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”.


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

Thanks for reading.


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.


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

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