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Baháʼí calendar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Baháʼí calendar used in the Baháʼí Faith is a solar calendar consisting of nineteen months and four or five intercalary days, with new year at the moment of Northern spring equinox. Each month is named after a virtue (e.g., Perfection, Mercy), as are the days of the week. The first year is dated from 1844 CE, the year in which the Báb began teaching.

Years on the calendar are annotated with the date notation of BE (Baháʼí Era). The Baháʼí year 181 BE started on 20 March 2024.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Introduction to the Badí‘ Calendar
  • Baha'i Month Pronunciation in Arabic
  • Naw Ruz 2021
  • Naw Ruz 2021



The Baháʼí calendar started from the original Badíʿ calendar, created by the Báb in the Kitabu'l-Asmáʼ[1] and the Persian Bayán (5:3) in the 1840s.[2] An early version of the calendar began to be implemented during his time.[3] It used a scheme of nineteen months of nineteen days, with the product of 361 days, plus intercalary days to make the calendar a solar calendar. The first day of the early implementation of the calendar year was Nowruz,[4] while the intercalary days were assigned differently than the later Baháʼí implementation. The calendar contains many symbolic meanings and allusions[5] including connections to prophecies of the Báb about the next Manifestation of God termed He whom God shall make manifest.[6]

Baháʼu'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith, who claimed to be the one prophesied by the Báb, confirmed and adopted this calendar. Around 1870, he instructed Nabíl-i-Aʻzam, the author of The Dawn-Breakers, to write an overview of the Badíʿ calendar.[7] In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (1873) Baháʼu'lláh made Naw-Rúz the first day of the year, and also clarified the position of the Intercalary days to immediately precede the last month.[2][8] Baháʼu'lláh set Naw-Rúz to the day on which the sun passes into the constellation Aries. Baháʼís interpret this formula as a specification of the vernal equinox, though where that should be determined was not defined.[8]

The calendar was first implemented in the West in 1907.[9]

The Baháʼí scriptures left some issues regarding the implementation of the Badíʿ calendar to be resolved by the Universal House of Justice before the calendar can be observed uniformly worldwide.[citation needed]

On 10 July 2014 the Universal House of Justice announced provisions that will enable the common implementation of the Badíʿ calendar worldwide, beginning at sunset 20 March 2015,[10] coinciding with the completion of the ninth cycle of the calendar (see below).[11] Before that time, the Baháʼí calendar was synchronized to the Gregorian calendar by starting the year at sunset on March 20, regardless of when the vernal equinox technically occurs, meaning that the extra day of a leap year occurred simultaneously in both calendars. The intercalary days always stretched from 26 February to 1 March, automatically including the Gregorian leap day so that there were four intercalary days in a regular year, and five in a Gregorian leap year.[12] The Universal House of Justice selected Tehran, the birthplace of Baháʼu'lláh, as the location at which the time and date of the vernal equinox is to be determined according to astronomical tables from reliable sources.[7][10][13] These changes, which "unlocked" the Badíʿ calendar from the Gregorian calendar, came into effect at the start of year 172 BE.[7][14]


As the name Badíʿ (wondrous or unique) suggests, the Baháʼí calendar is indeed a unique institution in the history of human culture. Sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel notes that the nineteen-day cycle creates a distinctive rhythm which enhances group solidarity. (Zerubavel argues that the nineteen-day cycle is more properly defined as a week, rather than a month, because it bears "no connection whatsoever" to the lunar cycle.) Furthermore, by finding the closest approximation of the square root of the annual cycle, Baháʼís "have managed to establish the most symmetrical relationship possible between the week and the year, which no one else throughout history has ever managed to accomplish."[15]


Years in the Baháʼí calendar are counted from Thursday 21 March 1844, the beginning of the Baháʼí Era or Badíʿ Era (abbreviated BE or B.E.).[16] Year 1 BE thus began at sundown 20 March 1844.

The length of each year is strictly defined as the number of days between the opening and closing days of the year, with the number of intercalary days adjusted as needed. The year ends on the day before the following vernal equinox.

