Bicentenary celebrated in Halifax!

On Saturday evening, 21st October 2017, over 90 guests, including the Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire,  Mrs Virginia Lloyd, local dignitaries, members of the Calderdale Interfaith Council, friends from around the world, neighbours, colleagues and members of the public joined our Bahá’í community of Calderdale inside Halifax Town Hall to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Photo: View from Halifax Town Hall balcony to the Bicentenary celebration, hosted by the Baha’is of Calderdale, UK.

Whilst we were celebrating together in Halifax, in tens of thousands of localities around the world, from tiny island nations in the Pacific to the vast lands of the Americas, Bahá’ís and their friends were also marking this unique occasion in their own communities, in their own distinctive ways. (There is a great archived collection of such celebrations at the global Bicentenary website here; these various festivities reflected the remarkably diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds of Bahá’ís and their communities all around the planet!)

In Halifax, our evening’s programme included a presentation on the life and mission of Bahá’u’lláh and His vision for humanity, including His teaching that: “The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”  The presentation was interspersed with classical music, song and prayers, and was followed by friendly discussions and refreshments. The presentation recapped that Bahá’u’lláh was born in 1817 in Tehran, the capital city of Persia (modern day Iran), and that He devoted Himself to uplifting and educating all the peoples of the world. From a young age He was renowned for His extraordinary wisdom, compassion and commitment to justice. However because of His teachings, He was imprisoned, tortured and exiled until He reached the prison city of ‘Akká (modern day Acre) in the Holy Land (modern day Israel).

Despite 40 years of suffering He continued to share His message and called upon the kings and rulers of the world to establish peace and resolve all injustices in their lands. During our Halifax event we highlighted that in fact Bahá’u’lláh also wrote to Queen Victoria, setting out principles for just rule, and commending her for her support for democracy and for banishing slavery.

(Separately, another link to the UK was that British Prime Minister Theresa May was one of many political leaders around the world who addressed their own letters of encouragement to the Baha’i communities in their countries. Theresa May, referring to Bahá’u’lláh, wrote, “His life, his teachings and His compassion continue to inspire people around the world, and we can all learn from His generosity and wisdom.”)

Since the event a number of people have also let us know that they were unable to attend due to the heavy rain and winds, which caused flooding and disruption in parts of Calderdale. We are very excited that we are hoping to run an informal repeat of the programme from the evening; we will be letting people know as soon as all the details are finalised!

For the time being though, we wanted to take this opportunity warmly to thank everyone who joined us to be together for this very special evening, and who helped make it a truly wonderful occasion!

Advertisements

Picnic celebrations in the build-up to the Bicentenary!

Families and friends joined with the Bahá’ís of Calderdale in the gardens of the Jubilee Children’s Centre , Halifax, on a September Saturday afternoon to celebrate the upcoming Bicentenary of the prophet founders of the Bahá’í Faith:

Photo: Friends and Bahá’ís from the Calderdale community at a picnic held at the Jubilee Children’s Centre, Halifax in September 2017.

All the children, who attend Bahá’í classes offered by the Calderdale community, along with their parents and friends, met together for a multicultural picnic in celebration of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh 200 years ago (which took place in October 1817).

The classes our community offer focus on the unity of all faiths. Children learn with us about the spiritual virtues enshrined in all the major religions. There are currently eight regular children in the class from different backgrounds and cultures. This is a community project and is open to everyone.

At the picnic food was shared and lots of games enjoyed such as hopscotch, scavenger hunts and frisbee rounders.  Everyone had a great time socialising and laughing together, in the beautiful landscaped Jubilee gardens.

The picnic has been just one of many events, including a ceilidh, donation of gifts, tree planting and presentations leading up to the main event that our community will be holding to celebrating Bahá’u’lláh’s birthday – which will be held in the Town Hall in Halifax, next month, on October 21st.

The Bahá’ís of Calderdale would like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to all the parents and friends who came together with us to help us celebrate this very special time and moment in the history of the Bahá’í Faith!

Hampers donation to St Augustine’s Centre

The Bahá’í community of Calderdale recently presented two hampers of toiletries and food to the St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax, West Yorkshire. This donation was one part of our Calderdale Bahá’í community’s ongoing celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary this year, 2017, of the Birth of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh.

Photo: Volunteers from St Augustine’s in Halifax (shown second from let, and far right) receiving the donated hampers from members of the Calderdale Bahá’í community, 6 June 2017. Source: Picture courtesy of Laura Hinks, used with permission.

Volunteers from St Augustine’s remarked on the appropriateness of the donation and explained how useful the items would be for users of their centre, in particular given the ongoing need for everyday toiletries.

This donation was made in the spirit of the Bahá’í community’s approach to try to offer service to people of all faiths or no faith, and to support like-minded communities and organisations that strive to help humanity. This spirit is particularly captured in one of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings that, ‘The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.

You can also read more about what the Calderdale Bahá’í community is celebrating during this special year, by visiting our new dedicated page about the Bicentenary here.

New page about the 2017 bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah!

We have just uploaded a new page about a special event that is happening this year, in 2017. This is the bicentenary of the birth of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh (which was in 1817).

For now the page gives a very short overview of the life of Bahá’u’lláh, and a link to the new trailer of a forthcoming film about Bahá’u’lláh.

We will be updating the page with more photos and further details of our local community’s activities related to the bicentenary soon! We will also be posting a few news updates on this blog about things we are doing in the run up to the bicentenary, which will take place this October.