Naw-Rúz: Baha'i New Year
|Fast Facts: Naw-Rúz: Baha'i New Year|
|Meaning||Bahá'í New Year; honors the Greatest Name (of God)|
|Date||1 Baha in the Baha'i calendar, which is the spring equinox (as measured in Tehran), falling on March 20 or 21|
|Dates||March 20, 2021
March 21, 2022
March 21, 2023
March 20, 2024
March 20, 2025
March 21, 2026
Naw-Rúz (Persian, "New Day") is the Bahá'í New Year, celebrated on the spring equinox (March 20 or 21). The holiday is adopted from an ancient Zoroastrian festival of the same name, which has been celebrated as the New Year in Persia (modern-day Iran) for thousands of years.
Date of Naw-Rúz
In the Bahá'í calendar (Badi` calendar), Naw-Rúz is the first day (Baha) of the first month (Baha), which is the spring equinox. In 2014, the Universal House of Justice (the Bahá'í governing body) determined that the equinox shall be defined by its occurrence at Tehran, Iran:
We have decided that Ṭihrán, the birthplace of the Abhá Beauty, will be the spot on the earth that will serve as the standard for determining, by means of astronomical computations from reliable sources, the moment of the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and thereby the day of Naw-Rúz for the Bahá’í world.1872
Like all Bahá'í days, Naw-Rúz begins and ends at sunset. If the equinox occurs before sunset, then Naw-Rúz falls on March 20. Otherwise, it is celebrated on March 21.
Meaning of Naw-Rúz
The Bab called Naw-Rúz the Day of God and associated it with the coming Promised One. Bahá'u'lláh designated it as a feast day following the Nineteen-Day Fast and a commemoration of the Greatest Name. It is the only Bahá'í holiday that does not commemorate an event in the life of the Bab or Bahá'u'lláh.
Bahá'ís may not work on Naw-Rúz. There are no rules for how to celebrate Naw-Rúz, but most Bahá'ís meet for communal prayer and an evening meal (since the holiday concludes the Nineteen-Day Fast and starts at sunset, like all Bahá'í days).
One Bahá'í author has compared celebrations of Naw-Rúz to those of the Christian Easter, with symbols representing springtime and new life.1871 The family table is decorated with fruits, sweets, colored eggs, and a wide range of symbolic objects. Bahá'ís dress in new or clean clothes, gather with family and friends throughout the day, and give gifts.