Vernal Equinox

Key dates of the Baháʼí calendar[17]
Year Ayyám-i-Há Fast Naw-Rúz
2022 25 Feb 1 Mar 2 Mar 20 Mar 21 Mar
2023 26 Feb 1 Mar 2 Mar 20 Mar 21 Mar
2024 26 Feb 29 Feb 1 Mar 19 Mar 20 Mar
2025 25 Feb 28 Feb 1 Mar 19 Mar 20 Mar
2026 25 Feb 1 Mar 2 Mar 20 Mar 21 Mar
2027 26 Feb 1 Mar 2 Mar 20 Mar 21 Mar
2028 26 Feb 29 Feb 1 Mar 19 Mar 20 Mar
2029 25 Feb 28 Feb 1 Mar 19 Mar 20 Mar

The first day of each year (Naw-Rúz) is the day (from sunset to sunset) in Tehran containing the moment of the vernal equinox. This is determined in advance by astronomical computations from reliable sources.[10]

Since the Gregorian calendar is not tied to the equinox, the Gregorian calendar shifts around by a day or two each year, as shown in the following table.[18]


The Baháʼí calendar is composed of nineteen months, each with nineteen days.[19] The intercalary days, known as Ayyám-i-Há, occur between the eighteenth and nineteenth months.

The names of the months were adopted by the Báb from the Du'ay-i-Sahar, a Ramadan dawn prayer by Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, the fifth Imam of Twelver Shiʻah Islam.[20][21] These month names are considered to be referring to attributes of God.

In the Persian Bayan the Báb divides the months into four groups known as "fire", "air", "water" and "earth" – which are three, four, six and six months long respectively.[22] Robin Mirshahi suggests a possible link with four realms described in Baháʼí cosmology.[5] Ismael Velasco relates this to the "arc of ascent".[23]

In the following table, the Gregorian date indicates the first full day of the month when Naw-Rúz coincides with 21 March. The month begins at sunset of the day previous to the one listed.

Month Usual Gregorian dates
(when Naw-Rúz coincides with 21 March)[19]
Arabic name [19] Arabic script English name [19] Additional meanings in authorized English translations of Baháʼí scripture [5]
1 21 March – 8 April Bahá بهاء Splendour glory, light, excellence
2 9 April – 27 April Jalál جلال Glory majesty
3 28 April – 16 May Jamál جمال Beauty charm
4 17 May – 4 June ʻAẓamat عظمة Grandeur glory, majesty, dominion, greatness
5 5 June – 23 June Núr نور Light radiance, brightness, splendour, effulgence, illumination
6 24 June – 12 July Raḥmat رحمة Mercy blessing, grace, favour, loving kindness, providence, compassion
7 13 July – 31 July Kalimát كلمات Words utterance, the word of God
8 1 August – 19 August Kamál كمال Perfection excellence, fullness, consummation, maturity
9 20 August – 7 September Asmáʼ اسماء Names titles, attributes, designations
10 8 September – 26 September ʻIzzat عزة Might glory, power, exaltation, honour, majesty, grandeur, strength, sovereignty, magnificence
11 27 September – 15 October Mas͟híyyat مشية Will purpose, the primal will, the will of God
12 16 October – 3 November ʻIlm علم Knowledge wisdom, divine knowledge, revelation
13 4 November – 22 November Qudrat قدرة Power might, authority, dominion, celestial might, omnipotence, transcendent power, indomitable strength, all-pervading power, ascendancy, divine power
14 23 November – 11 December Qawl قول Speech words, testimony
15 12 December – 30 December Masáʼil مسائل Questions principles, truths, matters, mysteries, subtleties, obscurities, intricacies, problems[note 1]
16 31 December – 18 January S͟haraf شرف Honour excellence, glory
17 19 January – 6 February Sulṭán سلطان Sovereignty king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers
18 7 February – 25 February Mulk ملك Dominion sovereignty, kingdom, realm, universe
ic 26 February – 1 March Ayyám-i-Há ايام الهاء The Days of Há intercalary days
19 2 March – 20 March (Month of fasting) ʻAláʼ علاء Loftiness glory


The introduction of intercalation marked an important break from Islam, as under the Islamic calendar the practice of intercalation had been specifically prohibited in the Qurʼan.[2]

The number of the intercalary days is determined in advance to ensure that the year ends on the day before the next vernal equinox. This results in 4 or 5 intercalary days being added. These days are inserted between the 18th and 19th months, falling around the end of February in the Gregorian calendar. The number of days added is unrelated to the timing of the Gregorian leap year.

Significance in the Baháʼí Faith

The annual Nineteen Day Fast is held during the final month of ʻAláʼ. The month of fasting is followed by Naw-Rúz, the new year.

