Twin Holy Birthdays

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Twin Holy Birthdays
Observed byBahá’ís
DateFirst and second day after the eighth new moon following Bahá'í Naw-Rúz
2018 date9–10 November
2019 date29–30 October
2020 date19–20 October
2021 date7–8 November

The Festivals of the Twin Birthdays or the Twin Holy Birthdays refers to two successive holy days in the Bahá'í Calendar that celebrate the births of two central figures of the Bahá'í Faith. The two holy days are the birth of the Báb on the first day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar (20 October 1819) and the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on the second day of Muharram (two years prior, on 12 November 1817).[1][2][3]

They are observed on the first and the second day following the occurrence of the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz, as determined in advance by astronomical tables using Tehran as the point of reference.[4] This results in the observance of the Twin Birthdays moving, year to year, within the months of Mashíyyat, ‘Ilm, and Qudrat of the Bahá'í calendar, or from mid-October to mid-November in the Gregorian calendar.[5]

Prior to 2015 and a decision by the Universal House of Justice, these two holy days had been observed on the first and second days of Muharram in the Islamic lunar calendar in the Middle East, while other countries observed them according to the Gregorian calendar on 20 October (for the birth of the Báb) and 12 November (for the birth of Bahá'u'lláh).[2]

On the occasion of the 200th anniversaries of the births of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh in 2017 and 2019, special celebrations were organized worldwide.[6][7] In October 2017 the Universal House of Justice sent a letter to "all who celebrate the Glory of God", on the meaning of Bahá'u'lláh's life and current Bahá'í activities, inspired by the 200th anniversary of his birth.[8]


Days in the Baha'i calendar begin at sunset. In the following table, the Baha'i date should be understood as starting at sunset on the day before the first Gregorian date listed for each year.

Year Dates (Badí' Calendar) Dates (Gregorian Calendar)[9] Bicentennials
172 B.E. Qudrat 10, 11 13–14 November 2015
173 B.E. `Ilm 18, 19 1–2 November 2016
174 B.E. `Ilm 7, 8 21–22 October 2017 Bicentennial of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (from sunset on Friday 20 October to sunset on Sunday 22 October)
175 B.E. Qudrat 6, 7 9–10 November 2018
176 B.E. `Ilm 14, 15 29–30 October 2019 Bicentennial of the Birth of the Báb (from sunset on Monday 28 October to sunset on Wednesday 30 October)
177 B.E. `Ilm 4, 5 18–19 October 2020
178 B.E. Qudrat 4, 5 6–7 October 2021


Chart showing the fluctuations of the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz (Bahá'í new year) marking the date of the Twin Holy Birthdays in the Bahá'í calendar, between 172 and 221 B.E. (2015–2065).[9]

The notion of "twin Manifestations of God" is a concept fundamental to Bahá'í belief, describing the relationship between the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Both are considered Manifestations of God in their own right, having each founded separate religions (Bábism and the Bahá'í Faith) and revealed their own holy scriptures. To Bahá'ís, however, the missions of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh are inextricably linked: The Báb's mission was to prepare the way for the coming of Him whom God shall make manifest, who eventually appeared in the person of Bahá'u'lláh. For this reason, both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh are revered as central figures of the Bahá'í Faith.[10] A parallel is made between Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb as between Jesus and John the Baptist.[11]

In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh wrote that his birthday and that of Báb "are accounted as one in the sight of God".[2]


  1. ^ Taherzadeh, Adib (1987). The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 4: Mazra'ih & Bahji 1877–92. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 334–5. ISBN 0-85398-270-8.
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Peter (2000). "holy days". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 182–183. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  3. ^ Smith, Peter (2008). An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 5, 14. ISBN 0-521-86251-5. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  4. ^ Momen, Moojan (2014). The Badí` (Bahá'í) Calendar: An Introduction.
  5. ^ Universal House of Justice (10 July 2014). "To the Bahá'ís of the World". Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  6. ^ Baha’i World News Service. Bicentenary website connects the world. September 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Baha’i World News Service. Bicentenary website to reflect worldwide celebrations. September 6, 2019.
  8. ^ Universal House of Justice (October 2017). To all who celebrate the Glory of God
  9. ^ a b Table including the dates of the Twin Holy Birthdays from 172 to 221 B.E. (2015 – 2065; prepared by the Baha'i World Centre)
  10. ^ Daume, Daphne; Watson, Louise, eds. (1992). "The Bahá'í Faith". Britannica Book of the Year. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica. ISBN 0-85229-486-7.
  11. ^ Christopher Buck (August 2004). "The eschatology of globalization: the multiple-messiahship of Bahá'ulláh revisited" (PDF). In Moshe Sharon; W. J. Hanegraaff; P. Pratap Kumar (eds.). Studies in Modern Religions and Religious Movements and the Babi/Baha'i Faiths. Mumen Book Series, Studies in the history of religions. CIV. Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 143–173. ISBN 9789004139046.

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