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Ayyam-I-Ha (Intercalary Days)


Introduction
Ayyam The festival of Ayyám-i-Há is celebrated each year from the evening of February 25 and ends at sunset of March 1. The festival intendeds to spiritually prepare the people for the Fast. The days of Ayyám-i-Há calls the people to detach themselves from material things by performing special acts of charity, distributing gifts and being hospitable towards others.

Origin
The Bahá’í calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days each. This means the calender needs 4 days (5 days in a leap year) to equal a solar year. By definition, these days which are added to make up a solar year are called ‘intercalary’ days.

In revealing this Bábí calendar, the Báb did not exactly say where to place these intercalary days. Bahá'u'lláh named these days in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and specified their place in the year.

Ayyám-i-Há means the ‘Days of Há.’ “Há” is the Arabic letter corresponding to the English “H” and one of the three Arabic letters which make up the word “Bahá.” “Há” is also the first letter of an Arabic pronoun commonly used in its religious writings to refer to God, or “the Divine Essence.” “Há” by itself is used as a symbol of "the Essence of God."
Celebrations
Of this period Bahá'u'lláh 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.”

Thus Ayyám-i-Há is celebrated with grace by the followers of the Bahá’í Faith. They spend time in spiritual activities and are kind and generous towards others.

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