The monthly Nineteen Day Feast is celebrated on the first day of each month, preferably starting any time between the sunset on the eve of the day to the sunset ending the day.

Days in a Month

The nineteen days in a month have the same names as the months of the year (above), so, for example, the 9th day of each month is Asmá, or "Names".[25][26]


The Baháʼí week starts on Saturday, and ends on Friday.[27] As in Judaism and Islam, days begin at sunset and end at sunset of the following solar day. Baháʼí writings indicate that Friday is to be kept as a day of rest.[28][29] The practice of keeping Friday as a day of rest is currently not observed in all countries; for example, in the UK, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baháʼís confirmed it does not currently keep this practice.[30]

Arabic Name[19] Arabic Script English Translation[27] Day of the Week[19]
Jalál جلال Glory Saturday
Jamál جمال Beauty Sunday
Kamál كمال Perfection Monday
Fiḍál فضال Grace Tuesday
ʻIdál عدال Justice Wednesday
Istijlál استجلال Majesty Thursday
Istiqlál استقلال Independence Friday


Also existing in the Baháʼí calendar system is a nineteen-year cycle called Váḥid and a 361 year (19×19) supercycle called Kull-i-S͟hayʼ (literally, "All Things").[27] The expression Kull-i-Shayʼ was used frequently by the Báb.[31] It has its origins in Sufism and the significance of the numbers 19 and 361 were possibly already associated by Ibn Arabi (1165–1240).[31]

Each of the nineteen years in a Vahid has been given a name as shown in the table below.[27] The tenth Váḥid of the 1st Kull-i-S͟hayʼ started on 21 March 2015, and the eleventh Váḥid will begin in 2034.[32]

The current Baháʼí year, year 181 BE (20 March 2024 – 20 March 2025), is the year Ḥubb of the tenth Váḥid of the first Kull-i-S͟hayʼ.[32] The second Kull-i-S͟hayʼ will begin in 2205.[32]

The concept of a nineteen-year cycle has existed in some form since the fourth century BCE. 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. Name Arabic Script English Translation
1 Alif أ A
2 Bá' ب B
3 Ab أب Father
4 Dál د D
5 Báb باب Gate
6 Váv و V
7 Abad أبد Eternity
8 Jád جاد Generosity
9 Bahá بهاء Splendour
10 Ḥubb حب Love
11 Bahháj بهاج Delightful
12 Javáb جواب Answer
13 Aḥad احد Single
14 Vahháb وﻫﺎب Bountiful
15 Vidád وداد Affection
16 Badíʿ بدیع Beginning
17 Bahí بهي Luminous
18 Abhá ابهى Most Luminous
19 Váḥid واحد Unity

See also


  1. ^ In a provisional translation of selections from the Báb's Kitabu'l-Asmáʼ, Bahá'í scholar Stephen Lambden adds "objectives", "propositions" as alternative translations for "questions".[24]


  1. ^ Lambden, Stephen (2018). Kitab al-asma' – The Book of Names. Lambden states that the "source did not, however, give precise details about where the calendral materials were located in the Kitab al-asma'."
  2. ^ a b c Taylor, John (2000-09-01). "On Novelty in Ayyám-i-Há and the Badí calendar". Retrieved 2006-09-24.
  3. ^ MacEoin, Denis (1994). Rituals in Babism and Baha'ism. Pembroke Persian Papers. Vol. 2 (illustrated ed.). British Academic Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-85043-654-6.
  4. ^ Mottahedeh, Negar (1998). "The Mutilated Body of the Modern Nation: Qurrat al-'AynTahirah's Unveiling and the Iranian Massacre of the Babis". Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 18 (2): 43. doi:10.1215/1089201X-18-2-38.
  5. ^ a b c Mihrshahi, Robin (2013). A Wondrous New Day: The Numerology of Creation and 'All Things' in the Badíʿ Calendar.
  6. ^ Mihrshahi, Robin (2004) [1991]. "Symbolism in the Badíʿ Calendar". Baháʼí Studies Review. 12 (1). doi:10.1386/bsre.12.1.15 (inactive 31 January 2024). ISSN 1354-8697. Archived from the original on 2018-12-02. Retrieved 2012-05-01.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of January 2024 (link)
  7. ^ a b c Momen, Moojan (2014). The Badíʻ (Baháʼí) Calendar: An Introduction.
  8. ^ a b Universal House of Justice (1992). Notes of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Wilmette, Illinois: Baháʼí Publishing Trust. pp. 178–179. ISBN 978-0-85398-999-8..
  9. ^ Cameron, Glenn; Momen, Wendy (1996). A Basic Baháʼí Chronology. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-85398-404-7.
  10. ^ a b c The Universal House of Justice (2014-07-10). "To the Baháʼís of the World". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  11. ^ Nakhjavani, Ali (January 2015). "The ninth cycle of the Baháʼí Calendar". The American Baháʼí: 23–27.
  12. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Ayyám-i-Há". A concise encyclopedia of the Baháʼí Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-85168-184-6.
  13. ^ For calculating the dates, data provided by HM Nautical Almanac Office in the United Kingdom is used by the Baháʼí World Centre. The World Geodetic System 1984 is used to determine the point of reference for Tehran.
  14. ^ Purushotma, Shastri Baha'is to Implement New Calendar Worldwide. Huffington Post. 2014-14-07.
  15. ^ Zerubavel, Eviatar (1985). The Seven-Day Circle. New York: The Free Press. pp. 48–50. ISBN 978-0029346808.
  16. ^ Curtis, Larry (2004-03-06). "A Day in the Baháʼí Calendar". Archived from the original on 2 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-24.
  17. ^ Universal House of Justice (2014-07-10). "Regarding the Implementation of the Badi` Calendar". Retrieved 2024-03-13.
  18. ^ Baháʼí Dates 172 to 221 B.E. (2015 – 2065; prepared by the Baha'i World Centre) Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine (pdf)
  19. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Peter (2000). "calendar". A concise encyclopedia of the Baháʼí Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 98–100. ISBN 978-1-85168-184-6.
  20. ^ Taherzadeh, A. (1976). The Revelation of Baháʼu'lláh, Volume 1: Baghdad 1853–63. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-0-85398-270-8.
  21. ^ Stephen N. Lambden. The Du'á  Sahar or Supplication of Glory-Beauty (al-Baháʼ)
  22. ^ Saiedi, Nader (2008). Gate of the Heart: Understanding the Writings of the Báb. Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 327–328. ISBN 978-1-55458-056-9.
  23. ^ Velasco, Ismael (2004) Symbolism in the Badí' Calendar," by Robin Mihrshahi: Review.
  24. ^ Lambden, Stephen (2020). The Kitab al-asma' (Book of Names) of the Bab II: Select Excerpts in Translation..
  25. ^ Momen, Wendi (1989-02-28). A Basic Baha'i Dictionary. George Ronald Publisher. ISBN 978-0853982302. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  26. ^ Philippine Bahá’í Community (ed.). "The Bahá'í Calendar and Holy Days". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  27. ^ a b c d Effendi, Shoghi (1950). The Baháʼí Faith: 1844–1950. Wilmette, Illinois: Baháʼí Publishing Committee.
  28. ^ "Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer". Baháʼí News (162, April 1943): 5. 1939-07-10. In Effendi, Shoghi; Baháʼu'lláh; ʻAbdu'l-Bahá; The Universal House of Justice (1983). Hornby, Helen (ed.). Lights of Guidance: A Baháʼí Reference File. New Delhi, India: Baháʼí Publishing Trust. p. 109. ISBN 978-81-85091-46-4. Retrieved 2009-03-15. III. Baháʼí: E. Miscellaneous Subjects: 372. Friday is Day of Rest in Baháʼí Calendar.
  29. ^ Bellenir, Karen (2004). Religious Holidays and Calendars: An Encyclopedic Handbook (3rd ed.). Omnigraphics. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7808-0665-8.
  30. ^ National Spiritual Assembly of the Baháʼís of the United Kingdom. Letter from the NSA to the Baháʼí Council for Wales Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  31. ^ a b Ignác Goldziher (1850–1921), cited in le Baron, V. RosEN (1921). Der Islam, Zeitschrift fur Geschichte und Kulter des Islamischen Oriens. Vol. 11.
  32. ^ a b c Bolhuis, Arjen (2006-03-23). "The first Kull-i-Shayʼ of the Baháʼí Era". Retrieved 2006-09-23.

Further reading

Primary sources

Secondary sources

External links

This page was last edited on 4 June 2024, at 20:29
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