For Bahá’ís, Ridván is the most sacred time of the year and the holiest of all festivals. It celebrates the announcement of Bahá'u'lláh's station as a Divine Messenger.
The word Ridván is an Arabic word that broadly means “Paradise”. The festival commemorates the twelve days Bahá'u'lláh spent in a garden in Baghdad while preparing to leave for Constantinople (the capital of Turkey, now Istanbul), wishing farewell to its residents. It was then that He first told people of His station as a Manifestation of God.
There are no exact details on how this happened. It is generally believed that Bahá’u’lláh initially chose to tell just a few close companions. First-
It had been ten years since Bahá’u’lláh’s first banishment from Tehran in Persia to Baghdad in modern-
When the officials of the Persian government exiled Bahá’u’lláh to Baghdad, it was to stamp out his growing popularity. After ten years, they realised this wasn’t working, and pressured the Ottoman government to move Him much further away, to the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul (then known as Constantinople). Bahá’u’lláh had become a very highly respected figure in Baghdad society, and the summons had to be offered as a polite invitation.
Bahá’u’lláh pitched His tent in a garden outside the city, alongside the river Tigris on 21st April, so He could bid farewell to visitors in a place other than His house, making it easier for His family to pack. The gardener's name was Ridván, and that is the name by which Bahá'u'lláh also called the garden. The next day He left His House in Baghdad, for the last time, and travelled back to the garden. A crowd had gathered to see Bahá'u'lláh leave – Babí and non-
Around the world, most Baha’i elections are held during Ridván, a practice which started in Abdu’l-
13 Jalál to 5 Jamál
(21 April -