Australian Baha'i Sites

Celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha in group settings

This year, the Ballarat Baha’i community decided to mark Ayyam-i-Ha a little differently. With an ever-growing contingent of friends joining the community-building process, hosting one single event wasn’t so practical.

The Local Spiritual Assembly consulted and decided to send a letter to the community, encouraging individuals to initiate smaller events, inviting their friends, family members and neighbours to celebrations that would be characterised by a spirit of joy, friendship and hospitality. As Baha’u’llah says.

“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; and when they end — these days of giving that precede the season of restraint — let them enter upon the Fast.”

Children attending the Ayyam-i-Ha devotional in the Delacombe neighbourhood.

The celebrations were organised in multiple settings – at the existing neighbourhood hub where the weekly children’s classes, junior youth groups and devotional meetings take place, as well as various other spaces created specifically for the occasion.

Groupings of households rallied together to host a special children’s Ayyam-i-Ha devotional in the neighbourhood of Delacombe, two local junior youth groups each hosted their own separate gatherings inviting families along for a taste of the fun, and friends also made a concerted effort to visit one another and share the spirit of this special period.

The Ayyam-i-Ha Children’s Devotional in the neighbourhood of Delacombe in Ballarat.

Celebrations were also hosted at kindergartens and in school classrooms, as parents took the initiative to share details about Ayyam-i-Ha with their children’s teachers who then dedicated lesson plans to the occasion. 

Ballarat’s junior youth groups organised their own Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations, inviting friends and families to join in the spirit of this special period.

More than 150 individuals attended the celebrations in a community of about 30 adults formally enrolled as Baha’is. The overall reflections were that it was much more effective to connect and have meaningful conversations in such intimate settings, and that future holy days need also be considered in group settings, particularly since more people are being embraced into Ballarat’s capacity-building endeavours as the years go on. 

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Ballarat

The Ballarat Baha’i community is located on Wadawurrung Country in Victoria. It is made up of a number of young families, youth and adults who are passionate about harnessing the power of the institute to advance their regional city.

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Published in March, 2024, in Community Stories > Community Building

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/community-stories/celebrating-ayyam-i-ha-in-intimate-settings/

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