The baha’i Calender

Among different peoples and at different times many different methods have been adopted for the measurement of time and fixing of dates, and several different calendars are still in daily use, e.g., the Gregorian in Western Europe, the Julian in many countries of Eastern Europe, the Hebrew among the Jews, and the Muhammadan in Muslim communities. The Báb signalized the importance of the dispensation which He came to herald, by inaugurating a new calendar. In this, as in the Gregorian Calendar, the lunar month is abandoned and the solar year is adopted. The Bahá’í year consists of 19 months of 19 days each (i.e. 361 days), with the addition of certain “Intercalary Days” (four in ordinary and five in leap years) between the eighteenth and nineteenth months in order to adjust the calendar to the solar year. The Báb named the months after the attributes of God. The Bahá’í New Year, like the ancient Persian New Year, is astronomically fixed, commencing at the March equinox (usually March 21), and the Bahá’í era commences with the year of the Báb’s declaration (i.e. 1844 A.D., 1260 A.H.). In the not far distant future it will be necessary that all peoples in the world agree on a common calendar. It seems, therefore, fitting that the new age of unity should have a new calendar free from the objections and associations which make each of the older calendar unacceptable to large sections of the world’s population, and it is difficult to see how any other arrangement could exceed in simplicity and convenience that proposed by the Báb.

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