Some have described it as the Baha’i Christmas.
The Days of Ha began Feb. 26, and end March 2 when the celebration will change to the “season of restraint,” a period of fasting which always falls between March 2-20.
The Baha’i community in Davis County has joined members of the faith worldwide in marking Ayyam-i-Ha, the formal name for the Days of Ha.
The celebration is made up of four days in ordinary years and five in leap years (Feb. 26 through March 1) between the 18th and 19th months of the Baha’i calendar. Each month in the Baha’i calendar is made up of 19 days, with the intercalary days being those that are left at the end of the year.
Shari Meyer, a member of the Centerville Baha’i community, said there are many ways of observing the period: parties, celebratory dinners, special activities for children and service projects.
“When my children were small, I would decorate the house and we would have small gifts from each of us to open each day,” Meyer said. “Usually we would gather s a family in the evening after dinner, pray together and each open a gift.”
Meyer said this was how her family celebrated the day. Others have different traditions, or none at all.
Meyer said the days are associated with “the letter Ha,” an Arabic letter which has been given several spiritual meanings in holy writings, among which is a symbol for God’s essence.
March 2 through March 20 is dedicated to the Baha’i fast, a period in which members of the faith between 15 and 70 years of age do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset and set aside time for prayer and meditation.
Meyer said during the fast, Baha’is abstain from food, drink and smoking.