Australian Baha'i Sites

Bushwalks, stories and beachside sunsets: Ridvan in the regions

In its Ridvan 2024 Message, the Universal House of Justice states that while we are affected by the travails and suffering of society, “our heartfelt concerns must prompt sustained effort to build communities that offer hope in place of despair, unity in place of conflict.”

The Festival of Ridvan, as with all the Baha’i holy days, provides an opportunity for Baha’is to share Baha’u’llah’s message of hope, and showcase the underlying principle of unity in diversity. 

And while Ridvan is also referred to as the Most Great Festival and the King of Festivals, there are no expectations to conjure up lavish celebrations. Each individual and community can decide how they wish to mark the celebration as they learn to read the reality of their own neighbourhoods without feeling the need to adhere to any strict formulas.  

In regional Western Australia, communities opted for smaller gatherings in natural settings this Ridvan, infusing their spaces with prayers, storytelling and the arts. 

The junior youth in Geraldton facilitating the craft workshop as part of their Ridvan celebration.

In the community of Esperance, one family went on a bushwalk and shared stories in nature about the holy day. One mum shared that her children “really enjoyed imagining a table so high with roses that you couldn’t see across it and so we bought some roses as a reminder in our home.” 

In Broome, the friends celebrated the occasion by meeting at the beach at sunset and sharing stories, music and prayers together. Chasing the hermit crabs was also a standout for the children. 

The friends in Broome enjoyed Ridvan with prayers, music and stories at the beach by sunset.

Port Hedland organised a small pot-luck dinner, enjoying the company of visitors from various backgrounds, while in Geraldton, the junior youth hosted a special 12th day of Ridvan celebration in one of their homes, designing their own welcome banner and decorating a replica of the tent where Baha’u’llah would meet with His followers each day. Friends were invited to create their own flowers as the conversation and tea flowed.

The handmade flowers created at the Geraldton Ridvan celebration.

At each of these celebrations, unique in their own way, the friends expressed the uplifting nature of the spaces which allowed for connection, relaxation, and the opportunity to feel the beauty and significance of the festival. As the Universal House of Justice states: 

“And the sweetest moments of all for any enkindled heart are those spent with spiritual sisters and brothers, tending to a society in need of spiritual nourishment.”1

Each of the celebrations in regional Western Australia was unique in its own way, but each showcased the overarching spirit of the faith – that of unity in diversity.

The Ridvan festival is celebrated for 12 days at the end of April and beginning of May and marks the anniversary of the days Baha’u’llah spent along the River Tigris in Baghdad. It was here He announced to the friends gathered with Him that He was God’s Messenger for a new age, foretold in the world’s scriptures. He called the garden in which they were gathered “Ridvan”, meaning “paradise”.

Footnotes

  1. The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 2024[]

Thanks for reading.

Subscribe

Horizons Team

The Horizons Team aims to cast a spotlight on how the Baha’i Faith’s society-building power is being released in ever-greater measures across this vast and diverse country of ours.

More

Published in May, 2024, in Baha'i Institutions > Events

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/bahai-institutions/bushwalks-stories-and-beachside-sunsets-ridvan-in-the-regions/

Related Stories

‘Somewhere not on this earth’: Experiencing the inauguration of Papua New Guinea’s House of Worship 

Visitors to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) national Baha’i House of Worship have described feelings of “amazement and awe, peace and joy” after attending the inauguration of the temple in May.  ...

The institution of the Counsellors

‘A most precious gift’: Auxiliary Board members gather at Mother Temple of Antipodes 

100 Auxiliary Board members from across the Pacific visited the Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney as part of the recent Australasian Auxiliary Board members’ conference 2024.  The conference ...

Horizons Team

‘Reminded of our purpose’: Baha’i delegates prepare for task of electing national governing body 

Delegates from more than 50 localities across Australia have gathered at Sydney’s Baha’i House of Worship in the lead up to this weekend’s National Baha’i Convention to spiritually prepare ...

Baha’i Council for South Eastern Australia

Children’s festivals and junior youth camps key to growth process 

The hosting of children’s festivals and junior youth camps are acting as a catalyst in the growth process across South Eastern Australia (SEA), with this approach to community-building taking ...

Baha’i Council for North Eastern Australia

Drawing on the spiritual power of the arts

Baha’is always strive to further enrich their community-building activities by drawing on the arts – whether through prayers put to music, drama, or the use of visual arts ...

National Spiritual Assembly

Multiplying powers: Strengthening relationships between the three protagonists 

In its 30 December, 2021 message to the Continental Board of Counsellors, the Universal House of Justice speaks about the importance of strengthening the spirit of co-operation between the three ...

  • A personal reflection