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Alternative Holidays

Carpe Diem

Bahaullah's Birthday

By Jay Walljasper, Utne Reader

November 12
Bahaullah's Birthday

The Baha'i faith observes the 1817 birthday of founder Bahaullah with readings from the Bible, Koran, or Bhagavad Gita, along with food and music reflecting local customs. This eclecticism fits a religion that incorporates the teachings of many spiritual traditions and attracts followers throughout the world. Major centers include Tehran, Jerusalem, and Wilmette, Illinois, but smaller Baha'i communities mark this date as well. All these celebrations share the prayers created by Bahaullah himself. An example: "Bless Thou, O Lord my God, the Divine Lote-Tree and its leaves, and its boughs, and its branches, and its stems, and its offshoots. . . . Protect it, then, from the mischief of the aggressor and the hosts of tyranny."

©Copyright 1999, Utne Reader
Original Story

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