Scroll to the end for a video of my father singing a special holiday song!
Do you know what we remember, on the twelfth day of November?
If you were a Baha’i child growing up in the US in the late 1970s, chances are you are already singing along. This was a popular Baha’i children’s song at a time when there were not very many of them, especially ones to celebrate specific Baha’i holidays.
We give thanks to the land of Ta [Teheran], for giving us Baha’u’llah!
Every year on November 12, Baha’is around the world celebrate the anniversary of the birth of their religion’s Prophet Founder, Baha’u’llah. One of my favorite childhood memories of this holiday is of our family all gathered around the piano singing this song while my mother played. Scroll to the end for a video of my father singing this song!
Ring the bells and sound the horn, This was the day when He was born! (Ding dong, ding dong!)
So this year to celebrate I decided to make bells with my little Monkey. Not only because of this song, but also because Baha’u’llah referred to Himself as the “Most Great Bell,” ringing out to announce the new dawn of a new age for all humanity.
I also thought bells would be an easy symbol for my toddler to grasp, just as the stars we made for the Declaration of the Bab holiday in the spring.
So I pulled out my handy craft foam and got to work. First I made a template out of cardboard (does anyone else have a stash of empty cereals boxes sitting around for craft projects??) and used it to trace a dozen bells out of the craft foam.
Once they were cut out and ready to go, my little Monkey and I sat down to decorate. Suppressing my natural aversion to mess, I let him go crazy with the glitter glue. After all, if you aren’t festive and sparkly on a holiday, then when are you?
It was actually much less messy than I had anticipated. The main issue was that our aesthetics were very different. Namely, his consisted of wanting to squeeze all the glitter glue out in big piles, which I was sure would never dry. I did persuade him to then create designs out of these glops of glitter glue, so in the end we only ended up with one blotch that will be permanently wet.
Nevertheless, we were both pleased with the results. You’ll never guess which of us decorated which!
After they were (almost) all dry, I enlisted my husband’s help in stringing them up over our mantel, using some royal blue embroidery thread. My very handy husband reworked one of our corncob holders in order to make holes small enough for the thread.
I purposely hung the bells up out of my little Monkey’s reach, in the hopes that the bells will last at least until the holiday on November 12th. But I also saved out two just for him, which I taped to the wall above his table and which he is free to touch and play with as much as he wants. (And he has!)
Since the time this post originally ran, we have received several photos from other families who made the bells to celebrate the holiday:
The Moore family of Sacramento, California made this lovely set of bells…
…while these beautiful bells come to us from Kate and Claudia of Brisbane, Australia!
Skyla of At Home with Momma Skyla writes that her family not only made the bells and learned the song, they also added instruments and sang at their community’s celebration!
Katie of ¡viva la evolución de la familia! also learned the song with her kids to share with other families for the holy day: “We had a wide range of ages with the three kids between 21 months and 7 years. So the older one told a little bit about Bahá’u’lláh to the younger ones. He also helped trace and cut out the bells too. We decided that next year we’d focus on doing horns!” Love that idea!
Thanks to everyone for sharing!
And now for the video! Nothing says love like agreeing to sing a song on video for your daughter’s blog (or agreeing to tape your husband singing the video). Many, many thanks to my dad for singing and my mom for doing the video! I know you will all enjoy this as much as I do! So without further ado, here is my father singing my childhood favorite for the holiday, “Do You Know What We Remember…?”
For more background on this holiday, you can read our recent article on Making Multicultural Music.