so the christmas holiday season is finally here, and many people around the world are either freaking out (due to the stress of last-minute shopping and mounting debt), bored out of their minds (because they don’t celebrate christmas, everyone’s away and nothing’s open) or boarding planes to get the heck out. I’ll be among the latter category this year; two good friends of mine, Misagh and Jamál, are getting married in Edmonton during the holidays, so I’ll be flying out to happily attend! Along the way, I’m also planning to visit friends in Vancouver and Winnipeg, returning on January 1. There’ll surely be lots of great photos coming out of the whole trip, so do keep your eyes peeled in the new (gregorian) year.
One of the questions most often asked of Baha’is around this time of the year is: Do Baha’is celebrate Christmas? The answer I usually give is no, we don’t—not as a religious observance, anyway. All the same, Baha’is are very sympathetic to the ideals of charity, generosity, all-embracing love and goodwill towards humanity that are often upheld as characteristic of the Christmas holidays. There are certain Baha’i holidays which celebrate these virtues—the curious should look up Ayyám-i-Há.
Another question often asked around Christmas is: How do Baha’is view Christ? I particularly like the answer given in a news brief published on Thursday by the Baha’is of the United States: that Jesus Christ “is revered in the Baha’i Faith as a Manifestation of God, and anyone who embraces the Baha’i Faith—regardless of their religious background—also confesses the universal redemptive significance of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection”. The article also quotes Bahá’u’lláh’s words regarding Christ, an excerpt of which I’ll quote here due to them being so beautiful and amazing:
Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. [ Read more ]
so merry christmas to all my christian friends, and while I’m at it, happy hanukkah to my jewish friends, too. may the spirit of friendliness, fellowship and unity pervade your celebrations, turn enemies into friends, and infuse fresh capacity and new life into your souls.