Stories of Celebrations

Celebrations of the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh in Canada inspired a wealth of arts, music, dance, and theatre in gatherings across the country. From east to west, Bahá’ís in Canada, along with many friends, family, neighbours, came together to honor the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh on this extraordinary day.

A painting entitled “Know Your Purpose,” representing the oneness of mankind

Celebration with First Nations communities

At the Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Vancouver, Canada, over 200 participants gathered to commemorate the bicentenary with traditional indigenous dance and music. An official from a local First Nations community welcomed everyone with a prayer in his native language. “I prayed that you would all recognize the truth in Bahá’u’lláh’s words,” he told the audience afterwards.

Songs from an album, Les paroles cachées / The Hidden Words

Comme une eau claire

Comme une eau claire

De la montagne sacrée

Il vous sera difficile de m'aimer

De l'essence du savoir

Beloved One

Holy Words

Bicentenary celebrations at the Nancy Campbell school

Celebrations in the Edmonds neighbourhood of Burnaby, Canada

Festival goers write down “thoughts which may turn this world into a rose garden.”

A group of friends in Ontario created a beautiful quilted art piece titled “The Twin Trees.” Their work, inspired by the bicentenary celebrations, features two blossom-filled trees, crafted from an overlay of intricate, hand stitched fabrics.

Celebrations in Toronto

In the neighbourhoods of Toronto, bicentenary celebrations took place in homes, community centres, parks, and school auditoriums. In English, Tamil, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, French, Persian, and Nepali, communities shared with each other prayers, writings, and accounts from the life of Bahá’u’lláh.

The Bahá’ís of Duncan, a town in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, presented a specially-commissioned carved bench in a traditional Cowichan ceremony to the seniors’ home (Ts'i'ts'uwatul' Lelum) on the Cowichan Reserve. The Cowichan are an indigenous people in Western Canada. The yellow cedar bench, engraved by local artist Trevor Husband, features a large and intricately-carved eagle — a bird with significant symbolism both in the culture of the Cowichan people and in the Bahá’í Writings. Carved into the wood, above and below the eagle, are the following words of Bahá’u’lláh, in the Hul’q’umi’num language and in English: “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”

Divine springtime

An animated video references themes of blossom, renewal, and transformation

Paintings representing the “Twin Luminaries”, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.

The two circles are characteristic of the Sun on the horizon leading humanity to light, each encompassing a piece of Bahá'í history. The blue represents the vast ocean in which Bahá'u'lláh's father dreamt of him with fish upon his locks of hair, and the green is inspired by the green turban worn by the Báb as a radiant youth.