Ridvan | The King of Festivals
Updated: Apr 22
A Baha'i Devotional Program
Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One.
Baha’is all around the world celebrate these 12 days starting from April the 21st. Now you may be wondering why we would celebrate this Most Great Festival? On 22nd April 1863, Baha’u’llah announced at last, that He was the Promised One foretold by the Bab, the Manifestation of God for this day.
He had come with a Message from God to bring new laws and teachings to all the people of the world. This was Baha’u’llahs first declaration of His religion, and His first announcement of a New Day. On that same day, Baha’u’llah made 3 other important statements.
The first was to forbid the use of the sword. That means that we are not allowed to use violence to solve problems but rather to use our words.
The second statement made by Baha’u’llah on the first day of Ridvan was that no other Manifestation of God would appear earlier than 1000yrs. So that means there will be no other Manifestation of God before the year 2863.
And the third statement made by Baha’u’llah on that day was that the moment He uttered those words, all the names and attributes of God were fully manifested within all created things. By this He implied the coming of a new Day and the infusion of a fresh capacity into all beings.
No one ever forgot Baha’u’llah’s days in the Garden of Ridvan. Every year we also remember them and celebrate them. Baha’i’s come together to say prayers and to remember Baha’u’llah’s declaration of His mission to the first Baha’i’s. Baha’u’llah has called the celebration of these Holy Days the “Most Great Festival”, the “King of Festivals” and the “Festival of God”.
Say: The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King of Festivals. Call ye to mind, O people, the bounty which God hath conferred upon you. Ye were sunk in slumber, and lo! He aroused you by the reviving breezes of His Revelation and made known unto you His manifest and undeviating Path.
The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy peace. The day-star of blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the kingdom of the names of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the name of thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Arise before the nations of the earth, and arm thyself with the power of this Most Great Name, and be not of those who tarry.
All praise, O my God, be to Thee Who art the Source of all glory and majesty, of greatness and honor, of sovereignty and dominion, of loftiness and grace, of awe and power. Whomsoever Thou willest Thou causest to draw nigh unto the Most Great Ocean, and on whomsoever Thou desirest Thou conferrest the honor of recognizing Thy Most Ancient Name. Of all who are in heaven and on earth, none can withstand the operation of Thy sovereign Will. From all eternity Thou didst rule the entire creation, and Thou wilt continue for evermore to exercise Thy dominion over all created things. There is none other God but Thee, the Almighty, The Most Exalted, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise. Illumine, O Lord, the faces of Thy servants, that they may behold Thee; and cleanse their hearts that they may turn unto the court of Thy heavenly favors, and recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thy Self and the Dayspring of Thine Essence. Verily, Thou art the Lord of all worlds. There is no God but Thee, the Unconstrained, the All-Subduing.
Magnified be Thy name, O Lord my God! Thou art He Whom all things worship and Who worshipeth no one, Who is the Lord of all things and is the vassal of none, Who knoweth all things and is known of none. Thou didst wish to make Thyself known unto men; therefore, Thou didst, through a word of Thy mouth, bring creation into being and fashion the universe. There is none other God except Thee, the Fashioner, the Creator, the Almighty, the Most Powerful. I implore Thee, by this very word that hath shone forth above the horizon of Thy will, to enable me to drink deep of the living waters through which Thou hast vivified the hearts of Thy chosen ones and quickened the souls of them that love Thee, that I may, at all times and under all conditions, turn my face wholly towards Thee. Thou art the God of power, of glory and bounty. No God is there beside Thee, the Supreme Ruler, the All-Glorious, the Omniscient.
The promised Day of God is come! He Who is the Manifestation of the Adored One hath been established upon the throne of His name, the All-Loving, and the sun of His bounty hath cast its rays upon the seeing and seen alike. Wherefore renounce ye, O denizens of the realms of limitation, that which ye possess, adorn your temples with His glorious vesture, and behold with untainted vision Him Who is the luminous Beauty of God seated upon the throne of glory in His transcendent, His almighty and all-subduing sovereignty. All praise be to the BestBeloved, Who hath revealed His hidden beauty with such manifest authority!
This is a festival wherein all things have been adorned with the vesture of the names of God, and wherein His bounty hath compassed all things from first to last. All hail then to this, the Festival of the Lord, that hath shone above a dayspring of resplendent holiness!
This is the Day which the Pen of the Most High hath glorified in all the holy Scriptures.