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By Pepper P Oldziey
From Brilliant Star, Jan-Feb 1990, p. 18-19

 The Calendars we Use Today

Here in North America, and in many other parts of the world, Bahá’ís most often use the Gregorian and the Badi Calendars.  If a Bahá’í is from a Muslim or Jewish family, he may also know that calendar.
Names for the Months
In the Gregorian Calendar, the months were named after Roman gods, Roman Emperors, or the number of the month.  When the months were numbered, the first month was Martius, or March.  This is like our Badi Calendar, which begins in March.  The months at the end of the year were named after their numbers.  Even though September is now the ninth month, it used to be seventh like its name.  The Badi Calendar has months named after the attributes of God.  The Báb named these months based on the nineteen names of God invoked in a prayer said during the month of fasting in Shi’ih Islam.  The names are Arabic.

Names for the Weekdays:

Many of the Gregorian days of the week are also named after gods, using German names:

Sunday:  for the sun
Monday:  for the moon
Tuesday, for Tiwes, the German god of war
Wednesday:  for Wo’den, a German god
Thursday:  for Thor, a German god
Friday:  for Fria, the German goddess of love
Saturday, for Saturn, a Roman god

The Bahá’í days of the week are:

Jalál:  Glory (Saturday)
Jamál:  Beauty (Sunday)
Kamál:  Perfection (Monday)
Fidál:  Grace (Tuesday)
‘Idál:  Justice (Wednesday)
Istijlál:  Majesty (Thursday)
Istiqlál:  Independence (Friday)

These, like the months, are named after Attributes of God.

The Days of Rest

In many Christian denominations Sunday is considered the day of rest and Monday the first day of the week.  Others call Saturday the day of rest and Sunday the first day of the week.  Most calendards you see being the week with Sunday or Monday.

The Bahá’í day of rest is Istiqlál, Friday, and the Bahá’í week starts on Saturday.  The Bahá’í day starts at sunset, like the Hebrew day and so, Friday, at sunset, our week begins.

The Origin of the Baha’i Calendar

The Báb, the Primal Point of a new creation, brought humanity into a new division of time in a calendar of nineteen months. All through our past heritage the months of the years and the days of the week have borne the names of pagan feasts and Roman holidays. The Báb swept these ancient landmarks away, and replaced them by the Qualities of: Splendour, Glory, Beauty, Grandeur, Light, Mercy, Words, Perfection, Names, Might, Will, Knowledge, Power, Speech, Questions, Honour, Sovereignty, Dominion, and Loftiness. Meditating upon these sublime attributes, man is enabled to gaze beyond the curve of time, wherein the swing and change of planetary movements exists, to the eternal qualities that stabilize the soul. (Shoghi Effendi, Principles of Baha’i Administration, p. 53)

The Days of the Month

The nineteen days of each Bahá’í month have the same names as the nineteen months do:

1. Bahá: Splendour

2. Jalál: Glory

3. Jamál: Beauty

4. ‘Azamát: Grandeur

5. Nur: Light

6. Rahmat: Mercy

7. Kalimát: Words

8. Kamál: Perfection

9. Asmá’: Names

10. Izzat: Might

11. Mashiyyat: Will

12. ‘Ilm: Knowledge

13. Qudrat: Power

14. Qawl: Speech

15. Masá’il: Questions

16. Sharaf: Honor

17. Sultán: Sovereignty

18. Mulk: Dominion

19. ‘Alá: Loftiness

The first day of the first month of the year, Naw-Ruz, would be the “day of Bahá”. If it fell on a Saturday, it would also be the “day of Jalál”.


Cycles of Years

The Gregorian years are grouped by tens. Ten years are a decade. One hundred years are a century. This follows the metric system of measurement.

The Bab divided the years into cycles beginning with the year B.E. 1. We have 19 days, 19 months, and cycles of 19 years. Each cycle is called a Váhid. Váhid means unity. Each cycle of 19 Váhids is 361 years and is called ‘Kull-i-Sháy’ which means “all things” and has a numerical value of 361.

Names of the Years

These are the names of the years in each Váhid:

1. Alif: A

2. Bá: B

3. AB: Father

4. Dál: D

5. Báb: Gate

6. Váv: V

7. Abad: Eternity

8. Jád: Generosity

9. Bahá: Splendour

10. Hubb: Love

11. Bahháj: Delightful

12. Javáb: Answer

13. Ahad: Single

14. Vahháb: Bountiful

15. Vidád: Affection

16. Badi’: Beginning

17. Bahi: Luminous

18. Abhá: Most Luminous

19. Váhid: Unity


Can you write the Bahá’í date for today?

Gregorian Date:

Day of the Week:

Day of the Month:



Year of Váhid:

Can you write the Bahá’í date for your birth day?

Gregorian Date:

Day of Week:

Day of Month:



Year of Váhid: