“To be a Bahá’í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.”
– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted by J.E. Esselmont in Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 83.

Whether the Bahá’ís celebrate Christmas, is an interesting question!

The Bahá’ís believe, Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, was the Promised One of all religions. Therefore, all major religions are true, from God and the Bahá'í Faith is the one for the present age. It will be almost impossible to celebrate the festivals of all of the religions, so the Bahá'ís celebrate their own festivals instead. Events in the life of Bahá'u'lláh and the early history of the Faith mark the Bahá'í Holy Days. The following account demonstrates the profound respect that the Bahá’ís have for Christ. When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (son of the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith) traveled to the West in 1911 after forty years of imprisonment, he went to England from the Middle East, and among his hectic schedule of meetings and public addresses, He: …witnessed a performance of “Eager Heart,” a Christmas mystery play at the Church House, Westminster, the first dramatic performance He had ever beheld, and which in its graphic depiction of the life and sufferings of Jesus Christ moved Him to tears.
– Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 284.

The drama, written by the English poet and playwright Alice Mary Buckton, who later received ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at her home in Byfleet Surrey, tells the tragic story of a woman who fervently prepares for the Christmas visit of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but then vacillates when a homeless refugee family shows up at her door. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá wept during the scene in which the Holy Child and His parents, overcome with fatigue, and suffering from hunger and thirst, were met with the hesitation of Eager Heart to admit them to the haven of rest which she had prepared, she, of course, failing to recognize the sacred visitors. [Abdu’l-Baha], afterwards, joined the group of players. It was an arresting scene. In the eastern setting. The Messenger in his eastern robes, speaking to them, in the beautiful eastern words, of the Divine significance of the events which had been portrayed.”
– The Baha’i World, Volume 4, p. 379.

The Bahá'í Faith is all about unity, and Bahá'ís do not wish to cut themselves off from the rest of humanity. Christmas is celebrated by most people in Canada and elsewhere and the Bahá'ís join in these celebrations with their Christian friends. Nevertheless, they do not celebrate Christmas amongst themselves. In a Bahá'í family, for example, where the parents and children are Bahá'ís, they do not usually buy one another Christmas presents. But if grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are not Bahá'ís, the Bahá'í family will exchange presents with them and will celebrate with them. The Bahá'í children at school will happily join in the nativity play and sing carols. This is not a problem, because Bahá'ís revere Christ as a Messenger of God. In fact, Bahá'ís believe Bahá'u'lláh to be the Return of Christ. Bahá'ís respect everyone's beliefs therefore they do not see any difficulty with joining in the celebrations of their friends who might be Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or of any other beliefs. In countries where for instance Buddhism might be the main religion, Bahá'ís will celebrate Buddhist festivals with their friends and relatives who are not Bahá'ís. Exchange of presents is done usually during a celebration at the end of February, the four or five days designated as “Days of Giving”, when there will often be parties for both children and adults. Children may also receive gifts on some of the other Holy Days.
What is New Year to the Bahá’ís
Bahá'í new year is celebrated at a different time. The Bahá'í Faith calendar, and the Bahá'í new year falls on the 21st March each year. It is known as Naw Rúz in Persian or the New Day. However, if Bahá'ís are invited to join in festivities on 31st December they will quite happily accept, just as they are quite happy to invite anyone to a celebration for Naw Rúz. In fact, Bahá'ís enjoy hosting parties and inviting their friends to Holy Day celebrations. This is all part of bringing people together to build the unity which the world so desperately needs today.


Bahá'í Center


177, av des Pins E
Montréal, QC H2W 1N9
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 514-849-0753

Click here for map and hours



Montreal Shrine


1548, av des Pins O, Montreal
Phone: 514-568-2104

Click here for map and hours


S5 Box