Tonight I'm going to a New Year's party. There will be drumming and dancing, and singing, and praying, and eating, and laughter. I'm a Bahá'i. It is the year 172.
Sundown tonight ends the year and our 19 day Fast. So at the party we will eat. A lot. For the last nineteen days (one month of a nineteen month calendar) we have risen before sunrise to eat and drink and repeat after sunset. For the twelve hours in between we abstain, and restrain and try not to drool when friends eat lunch, or morning snacks, or take afternoon coffee breaks, or eat for no apparent reason whatsoever.
When the Fast ends it is our New Year. It's called Náw Rúz because the Bahá'i Faith began in Persia. And this is the one common holiday we share with our son-in-law, who is Muslim. What is so logical and beautiful is that this is the spring equinox. I LOVE THAT!!! I don't want to knock anyone's calendar, but even as a kid I didn't get why we celebrated New Year in the middle of winter. This is one of the many things that made me scream (in a good way) when I found the Bahá'i Faith.
The Fast is a time to slow down, reflect on what is important in our lives, and how we can make the world better, by being better people. It's a simple concept, but let it roll around in your mind. Imagine billions of people doing this and see what happens to your vision of the world we could have.
I love the Fast. And I love when it is over. Tomorrow morning I will rise after the sun does, savor coffee, and step into a new year.
Happy Náw Rúz!