Sunset in Hawaii closes extraordinary period of worldwide celebrations

23 October 2017

BAHA'I WORLD CENTRE — With sunset in Hawaii moments ago, the period marking the bicentenary of Baha’u’llah’s birth has come to a close.

Over the last 72 hours, a cross-section of humanity, unprecendently diverse, in virtually every spot on the globe, joined in a striking diversity of action to commemorate the birth of Baha’u’llah.

Countless individuals were inspired by the festivities surrounding the bicentenary and were moved by their encounters with the life and writings of Baha’u’llah.

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At a celebration of the bicentenary in South Africa

One of the more than 27,000 visitors who viewed an exhibit on the life of Baha’u’llah held in Frankfurt said, “My wife and I were just talking before we came here about how life was without purpose. But then we visited this exhibition. Here we have found the answer to our purpose in life.”

In Suriname, Vice President Ashwin Adhin planned to attend a reception for the bicentenary held at the National Baha’i Centre. After a short program which included prayers, a film about the history of the Faith in Suriname, and a talk, he decided to cancel his plans so he would have time to speak with the Baha’is about community-building in the young country. On the same day, the Baha'i community of Canada received a public message of good-will from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one of the last of a wide array of such messages received in recent days from officials.

Traditional dance performed in Bangui, Central African Republic

Many celebrations throughout the world featured screenings of the film Light to the World, which tells the story of Baha’u’llah’s life and the impact of His teachings. A participant at a gathering in East Asia said, “After watching the film, everyone was saying ‘Baha’u’llah’ with so much ease and comfort...It was as if they had known Him for many years and He was a familiar Figure to them.”

At a national celebration in Madrid, one attendee said, “the message of Baha’u’llah is exactly what humanity needs. Listening to these principles is not just a matter of hearing a beautiful message, it is essential for the progress of the human race.”