As February rolls around each year, many Baha’i families are getting excited about Ayyam-i-Ha. Wonderful memories can be created during these four (or five) days, within the family, amongst Baha’i friends, and also as part of the wider community.
But what is the true spirit of Ayyam-i-Ha and how exactly can, and should, we celebrate this special holiday? To reflect on this question let us refer to the Writings. Baha’u’llah revealed:
[quote type=”center”]It behoveth the people of Baha, 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…[/quote]
(Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 25)
How does it look to bring cheer to your own selves, your family, and the poor and needy? How you can hail and glorify the Lord, praise God and magnify His Name during these four special days? You may like to have a family consultation on these topics and brainstorm ideas. Your children may have some interesting suggestions!
This year we have created a 9-page activity book with these questions in mind.
It can be used during the days of Ayyam-i-Ha or in preparation for the holiday. Each page contains a picture of a child doing something to celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha (which can be colored in, painted, or decorated) and also a question to consider. A picture can be drawn to respond to the prompt, or older children may like to write their answers. Please use it however you wish!
[box type=”download”]Download The Days of Ayyam-i-Ha Activity Book.[/box]
***One idea is to print out the booklet, bind it with ribbon, and give it along with a few colored pencils, markers, or crayons as a gift.
***You may also use the sheets for a “coloring table” at an Ayyam-i-Ha party.
You will see from the pages in the activity book that providing good cheer does not necessarily have to include giving gifts or having extravagant gatherings. Recalling stories of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Who often declined or gave away expensive gifts and even spent His own birthday serving others, perhaps we should consider how Ayyam-i-Ha can be celebrated beyond the confines of modern day expectations of what “celebration” often means.
The question of bringing good cheer to others, in fact, demands us to consider what our true reality really is and where joy actually comes from. ‘Abdu’l-Baha wrote:
[quote]Happiness consists of two kinds; physical and spiritual. The physical happiness is limited; its utmost duration is one day, one month, one year. It hath no result. Spiritual happiness is eternal and unfathomable. This kind of happiness appeareth in one’s soul with the love of God and suffereth one to attain to the virtues and perfections of the world of humanity. Therefore, endeavor as much as thou art able in order to illuminate the lamp of thy heart by the light of love.[/quote]
(Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 673)
As all physical happiness is limited and has no result, let us consider how to focus our Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations on the spiritual world, which will allow us to share and feel true joy.
Let’s all ask ourselves: How has our family celebrated Ayyam-i-Ha in the past and what would we like to try in the future, to ensure we are endeavoring to celebrate the true spirit of Ayyam-i-Ha?
Find more Ayyam-i-Ha activities, music, and video at the
Radiant Hearts Online Lesson for Ayyam-i-Ha.
Let us know how you like the activity book and how you will use it in your families and communities! Feel free to offer suggestions as well!