The history of Ridván festival begins during the afternoon of April 21, 1863 (around 3:00 p.m.), when Bahá’u’lláh arrived in the Najíbíyyih Garden, subsequently designated as the Garden of Ridván.
It is observed this year, from sunset on April 19 (marking the onset of April 20, 2020 as per the Baha’i Calendar) to sunset on May 1, 2020.
Bahá’ís consider the 12-day Festival of Ridván (Paradise) as pre-eminent among its various Holy Days.
Ridván marks the inception of the Baha’i Faith as a distinct religion.
Through the previous decade (1853–1863), Bahá’u’lláh had concealed His Mission.
This period of “Messianic Secrecy” has been referred to as the “Days of Concealment”, although Bahá’u’lláh’s writings in Baghdad during this period were rife with hints about his Prophetic Mission, especially in His
pre-eminent doctrinal text, the Book of Certitude (Kitáb-i-Íqán), which was revealed in two days and two nights in January 1861.
Beyond the basic revelation that He was “He Whom God will Make Manifest.”
Every year, on the first day of Ridván, Bahá’ís in thousands of localities around the globe vote for their local governing councils.
Also during the festival, National Conventions are held in some countries and territories, during which delegates vote for the national governing bodies of the Baha'i Faith, but the National Governing body of India stated as follows:
" The National Spiritual Assembly continues to follow with concern the unabated spread of the COVID-19 virus - both in India and the rest of the world. In view of the increasing restrictions put in India put in place by the Government of India to control and prevent the spread of the virus, the National Spiritual Assembly, in consultation with the Counsellors, has decided to cancel the National Convention for this year 2020..." (Courtesy: NSA of India)
Several years later (ca. 1867–1870), Bahá’u’lláh sent open epistles (called Tablets) to a select group of the world’s most powerful potentates and clerics, proclaiming Himself to be the “Promised One” foretold by the Prophets of all the past religions.
In these Tablets, together with general Tablets addressed to Kings and Religious Leaders collectively, Bahá’u’lláh stated that He was, the long-awaited “World Reformer” who came to unify the world—a transformation that would, in the course of time, come about through the power of His Universal Principles and Laws adapted to the needs of this day and age.
On these Bahá’í Holy days of April 20, 28, and May 1, 2020 work is suspended.
(Compiled by Jaya Raju Thota)