Fun Facts about Ridvan For Kids

Fun Facts About Ridvan for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Every year Bahá’ís around the world celebrate one of their most important holidays, called Riḍván. I didn’t grow up in a Bahá’í family. I became a Bahá’í when I was a teenager. However, every year together with my children we rediscover this holiday. Today I would like to share with your some fun facts about Ridvan for kids so that you can learn what it is all about! Part of our Fun Facts Series: Holidays Around the World.

Fun Facts About Ridvan for Kids

Fact 1.

“Riḍván” means “Paradise” in Arabic. This word is often used in the Bahá’í Writings to describe a place of special significance and connected to spirituality.

Fact 2.

Riḍván refers to an actual place, a garden, also known as Najibiyyih Garden of Baghdad. Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, gave this garden the designation Riḍván during His stay there in 1863, shortly before He was exiled to Constantinople (today Istanbul). This was one of a series of exiles He suffered because of His beliefs. So many visitors streamed to His home in Baghdad to say their goodbyes, that Bahá’u’lláh moved to the Riḍván Garden for 12 days to accommodate the guests and allow His family to prepare for the grueling journey ahead.

Fact 3.

The Riḍván Festival is celebrated for 12 days. Work is suspended on the 1st, 9th, and 12th days: Day 1 is when Bahá’u’lláh announced to some companions in the Riḍván Garden that He was a new Messenger from God. Day 9 is when His family joined Him in the garden. Day 12 is when Baha’u’llah and His family left Baghdad to begin the difficult journey to their next place of exile, Constantinople.

Fact 4.

Bahá’ís have their own calendar, the Badí‘ calendar. Every year there is a slight shift in dates in the Gregorian Calendar. The Riḍván Festival’s first day’s date moves between April 19th and April 21st, depending on the year. This year (2024) the Riḍván Festival will be celebrated from April 19 through May 1.

Fact 5.

The First Day of Riḍván is especially significant for the Bahá’ís. It is the day when Local and National Spiritual Assemblies (the administrative bodies in the Bahá’í Faith) are elected every year. (There is no clergy in the Bahá’í Faith). Once every five years there are elections held for the Bahá’í international administrative body, called the Universal House of Justice. It’s important to point out that the elections are done in an anonymous way and there are no pre-election campaigns held.

Fact 6.

There is another Garden of Riḍván near Akka, Israel! Bahá’u’lláh spent the last fifteen years of His life in the prison city of Akka, in exile and imprisonment. Once He was allowed to leave Akka, He frequented a beautiful garden in the area, which He decided to also name Riḍván – Paradise.

Fact 7.

There are no specific ways to celebrate Riḍván, as Bahá’ís don’t have ceremonies or prescribed traditions. Friends gather on Day 1 for Elections, and Day 9 and 12 for commemoration and celebrations together. It is a time of joy, happiness, unity, and companionship. Friends decorate their houses or Bahá’í centers, pray together, offer refreshments, and do various crafts and activities. If possible, friends take all 12 days off work and school.

Fact 8.

One thing for sure – we love to practice hospitality! Bahá’ís often open their homes for friends during this Festival and other holy days.

I hope you enjoyed these fun facts about Ridvan! Here are few more resources:

Riḍván Crafts and Activities for Children from All Done Monkey

Riḍván song in 17 languages from Elika Mahony

Riḍván story video by Vahid Qualls

7 ways to celebrate Riḍván from Bahá’í Blog

I hope you learned something new today! Happy Riḍván to the Bahá’ís around World!

Related Posts:

Fun Facts Series: Holidays Around the World

Naw Ruz Craft

Our Story Is One: Interview with Elika Mahony

The Bahá’í Fast

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Varya blogs at CreativeWorldOfVarya.Com . She is a mom to 3 children, an educator, a childhood neuropsychologist, an early development specialist, a baby massage and perinatal fitness instructor, aromatherapist and a breastfeeding counselor. Varya has been living in China for over 20 years working and raising her multicultural family.
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