This year 2020, March 20 marks the Vernal Equinox in the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the South—that day when the sun’s light strikes the Equator directly and illuminates every continent equally.
On March 20, 2020, Baha’is from all over the world and of all cultural backgrounds celebrate the festival of Naw-Rúz, after nineteen days of fasting.
Based on the Badí‘ Calendar, Naw-Rúz is the first day of the Baha’i New Year.
The Bahá'í calendar, also called the Badí‘ calendar (Badí‘ means wondrous or unique), is a solar calendar with years composed of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days) plus an extra period of "Intercalary Days".
Years begin at Naw-Rúz, on the vernal equinox, coinciding with March 20 or 21. (This year vernal equinox falls on March 20, 2020.)
The inception of the Bahá'í calendar was on 21 March 1844 CE, the year during which the Báb declared His mission and the Bahá'í Faith began.
Years are counted with the date notation of B.E. (Bahá'í Era). The year 177 B.E. will begin on 20
Naw-Rúz is one of the nine Bahá'í holy days on which work is to be suspended. It is generally observed with a meeting for prayer and celebration -- often combined with a dinner since the sunset on which Naw-Rúz begins ends the last day of the Bahá'í fast.
The UN’s General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of NawRúz, describing it as a spring festival.
The United Nations also now recognizes March 20 as World Happiness Day.
By Jaya Raju Thota