Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Naw-Ruz Celebrated in Jerusalem

Just wanted people to know, in case you were unaware that the Baha'i New Year, Naw-Ruz was celebrated in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post has the details:

"BAHA'I, WHICH has quasi-diplomatic status in Israel in that its representatives are on the guest lists of major state institutions and local government bodies, as well as those of the diplomatic community and the ecumenical religious community, makes a point of celebrating Naw-Ruz in Jerusalem, even though only two of its members actually live in the capital.

The huge, annual reception at the David Citadel hotel which somehow seemed bigger this year, possibly because it was also in celebration of the inscription of the Shrines of the Bab and Baha'u'llah in Haifa and Acre as UNESCO World Heritage sites, brought even more diplomats to Jerusalem than the Vin d'Honneur earlier in the day.

In addition, there were clergy and lay people from at least a dozen denominations, politicians, members of the judiciary, cultural figures and lots of media people from many parts of the country. The Baha'i receptions are usually enhanced by a plethora of floral arrangements, but this time, the flowers were relatively low key giving way to massive and creative displays of all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Israel.

Baha'i Secretary General Albert Lincoln revealed that the occasion also marked the 100th anniversary of the transfer of the Bab's remains from what is now Iran, to the shrine on Mount Carmel. The burial was the first act of establishing a Baha'i presence in the Holy Land, although members of Baha'i had visited as early as 1868. Last year alone, said Lincoln, there had been 640,000 visits to the shrine." (Read more here)