Montreal, February 25, 2018 – Some thirty friends from different parts of the city gathered at the Bahá'í center to celebrate the first day of the "intercalary days".

The intercalaryst inclusive, constitute a period of preparation for fasting. They are dedicated to hospitality, charity and the exchange of gifts. The intercalary days have the merit of being associated with "the letter Há". The numerical value of this letter in the Arabic numerical system "abjad" is five, which corresponds to the potential number of intercalary days. In the Holy Writings, the letter "Há" has received several spiritual meanings, including that of a symbol of the essence of God.

The Bahá'í calendar was created by the Báb "Herald of the New Era" in 1844, the year that marks the beginning of this universal religion. Based on the solar year, it starts on March 21st, with the spring equinox and is divided into 19 months of 19 days, plus four intercalary days which bring to the count of one year. Each new day begins at sunset. Every four years, a fifth day plays the role of February 29 in the Gregorian calendar. The Báb named the months according to the qualification of the attributes of God.

During these days, the Bahá'ís receive or visit their friends and help the needy. The day of the Bahá'í year, like that of ancient Persia, is defined by astronomy; it begins at the spring equinox (March 21), and the Bahá'í era begins with the declaration of the Bab (1844 AD - 1260 after the Hegira).

The Báb had not fixed a specific place for the intercalary days in the new calendar. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas "The Most Holy Book" solves this question by assigning to the "surplus" days a fixed place in the calendar, immediately preceding the month of 'Ala', the period of fasting.

"... those days of generosity that precede the period of restraint, ..." Bahá'u'lláh enjoined his followers to dedicate these days to feasting, rejoicing, and charity. In a letter written by Shoghi Effendi (the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith), it is explained that "the intercalary days are specially reserved for hospitality, gifts of presents, etc. ".


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