Naw-Ruz (`New Day') is the Bah' and Iranian New Year. It occurs on the date of the vernal equinox, about 21 March and is considered one of the nine Bah' holy days on which work is suspended.
Naw-Ruz begins after the sunset of the last day of the Bah' fast and hence calls for celebrations. On this day meetings are observed for prayers and celebrations and are usually followed by a grand dinner.
According to the Badi` calendar of the Bb, Naw-Ruz falls in the month of Bah. Bbs also call it `the Day of God' or Yawmu'llah. Besides, Naw-Ruz is also considered as the `Day of the Point' or Yawm-i-nuqtih, which means, the day of the Bb.
Naw-Ruz is also associated with, 'Him Whom God shall make manifest, the Promised One of the Bb' while, the remaining 18 days of the month are associated with eighteen Letters of the Living. Many believe that this indicates that the Bb envisioned the Naw-Ruz festivities should encompass the nineteen days of the month of Bah, just as the traditional Iranian Naw-Ruz festivities last thirteen days.
Bah'u'llh called Naw-Ruz a feast day for it follows the fast and stressed on its importance by associating it with the Most Great Name as it bears Bah'u'llh's own name. `Abdu'l-Bah explained the significance of Naw-Ruz in terms of the symbolism of the new life of spring.
Since Naw-Ruz calls for celebrations for, it marks the end of fasting, the Bb permitted the use of musical instruments and other luxuries prohibited at other times. Although, during the night of Naw-Ruz each believer was to recite 361 times the verse `God beareth witness that there is no God but Him, the Ineffable, the Self-Subsistent'; and during the day, `God beareth witness that there is no God but Him, the Precious, the Beloved'. Fasting was prohibited during the whole month of Bah.
As with all Bah' holy days, there are few fixed rules for observing Naw-Ruz, although Iranian Bah's often follow Iranian traditions. Many Bah's use Naw-Ruz as a day of gift-giving. Bah's do not usually observe Naw-Ruz for longer than one day.
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