The Twin Holy Birthdays refer to the Birthdays of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, Who are known as the “Twin Manifestations of God”. This important festival celebrates the birth of not one, but two Manifestations of God sent to usher in a new era of peace, brotherhood and unity for humankind. Each of these Manifestations revealed their own Writings and founded their own religion, but they are connected in a very important way: The Báb came to prepare the way for Bahá’u’lláh, Whom He called “He Whom God shall make manifest”, and commanded His followers to seek Him out and to follow Him. The followers of the Báb eventually discovered Bahá’u’lláh and became Bahá’ís.
These Holy Days were once celebrated at different times in different parts of the world, but as of the year 172 BE (2015 AD), they are celebrated together by all Bahá’ís around the world, on the eighth new moon following Naw-rúz each year. Bahá’u’lláh tells us that His birthday and that of Báb “are accounted as one in the sight of God”.
readings/prayers for study
“The Birthday Festival is come, and He Who is the Beauty of God, the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling, the All-Loving, hath ascended His throne.” (Bahá’u’lláh)
- Love for Bahá’u’lláh, from Enable Me to Grow.
- Songs from the Ruhi Institute:
- Bahá’u’lláh, the Glory of God;
- I Have Found Bahá’u’lláh;
- The Báb;
- The Promise;
- Who Is the Prophet of God for Today.
The Twin Holy Birthdays are a perfect occasion to tell stories about the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, especially stories about Their childhood.
- The story of the Báb’s first day of school, as narrated in The Dawn-Breakers.
- Various stories about Bahá’u’lláh’s childhood.
- The story of the dream of Bahá’u’lláh and the fish, as dreamt by His father.
The story of the two sacred Houses of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh would also help to explain the special relationship between the Twin Manifestations.
- Word search: The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh.
- Written exercises: The Báb: The Gate to Bahá’u’lláh; The Báb joyfully sacrificed His life.
- Artist Monika Ahlkvist Mackenzie produced two beautiful colouring pages for the Twin Holy Birthdays: One based on an image of the Earth, and one based on the names of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
- Gate Craft for the Non-Crafty, presented by All Done Monkey.
- Unity Tree, also presented by All Done Monkey.
- Children can create their own story book to tell the story of the lives of the Twin Manifestations.
- Many different kinds of service projects could be appropriate to celebrate the Twin Holy Birthdays, especially those which aim to bring joy and gladness to the people around us. A few examples include: Visiting the elderly, or those who are sick or infirm; offering a musical performance or a similar artistic activity that brings good cheer; collecting food and other necessary items for those who are in need, or helping a family that has other, specific needs; planting a garden in a space that is open to the community; and so on.
“Blessed art thou, O night! For through thee was born the Day of God, a Day which We have ordained to be the lamp of salvation unto the denizens of the cities of names, the chalice of victory unto the champions of the arenas of eternity, and the dawning-place of joy and exultation unto all creation.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Ayyám-i-Tis‘ih, pp. 12–15; concerning the Birthday of the Báb)
“The Birthday Festival is come, and He Who is the Beauty of God, the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling, the All-Loving, hath ascended His throne. Well is it with the one who in this Day hath attained His presence and towards whom the gaze of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath been directed. Say: We have celebrated this Festival in the Most Great Prison at a time when the kings of the earth have risen against Us. Yet the ascendancy of the oppressor can never frustrate Us, nor can the hosts of the world dismay Us. Unto this doth the All-Merciful bear witness in this most august station.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Ayyám-i-Tis‘ih, pp. 45–47; concerning the Birthday of Bahá’u’lláh)
“He is the Most Holy, the Most Great.
“This is the month wherein was born He Who beareth the Most Great Name, Whose appearance hath caused the limbs of humankind to quake and the dust of Whose footsteps the Concourse on high and the dwellers of the cities of names have sought for a blessing. Whereupon they rendered praise unto God and cried out in joy and exultation. By God! This is the month through which all other months have been illumined, the month wherein He Whois the hidden Secret and the well-guarded Treasure hath been made manifest and hath called aloud amidst all humankind. All dominion belongeth to this newborn Child through Whom the face of creation hath been wreathed in smiles, and the trees have swayed, and the oceans have surged, and the mountains have taken flight, and Paradise hath lifted its voice, and the Rock hath cried out, and all things have exclaimed, ‘O concourse of creation! Hasten ye towards the dawning-place of the countenance of your Lord, the Merciful, the Compassionate!’
“This is the month wherein Paradise itself was decked forth with the splendours of the countenance of its Lord, the All-Merciful, and the heavenly Nightingale warbled its melody upon the Divine Lote-Tree, and the hearts of the favoured ones were filled with rapture. But alas the people, for the most part, are heedless. Blessed be the one who hath recognized Him and apprehended that which was promised in the Books of God, the Almighty, the All-Praised; and woe betide him that hath turned aside from the One upon Whom the Concourse on high have fixed their gaze, Him who hath confounded every wayward misbeliever.
“When once thou hast received this Tablet, intone it in the sweetest of melodies and say: Praise be to Thee, O my most merciful Lord, for remembering me in this Tablet whereby the fragrance of the garment of Thy knowledge was diffused and the oceans of Thy grace were made to surge. I bear witness that Thou art potent to do as Thou pleasest. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Má’idiy-i-Ásmání, vol. 4, p. 342; concerning the Birthday of Bahá’u’lláh)