News

Montreal, March 21, 2019 - The Bahá'í Community of Montreal celebrated the New Year on this spring day at Courtyard Marriott Hotel. Over 300 friends from all the boroughs, of different nationalities, ethnicities, cultures and languages ​​participated in this annual event. Celebrated around the world, this holiday is also a joyful occasion for Parsees (Zoroastrians), Iranians and other nationalities across the Asia and Middle East.

This day also coincides with the official launch of Action Week Against Racism. This event was celebrated at the Montréal Bahá’í Centre with some 30 guests from various associations of the city as well as friends from other boroughs. Prayers were chanted in several languages including Māori, New-Zealand’s native language! The International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1966. It calls upon the international community to bring an end to racism, discrimination and intolerance, urges NGOs, community organizations, schools, local councils and all manner of groups and individuals to join forces and confront racism with direct action. Whether by organizing activities, supporting others, or spreading the message we encourage ourselves and others to stand hand in hand for unity in diversity.

“This sacred day when the sun illumines equally the whole earth is called the equinox and the equinox is the symbol of the Divine Messenger. The sun of truth rises on the horizon of divine mercy and sends forth its rays on all.” 

(‘Abdu'l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy)

"Naw Rúz" [or Now-Rouz] is the feast celebrated by Bahá'ís around the world on the occasion of the beginning of the calendar and the Bahá'í year: March 21st, the first Spring day, the beginning of the awakening of nature, the blossoming of buds and flowers!

What's more logical and more natural, indeed, than to start the year that day. The Báb (the Herald of the Bahá'í Faith), who instituted the new calendar of the New Era, chose this date (March 21st) as New Year's Day, a choice ratified later by Bahá'u'lláh. This day has already been celebrated since centuries before Christ as a feast and was called "Naw Rúz". This is how it was kept for our Bahá'í New Year celebration.

What did it represent in ancient Persia, since this festival is at least three millennia and probably more than 25 centuries old?

"Now Rouz" (transliterated: Naw Rúz and pronounced No(w) Rouz, means in Persian: New Day. In Iranian mythology it is said that the Supreme God created the universe in six days: successively; Heaven, Earth, water, plants, animals and, on the sixth day, the Man ... A celebration for each of these creations: that of the appearance of the Man was called "Naw Rúz" !

Until the year 538 BC, "Naw Rúz" was only the festival of Creation (of Man). From this date on ward, the Iranians will make it coincide with the New Year's Day, the first day of Spring. This change of date was made under the reign of the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great who released the Children of Israel from the yoke of the Babylonians and was commissioned by God to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. Cyrus [of Mazdean religion (Zoroastrianism)] has an important rank since not only is he known as the first "promulgator" of a charter of human rights ensuring in particular religious freedom, but especially because he is called in the Bible: "the shepherd, the anointed of the Lord"!

For more than 2,500 years, apart from those of Iran,  some inhabitants of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Caucasia , Turkey and Iraq are also celebrating "Naw Rúz".

For the Iranian calendar (which is completely different from the Islamic calendar and which would be one of the few to start on the first day of Spring), it represents, in addition of the New Year which is celebrated for 12 days - a 13th day during which one must leave the house for a joyful communion with nature.

Despite the invasion of this region by Alexander of Macedon, the armies of Islám, the hordes of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, and despite the vicissitudes of the times, this festival persisted and, being a common point, even served to unite culturally the peoples of the Iranian Plateau ...

In mythology, tradition and Iranian culture, "Naw Rúz" is considered the Feast of the Creator, the appearance of Man, the Feast of Nature, Fecundity, Hope and Peace. It is also the Feast of the Family, Respect towards the head of the family and the elderly, Friendship, Generosity, Joy and Children ...

 

Bookstore

 

The Bahá’í Bookstore hours are:
Wednesday to Friday: 3pm-7pm
Saturday: 1pm-5pm
Sunday: 1pm-5pm
Monday and Tuesday: Closed

 

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: 514-939-2262

Click here for map and hours

 

S5 Box