ridván, the king of festivals

rose fixedThe Festival of Ridván is one of the most important festivals for Bahá’ís; it celebrates Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration to be the Manifestation of God for this age.

Prayers/readings for study

“Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridván and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the garden of delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise. We have chosen thee to be our most mighty Trumpet, whose blast is to signalize the resurrection of all mankind.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, XIV)

Activities

Story

  • The Garden of Ridván. Nabil’s story quoted in God Passes By can be used to explain the events in the garden of Ridván; it ties in with roses.
  • David Merrick put together an excellent resource, The Story of Ridván, which gives a detailed picture of the events surrounding Bahá’u’lláh’s Declaration.
  • The story of the two sacred Houses of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh would fit well for a lesson on Ridván.

Songs

  • There are many songs about Baha’u’llah on the Ruhi Institute’s website, and songs about the Garden of Ridván as well: for example, “Sing a New Song” or “In the Garden of Ridván”.

Drawings

  • Check out this beautiful rose!
  • map of Bahá’u’lláh’s exiles can help to explain the significance of Ridván and Bahá’u’lláh’s Declaration.
  • As well, the presentation on Bahá’u’lláh in Book 4 of the Ruhi curriculum contains a slide that explains Ridván (see page 9 of the presentation).

Craft

  • Paper roses. There are a number of tutorials online showing how to make simple paper roses or fancier ones out of plain coloured paper. You can also make make them out of tissue paper for a more delicate look.
  • Ridván Garden diorama. A group of participants in a Norwegian Book 4 study circle put together a miniature ridván garden – complete with an island surrounded by water, in the style of the Garden of Ridván near ‘Akká. Children could blow boats made of walnut shells across the water, and learn about the story of Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration. There’s also this “magical” diorama of Baha’u’llah’s tent in the Ridvan Garden made by our good friend Brooke.
  • This felt board storybook by Leanna of All Done Monkey is a creative way to bring the story of Ridván to life, especially for younger children. Coloured paper could easily be substituted for felt.

Other

  • Decorate the class with a “Ridván garden” theme. Our class once put together a tent with wooden poles, duct tape, sheets and pillows, creating a space where the children could sit together and listen to stories.
  • Flower arranging! Gather together roses, other seasonal flowers (such as tulips) and other decorative plants such as cedar boughs, baby’s breath, or various wildflowers, and have the children arrange them in pots using wet blocks of floral foam. They can then bring their flower arrangements home, perhaps with a special Ridván card attached.

Reference

God Passes By, as mentioned above, is one of our primary sources for the story of Ridván.

David Merrick’s The Story of Ridván collects a number of narratives from different places to weave as complete a picture as possible of the events surrounding Ridván.

Other useful sources:

Experience

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