During this the first full week of January, as the days begin to have a bit more daylight, I want to talk about how the Persians celebrate the first day of Winter (The Longest Night). They spend the night enjoying music, fruit and nuts. This is a tradition that has been going on for centuries.
Here is a quote of Abdu'l-Baha that was taken from "The Baha'i World Faith," page 255.
"...and so the season of winter fell upon mankind. But in the generosity of God a new springtime dawned, the lights of God shone forth, the effulgent Sun of Reality returned and became manifest, the realm of thoughts and kingdom of hearts became exhilarated, a new spirit of life breathed into the body of the world and continuous advancement became apparent."
As can be seen from this quote, Abdu'l-Baha had come to attach some significance to the start of Winter. I want my readers to be aware of that fact, because the Associated Press has distributed some misleading information about The Longest Night.
According to an article that was distributed by the Associated Press, members of the Jewish Faith, the Christian Faith, the Muslim Faith and praciticing Zorastrians all celebrate the Longest Night. The AP did not mention the Baha'is. Yet Abdu'l-Baha, a respected member of the Baha'i community most certainly gave a nod of recognition to the Longest Night.
I hope that any readers of this blog who happen to read about the Longest Night will fill in the "blank" that has been left by any writer who has failed to mention the fact that Baha'is, as well as Christians, Jews, Muslims and Zorastrians, all celebrate the arrival of Winter.