On November 12, Bahá’ís around the world celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u'lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. As we prepare to celebrate this special holiday, I am so pleased to share with you this post from my friend Chelsea, of Enable Me to Grow. In it she shares how she celebrated the day with her young family a few years ago. For more ideas, you can also see how we celebrated last year and follow our Bahá’í Parenting board on Pinterest.
We started out the day making cookies for our friends. I went ahead and took it easy by using a box mix ;-) We had exactly enough for five families (plus one or each of us hehe).
We wrapped the cookies and tied a card to each. For the cards, I just cut up a crayon drawing of my oldest son and we pasted a “to” and “from” square to the front…
…and a little description to the back, and then he decorated them a bit. The note read:
Our family is celebrating the Birth of Bahá’u'lláh, the founder of our Faith, so we made some cookies to share with our friends. We hope you enjoy them! To read more about Bahá’u'lláh, His Teachings and His life, visit: http://www.bahaullah.org/
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
Next we decorated the house a bit. We hung up a few balloons onto our hanging lights and changed our table cloth. I added photos of some of the places Bahá’u'lláh lived during His life for the center of our table and added some cut out leaves and flowers. Then we tied some ribbon to a couple candles. We talked briefly about the places Bahá’u'lláh had lived.
My oldest son got to decorate the window with Window Crayons.
Next I had hidden a “gift” for him and asked him to go check if something special was in his room. When he found it I told him that on this day God gave us all a very special gift and that gift was Bahá’u'lláh. Bahá’u'lláh teaches us how to pray and live a happy life, and He is very special. I said he got to decorate Bahá’u'lláh’s name to remind us how special Bahá’u'lláh is and how He is a gift to the world. (This idea came from p. 213 Core Curriculum’s Lessons for Young Children).
Here was the final product.
We also made a cake and decorated it. My older son got to blow out the candles, of course, and even the baby swiped a taste of icing.
In the afternoon, they dropped off the cookies we made for his friends – by car or by foot. Then we had a short little program together as a family which went as follows:
We started by singing a prayer by Bahá’u'lláh (Blessed is the Spot).
Then I gave my son the name of Bahá’u'lláh he had decorated earlier and talked again about how Bahá’u'lláh is a gift to us. Then we read the story from p. 290 of Lessons for Young Children. I edited it slightly to be what I thought he could relate to, as follows:
In the early house of dawn of the twelfth day of November in 1817, in the city of Tihran in the land of Persia, a baby boy named Mirza Husayn-Ali was born to a loving father and mother. He had two eyes, like His father. He had two lips, like His mother. He had two hands, like His sister. He had two legs, like His brother. But in His heart He had a Spirit, a most glorious wondrous Spirit unlike any other. So when that baby boy grew to be a man, and His name became Bahá’u'lláh, eyes cried softly in his presence because they were so happy to see him, lips sang sweetly His praise, hands held gently His Tablets, legs walked tirelessly to see Him, and hearts glowed brightly in His love. On this day many years ago a baby boy was born to a loving father and mother – a baby with two eyes, two lips, two hands and two legs – and everyone loved Him.
Then (as suggested along with other activities on p. 212) I asked my son to run back and forth from the living room to the table three times (a distance I thought would make him a little bit tired) and then talked about how people walked so long and so far to see Bahá’u'lláh because they loved Him so much and wanted to be near Him. I felt my son really related to this!
Then we sang two songs: “I Have Found Bahá’u'lláh” and “Shine Your Light on Me Bahá’u'lláh.” (Both of these songs can be heard here. There is actually a song called “Bahá’u'lláh’s Birthday” but I couldn’t learn this in time since I only learned about it today).
Then we ate dinner. I had set the table a bit nicer than usual, we had special drinks, and I made an easy dinner everyone would like and there would be absolutely no fuss over – fish and veggies
Afterward, of course, we enjoyed cake and ice cream. When I asked my son what he was grateful for today, he looked from the table settings to the cake a few times and said, “I’m thankful Bahá’u'lláh had a birthday.”
Having so much cake left over we will have to visit some more friends tomorrow to give some away.
It was a special day for us. After the kids were in bed, it was time for some personal reflection on the significance of this day. I read a few programs from this site.
Happy Holy Day everyone!
Chelsea Lee Smith is a mother of two and is passionate about empowering families with tools for character education so that they can contribute to making the world a better place. She blogs at Enable Me To Grow offering activities, ideas and resources for character building and more.