The Bahá’í community in Nigeria have joined others across the globe to mark the new Calendar Year of the Bahai Faith, (Naw Ruz), with a call on humanity to imbibe the virtues of love, unity, peace and selfless service.
The Naw Ruz usually falls between March 20 and 22 on the day of the vernal equinox which marks the beginning of the spring season when new plants come forth.
The day is, however,r recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNICEF as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Speaking at a special event to commemorate the day in Abuja, Chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í Community in Nigeria, Retired Commissioner of Police, Bar. Lawrence Alobi explained that the Naw Ruz is celebrated after the end of nineteen days fast by the Bahais and that it marks the dawn of a new beginning for change and spiritual rejuvenation.
Alobi noted that the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahaullah described the spiritual significance of Naw-Ruz in terms of spring and the new life that it brings.
He said the prophet advised adherents that as the fast ended, they should turn a new page in their lives and be inspired to right action and spiritual excellence.
“The Naw Ruz is a time of joy and celebration, with the darkness of winter coming to an end and the reappearance of light, warmth and the beauty of spring’s flowers.
It is usually a festive event observed with meetings for prayer, music and dancing with a feast of hospitality, love, unity, rejoicing, spiritual renewal, a reminder of the oneness of humanity and the oneness of all the Prophets and messengers of God and the spiritual upliftment they each brought to humanity”, Alobi added.
The Chairman of the local spiritual Assembly also used the occasion to re-emphasize the key teachings of the Bahai Faith which is to promote world peace, equality and oneness of mankind, the oneness of religion, elimination of all forms of prejudices among others.
He urged leaders to turn a new leaf and emulate Prophets and messengers of God who rendered selfless service to the people and were not concerned with possession of material things.