We are in full swing Ayyam-i-Ha countdown mode. Ayyam-i-Ha (pronounced uh-YAW-mee-ha) is the Baha’i time of gift giving, celebration and service from February 26 – March 1.
Since the Baha’i Faith is such a new religion, 167 years old to be exact, we do not have the cultural traditions passed down from thousands of years like the other religions. There is a wonderful sense of unity and excitement that is created through simple family traditions and we are in the process of continually trying to find new ones for our Baha’i holy days.
Every household does it differently and ours are continually evolving, but these are some of the things that we do.
Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Calendar
Like an advent calendar, we count down the 19 days before Ayyam-i-Ha with a different note each day, such as, “Ayyam-i-Ha is about service. Find one thing that you can do of service right now.” Last year I put a little candy in it each day, but this year we switched it to stickers.
Thankfully I’ve inherited a lot from my mother who made some wonderful decorations when I was little and we still use them today. We’re slowly making new ones too. This year we made a dough, cut out shapes with cookie cutters, baked and then painted them.
Thankfulness Tree and Service Tree
We add a leaf to a tree on a poster every time some shows service or has something that they are thankful for.
This is our new one for the year. We decorated envelopes and each person put them on their door. Each day, or whenever someone wanted to say, I Love You or share a virtue we saw in each other, we write each other notes and put them in the envelope. After the person reads them, they tape them to the door.
This also coincided nicely with Valentine’s day. It also dawned on me a few weeks ago that my oldest daughter really loves to give gifts and really feels loved when she receives them (an Aha moment from the book, The Five Love Languages.) I was trying to think of a way to give them to her more often without spending money, and so we started the Love Notes.
5 Days of Ayyam-i-Ha Calendar
We have another calendar for the 5 days of Ayyam-i-Ha where each day there is a little gift and a clue that leads them on a treasure hunt throughout the house for other clues that finally leads them to a present.
We make roll cookies and then decorate them with colored icing sugar and sprinkles. We did this as an activity in Isabela’s kindergarten and Grade One class and shared a little bit about Ayyam-i-Ha.
Does anyone else have any other family traditions that they do at Ayyam-i-Ha?