Ann Vickers writes: When our Naw Ruz (new year) celebrations were cancelled last year because of the pandemic, none of us expected that they would still not be allowed this year! So celebrations will have to be within each family again. Normally, children would have the day off school and parents time off work (where possible). This year Naw Ruz falls on a Saturday (20 March) so time off school will not be needed, which can only be a good thing when so much school has been missed already.
Children’s classes and junior youth groups have continued online during lockdown, and young people have still been able to have fun together and to contribute to their communities. For Ayyám-i-Há one family produced a banner and hung it in their front window. Our local children’s class sent older members of the community (myself included) a card and some small gifts, which we were surprised and delighted to receive. The same kind of thing has been happening across the country, with small gifts to neighbours and so on. No doubt they will be planning more surprises for Naw Ruz!
Of course, for adults and those over 15, the festival of Naw Ruz marks the end of the Fast. It is the start of spring (in the northern hemisphere) and therefore a time of renewal, both spiritual and physical. Let us hope that this year sees the pandemic brought under control across the world and that next year Bahá’ís (like others) will be able to celebrate Naw Ruz together as a community.