On Thursday, May 22, Baha'is all over the world will celebrate one of the nine holy days in the Baha'i calendar -- The Declaration Of The Báb.
The holiday commemorates one of the most important events in Baha'i history, when the Báb announced in 1844 that he was "the bearer of a Divine Revelation which would prepare humanity for the advent of the Promised One of all religions," according to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai's of the United Sates. In 1863, following years of perseuction for the Báb and his followers, Bahá’u'lláh declared that he was the Promised One that the Báb had been waiting for.
The National Spiritual Assembly writes on their website:
The Báb’s announcement in the middle of the 19th century came at a time when many Christians were expecting the return of Christ based on their reading of Biblical prophecy. Simultaneously, half way around the world, in the Middle East, many followers of Islam were also expecting their Promised One to appear.
That Promised One, the Báb declared, was destined to usher in the age of justice, unity and peace promised in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and all the other world religions.
Who Is The Báb?
The Báb was born Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, in Shiraz, Iran. He took the name "Báb," which means "gate" or "door" in Arabic to emphasize his role as the portal through which the Revelation of God would enter, according to the Bahai International Community. He served as a herald for Bahá’u'lláh, who is the central prophet of the Baha'i faith.
Baha'is commemorate the Declaration of the Báb with celebrations, prayers, storytelling, and reflections. It is one of the nine holy days when work is suspended. The holiday begins two hours and eleven minutes after sunset on May 22, which is the exact time at which the Báb declared himself.
All are welcome to attend the celebration- Baha'i writer Shashtri Purushotma wrote in a blog for The Huffington Post, "If you are curious to learn more about the celebration of the Declaration of the Bab in your area, just contact the Baha'is where you live for more details as these celebrations are open to all."
For more information about the Baha'i faith, check out "Eight Things We Learned About Baha'is From The Reddit AMA"