What Do You Say on a Holy Day?

I get this question a lot. Because the Baha'i calendar and events are unfamiliar to many of my friends and colleagues, it's not always as easy as saying, "Happy Something!"

That's because, as in any religion, some holy days (holidays) are celebrations and some are commemorations.

About six of the holy days recognize the renewal of religion, which means that they are important dates related to the declarations of the missions of Baha'u'llah and His forerunner, who used the title The Bab, which means The Gate. Another two are birth dates. All of those can get "happy" greetings.

The remaining three are death dates. Not so much with the "happy."

Tomorrow is one of the death dates. It commemorates the 1850 execution of The Bab in Tabriz, Iran. The story is really quite fascinating. Imagine 750 soldiers firing three volleys at a stationary target, tied to a stone post ... and he disappears ... only to be found back in his cell, finishing the dictation he'd told you must be completed before he could be executed. 

This holy day is also one on which Baha'is suspend work. That's why this post is going up before sunset tonight. That's not to say we do nothing at all on a holy day! In fact, I'm planning to help friends clear out their family home.

And at noon, the very hour when those shots rang out so long ago, we will likely stop and say a prayer. And remember.