw-Rúz, the new year. Because the calendar is currently synchronized with the Gregorian calendar, the Bahá'í leap years happen on common era leap years. In addition, the Intercalary Days include February 28 and March 1, causing precise synchronization of the 19 months with the Gregorian Calendar.
|Arabic Name||Arabic Script||English Translation||Gregorian Dates|
|Bahá||بهاء||Splendour||March 21 - April 8|
|Jalál||جلال||Glory||April 9 - April 27|
|Jamál||جمال||Beauty||April 28 - May 16|
|‘Aẓamat||عظمة||Grandeur||May 17 - June 4|
|Núr||نور||Light||June 5 - June 23|
|Raḥmat||رحمة||Mercy||June 24 - July 12|
|Kalimát||كلمات||Words||July 13 - July 31|
|Kamál||كمال||Perfection||August 1 - August 19|
|Asmá’||اسماء||Names||August 20 - September 7|
|‘Izzat||عزة||Might||September 8 - September 26|
|Mashíyyat||مشية||Will||September 27 - October 15|
|‘Ilm||علم||Knowledge||October 16 - November 3|
|Qudrat||قدرة||Power||November 4 - November 22|
|Qawl||قول||Speech||November 23 - December 11|
|Masá’il||مسائل||Questions||December 12 - December 30|
|Sharaf||شرف||Honor||December 31 - January 18|
|Sulṭán||سلطان||Sovereignty||January 19 - February 6|
|Mulk||ملك||Dominion||February 7 - February 25|
|Ayyám-i-Há||ايام الهاء||The Days of Há||February 26 - March 1|
|‘Alá’||علاء||Loftiness||March 2 - March 20 (Month of fasting)|
There are eleven holy days in the Bahá'í calendar on nine of which work is suspended. The Festival of Ridván, a twelve day festival that commemorates Bahá'u'lláh's announcement of prophethood, is the most holy Bahá'í festival and is referred to as the "Most Great Festival."
|Name||Gregorian Dates||Work Suspended|
|Naw-Rúz (Bahá'í New Year)||March 21||Yes|
|First day of Riḍván (Arabic: رضوان)||April 21||Yes|
|Ninth day of Riḍván||April 29||Yes|
|Twelfth day of Riḍván||May 2||Yes|
|Declaration of the Báb||May 23||Yes|
|Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh||May 29||Yes|
|Martyrdom of the Báb||July 9||Yes|
|Birth of the Báb||October 20||Yes|
|Birth of Bahá'u'lláh||November 12||Yes|
|Day of the Covenant||November 26||No|
|Ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá||November 28||No|
The Bahá'í week starts on Saturday, and ends on Friday. Days begin at sunset on the previous solar day and end at sunset of the present solar day. Like Islám, Friday is also the day of rest in the Bahá'í Faith.
|Arabic Name||Arabic Script||English Translation||Day of the Week|
Váḥid and Kull-i-Shay’
Also existing in the Bahá'í calendar system is a 19-year cycle called Váḥid and a 361-year (19x19) supercycle called Kull-i-Shay’ (literally, "All Things"). Each of the 19 years in a Vahid has been given a name as shown in the table below. The 9th Váḥid of the 1st Kull-i-Shay’ started on 21 March 1996, and the 10th Váḥid will begin in 2015. The current Bahá'í year, year 164 BE, is year Javáb of the 9th Váḥid of the 1st Kull-i-Shay’. The 2nd Kull-i-Shay’ will begin in 2205.
The concept of a 19-year cycle has existed in some form since the 4th century BC. The Metonic cycle represents an invented measure that approximately correlates solar and lunar markings of time and which appears in several calendar systems.
- Years in a Váḥid
|No.||Arabic Name||Arabic Script||English Translation|
- Curtis, Larry (2004-03-06). "A Day in the Bahá'í Calendar". bcca.org. http://www.bcca.org/bahaivision/docs/today.html. Retrieved 2006-09-24.
- Taylor, John (2000-09-01). "On Novelty in Ayyám-i-Há and the Badí Calendar". bahai-library.org. http://bahai-library.com/?file=taylor_novelty_badi_calendar. Retrieved 2006-09-24.
- Universal House of Justice (1992). Notes of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. pp. 178-179. ISBN 0853989990. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-43.html#gr2. .
- Effendi, Shoghi (1973). Directives from the Guardian. India/Hawaii: Bahá'í publishing trust. pp. pp. 30. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/DG/dg-75.html.
- National Spiritual Assembly of the United States (2006-03-05). "The Bahá'í Calendar". bahai.us. http://www.bahai.us/bahai-calendar. Retrieved 2006-09-24.
- Esslemont, J.E. (1980). Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era (5th ed. ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. pp.178-179. ISBN 0877431604. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/je/BNE/.
- National Spiritual Assembly of the United States (2006-03-05). "The Badi Calendar". bahai.us. http://www.bahai.us/system/files/BahaiCalendarOptimized.pdf. Retrieved 2006-09-23.
- Walbridge, John (2003-10-02). "Ridvan". http://bahai-library.com/?file=walbridge_encyclopedia_ridvan. Retrieved 2006-09-23.
- Effendi, Shoghi (1950). Bahá'í Faith, The: 1844-1950. Wilmette, IL: Bahá'í Publishing Committee. http://bahai-library.com/?file=shoghieffendi_statistics_1844-1950.
- Effendi, Shoghi; The Universal House of Justice (1983). Hornby, Helen (Ed.). ed. Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India. pp. pp. 109. ISBN 8185091463. http://bahai-library.com/?file=hornby_lights_guidance.
- Bolhuis, Arjen (2006-03-23). "The first Kull-i-Shay' of the Bahá'í Era". http://bahai-library.org/resources/kull-i-shay.html. Retrieved 2006-09-23.
- Effendi, Shoghi (1976). Principles of Bahá'í Administration (4th ed. ed.). London, UK: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0900125136.