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Montreal, February 25, 2021 - From sunset on February 25th to sunset on March 1st, Montreal Bahá’ís join Bahá’ís around the world in celebrating the festival of Ayyám-i-Há by spending time with friends and family, helping those in need through acts of charity, and spreading joy by giving gifts. “Ayyám-i-Há” is an Arabic phrase which can be translated as “Days of Há”, Há is the Arabic letter corresponding to the English H – commemorates the transcendence of God over his attributes, since its name "Há" has been used as a symbol of the essence of God in the Baháʼí Holy Writings. Under the Arabic numerology system, the letter Há has the numerical value of five, which is equal to the maximum number of days in Ayyam-i-Há.

Also known as intercalary days, Ayyám-i-Há falls outside the 19 Bahá’í months of 19 days and aligns the Bahá’í calendar with the 365-day Gregorian solar calendar. It also serves as a period of spiritual preparation for the annual Bahá’í Fast (March 1-19), when Bahá’ís abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, and Naw Rúz (March 20), the Bahá’í New Year, celebrated on the first day of spring.

Around the world, the festival of Ayyám-i-Há is celebrated in many ways. In Montreal and out of the present pandemic, you can expect to see gift exchanges, with friends, and between family members, large meals, service projects and children's parties. Several schools in Canada invite parents of Bahá’í children to make a presentation in front of their classmates.

Across the country, in various neighbourhoods, groups of friends who participate in the community building process promoted by the Bahá’ís discover a period of rejoicing at the Ayyám-i-Há Festival during which they can strengthen their bonds of love and friendship with their neighbours.

Of this period Baha’u’llah writes:

It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name.

 

 

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