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The Bahais celebrate their New Year at the same time with Spring

The Bahais celebrate their New Year at the same time with Spring

HAIFA – Akko: Each religion has its own calendar and therefore its new year day. For Bahais this feast day is known as “Nowruz”, matching with Spring equinox, i.e. on 21 March, when sun is seen exactly on the equator, prelude to the fascinating season for the Northern hemisphere. In Israel, the feastday was observed this year in Haifa and in Akko few days later on 27 March.

On this occasion Secretary General of Bahai Faith, Dr Joshua Lincoln, invited the civil, religious, military, political and diplomatic authorities of Galilea, especially from Haifa and Akko. Participated as well Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Fr Quirico Calella, Ltin parish Priest of Acre, Fr Elie Kurzum, Latin parish priest of Shefaamer, as well as Ofrthodox Archimandrite of Acre.

Bahais throughout the world would come up to 5 million, but in Israel their number does not exceed some hundreds and they are mostly foreigners. They are appreciated by the authorities and the population because of their peaceful attachment; they always like to participate, as witness of brotherly social get-together, in official occasions of other communities. The house of the Latin Patriarchate in Haifa for example, held by the Rosary Sisters, is one of the preferred guest-houses of many Bahai pilgrims.

The two important sites of the Bahais are Bahai World Center and Gardens in Haifa and Bahji Gardens Shrine near Akko. Reception took place at Pasha Abdallah House, where lived Abdul Baha (1844-1921), “the Master”, son and heir of the founder of Bahaism, Bab Ullah, the great propagator of this faith.

During the reception – a social, cultural and religious mixture – Secretary General gave the floor to all responsible figures of communities or institutions present. Mgr Marcuzzo took advantage to talk about the forthcoming encyclical of Pope Francis on human ecology (scheduled for May-June 2015 ?), subject that is very dear to Bahais and to the two future Palestinian saints, Maryam Bawardi and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, sainthood and mystic being also subjects of predilection of Bab followers.

Text : our correspondent in Akko Photos : A.K.