Tag Archives: Ayyam-i-ha

Ayyám-i-Há! What does it mean to Bahá’ís?

The Bahá’í calendar has 19 months of 19 days each. Let’s do the math… that equals to 361 days. So, what happens to the other 4-5 days (if leap year) remaining? Bahá’u’lláh has given those days the name of The Days of Ayyám-i-Há (intercalary days) which precede the Baha’i month of ‘Ala which is the very last month of the year in which Baha’is also observe the fast for 19 days.

Ayyam-i-Ha is a celebration in which Baha’is all over the world to charitable acts, rejoicing, visiting friends and the giving of gifts. It is an even happier time for children to whom gifts are mostly given to.

We want to share this beautiful prayer specially dedicated to the Intercalary days:

My God, my Fire and my Light! The days which Thou hast named the Ayyam-i-Ha [1] in Thy Book have begun, O Thou Who art the King of names, and the fast which Thy most exalted Pen hath enjoined unto all who are in the kingdom of Thy creation to observe is approaching. I entreat Thee, O my Lord, by these days and by all such as have during that period clung to the cord of Thy commandments, and laid hold on the handle of Thy precepts, to grant that unto every soul may be assigned a place within the precincts of Thy court, and a seat at the revelation of the splendors of the light of Thy countenance.

These, O my Lord, are Thy servants whom no corrupt inclination hath kept back from what Thou didst send down in Thy Book. They have bowed themselves before Thy Cause, and received Thy Book with such resolve as is born of Thee, and observed what Thou hadst prescribed unto them, and chosen to follow that which had been sent down by Thee.

Thou seest, O my Lord, how they have recognized and confessed whatsoever Thou hast revealed in Thy Scriptures. Give them to drink, O my Lord, from the hands of Thy graciousness the waters of Thine eternity. Write down, then, for them the recompense ordained for him that hath immersed himself in the ocean of Thy presence, and attained unto the choice wine of Thy meeting.

I implore Thee, O Thou the King of kings and the Pitier of the downtrodden, to ordain for them the good of this world and of the world to come. Write down for them, moreover, what none of Thy creatures hath discovered, and number them with those who have circled round Thee, and who move about Thy throne in every world of Thy worlds.

Thou, truly, art the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

– Bahá’u’lláh

[1 The Days of Ha, Intercalary Days.]. (Compilations, Baha’i Prayers, p. 236)

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Ayyam-i-Ha! The festival of love! A Baha’i celebration.

The next couple of days are one of my favourite in the Baha’i calendar. The Baha’i year has 19 months, each month consists of 19 days. If we add those numbers up, we do not get 365 but 361 days. What happens with the other 4 (5 if we consider years with 366 days)? The Baha’i calendar is not faulty…the remaining days are days of giving and love called the days of Ayyam-i-Ha!

What happens during those days? Well, Baha’is visit and share with family and friends, do acts of charity, give presents and make and extra effort to make others happy. These days remind us of God’s infinite generosity to all alike and encourage us to overcome the barriers that impede us from being detached from material things and turn our faces unto God. Now, these days are the LAST before the Fasting period (will blog about this when the time comes). Ayyam-i-Ha starts on the 25th of February and end the 1st of March.

I remember when I was little, every day of Ayyam-i-Ha arriving home from school was a thrill! I would rush to my room and look under my pillow for a small gift from my parents. It was great! As I grew of course, the gifts became less important but new opportunities arose. With friends from the community we would visit older people’s homes and planned other activities that would not only uplift our own spirits but could also bring joy to the hearts of others.
So now I am thinking about what to do this year…party? secret gifts? charity? all of the above? Perhaps…