The Greater Little Rock Bahá’í Community celebrated The Festival of Ridván on April 21st & 29th and May 2nd. Although the festival is twelve days long, observances are held on the first, ninth and twelfth days to commemorate the arrival of Bahá’u’lláh at the Garden of Ridván in Baghdad, His pronouncement that He was the Promised One and a new Manifestation of God, and His subsequent departure from Baghdad to Constantinople (now Istanbul). The event is significant for Bahá’ís as it marks the beginning of the Bahá’í Faith in 1863.
The local observances were kicked off with a garden party at the Little Rock Bahá’í Center. Balloons and a front yard in full bloom helped create a festive atmosphere, while the music, singing and readings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh underscored the significance of the event for attendees from across the Greater Little Rock region, including Conway, Beebe and Maumelle.
The ninth day of Ridván was celebrated in downtown Little Rock at the historic and recently restored home of a Bahá’í family. Attendees were treated to tours of the historic home and its grounds, which featured an urban agriculture project with bee hives, chickens and a garden. The program itself was held beneath a large garden tent and gazebo. The Bahá’í community’s children provided a song, and further music, singing and readings contributed to a spirit of unity and love for all.
The final event was a community brunch where the Bahá’í community and its guests enjoyed one another’s fellowship and commemorated the departure of Bahá’u’lláh for Constantinople on May 2, 1863.