This week Baha’is around the world commemorate two holy days that are both unique in the Baha’i calendar and of immense significance in human history. The holy days, on the first and second of November this year, mark respectively the births of the two most important Luminaries of the Baha’i Faith, the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha’u’llah. This year’s celebration anticipates an even more public and stirring celebration next year of the bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah, and in 2019, the bicentennial of the birth of the Bab.
The significance of these Holy Days, and the reason for next year’s dramatic festivals, has to do with the Baha’i understanding of the extraordinary lives and teachings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab. Those two Manifestations of God appeared on the horizon of human history in the nineteenth century bearing a message for humankind, announcing a new era in our collective history on this planet.
To many their names are as yet unfamiliar, but the writings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab describe a period of transition in our history that has overtaken humanity these past two centuries, and is currently undergoing rapid acceleration. That transition, however painful and promising by degrees, is leading to an age of collective maturity for the human race. It will be characterized by our essential oneness, in a pattern of global unity that embraces all our rich and beautiful diversity. To the extent humankind comes together, civilization will move resolutely forward towards the peace, justice, and prosperity that has been the dream of seers and poets, prophets and philosophers, throughout the past ages and myriad cultures and communities that comprise our shared history.
Embracing ideals that combine service and worship, Baha’is are engaged in a worldwide effort at community-building that, with no sectarian or congregational aspiration, aims to contribute to a pattern of collective life on earth that is informed by the uplifting teachings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab – teachings that reinforce and amplify the teachings of all the world’s great religions. In 2017, due to the interaction of Lunar and solar calculations, the Twin Holy Days will take place on October 21 and 22.