This post is part of the Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan series hosted by All Done Monkey, where members of Baha’i Mom Blogs are sharing ideas for celebrating Ridvan during all 12 days.
Follow along by visiting this page!
Happy Ninth Day of Ridvan! For those of you who have been following the series, there have already been a lot of great stories and activities shared! If you haven’t, be sure to click on the button or link above to see all other posts in this series.
Although the festival of Ridvan is twelve days long, three of those days are considered Holy Days where Baha’is are expected to take off school, work, etc. when at all possible. Communities often hold their celebrations on one or all of these days, commemorating this “Most Great Festival”! The three days that are Holy Days are the first, ninth, and twelfth days.
Soon after Baha’u'llah arrived in the Garden of Ridvan the Tigris river rose due to flood waters. His son, Abdu’l-Baha, came with him, along with another son and His secretary. The rest of His family, however, had stayed behind to pack up their belongings. Because of the flooding they were unable to follow. On the ninth day in the garden the flood receded, and His family was finally able to join Him. Soon after the family arrived, the flood waters again rose. On the twelfth day they receded again.
I can only imagine the joy of the Holy family in being able to be in Baha’u'llah’s presence once more on the ninth day.
I have really enjoyed reading about activities that families are doing to celebrate Ridvan. Crafts, songs, baking, special tents, flowers, and more! It seems as though this is one of those Holy Days that is so unique that Baha’is are just starting to learn how to celebrate it. It is not a celebration that I remember a lot about while growing up. I remember hearing and/or reading the stories every year, but that’s about it. I am hoping that as our own family grows we will start to incorporate more special activities during this festival to make it more memorable and meaningful.
In years past we haven’t really done much for Ridvan. Last year we attended the local celebration and on another day I read the story to Svara, but it ended about there. This year I wanted to make sure to do more! Honestly I couldn’t manage a LOT more for several reasons, but I had to do something! A lot of families seem to be putting up indoor tents during this time, to simulate being in the garden. I love this idea because kids get so much more out of things when they can actually experience (or pretend to experience) them. We have a camping tent that isn’t often used, and we have a big dining room, so this year we decided to set up our garden right in the dining room! By moving the table to the side there was just enough room for our tent. I would have loved to have a homemade tent made of beautiful draping cloths, but I didn’t have the materials and I know Svara didn’t mind. We’ll just pretend it’s made of lovely white cloth instead of garish blue and yellow nylon!
I read the story of Ridvan from the book, From Mountain to Mountain twice (and I will read it a third time today) so that Svara has a good understanding of what it is about. We discuss it while reading and talk about what it might have been like.
To utilize our dining-room tent, we had to serve tea of course! While I was busy putting Talisa down for a nap, Naren and Svara were busy decorating and setting up the inside of the tent.
Earlier in the day Svara and I had made the roses. I have made these rolled roses before, there are many tutorials online (here is one). You simply cut out a circle of paper and then draw a spiral from the outside to the inside. Cut along the spiral, then roll the whole thing up. Let it expand to the size you want and then tape and/or glue the end shut. They are simple enough that children can easily help. Svara had fun throughout the day placing the roses on chairs (pretending they were bushes), then picking them and putting them into the tent.
I wanted to make some traditional Persian cookies for this special tea-time, but I just didn’t have all of the ingredients for any of the recipes I found, go figure! One of the traditional cookies is a walnut cookie, so I made a cookie that had walnuts in it from a cookbook I have so at least it has somewhat of a link to a Persian cookie Svara has been enjoying helping me in the kitchen the past few weeks. For the last year or so she has not helped out in the kitchen much. There is no fan in the kitchen and she feels hot quickly and does not like it. Either she’s getting used to it or she has just overcome it for wanting to help out! She is old enough now that she can start measuring ingredients and we talk about measurements while cooking, making it a math lesson as well
So we all sat in the tent, said prayers, had our tea, and talked about the Ridvan story a bit. It was such a hit that I believe we’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow!
On a little side note, in the evening I was in the kitchen busy making supper. Svara peeked into the kitchen and asked me not to look into the dining room, saying that she was setting up a surprise. I obliged, of course She called me out when she was done and proudly showed me this:
She had taken the cloths and roses out of the tent and used them to set the table specially for Ridvan. She used kitchen cloths as place mats and set the table for our dinner (Naren was away for the evening so it was just her and me). She was so proud and it was so cute! But seeing this I think we have to invest in some real place mats sometime hahaha!
I can’t wait to see what the rest of the bloggers have to share with us for the last days of Ridvan! Thanks for following along!