Ayyam-i-Ha (The Intercalary Days) is the time of gift giving and sharing, celebration and service for all Baha'is around the world. It lasts for 4 days (5 on leap year) from 26th February to 1st of March.
I absolutely love everything about Ayyam-i-Ha, because of all the wonderful memories I have from growing up. And now that our family is growing too, I wanted to make sure we start creating our own family traditions for Ayyam-i-Ha. And I think that one of the things that makes holidays so special is the traditions that we create around them.
We were inspired to make this 19 day countdown Ayyam-i-Ha calendar and banner from a another Baha'i blog last year.
Our beautiful Ayyam-i-Ha banner and calendar that is hung on the walls of our living room was created by our handy dandy assigned tailor, aka my adorable husband! We chose the fabrics together and I gave him the instructions and vision of how I wanted it to be and this is the wonderful results of his hard work. I am so proud to have a crafty hubby like him.
So we have 19 pockets for each day of the month leading to Ayyam-i-Ha. In each pockets we have a little treat for Mona with either a quote on Ayyam-i-Ha or a little history of the Baha'i Faith to read together.
On the 20th day, which is the day Ayyam-i-Ha begins, we have a bigger treat and a clue for a treasure hunt for her to go find her little Ayyam-i-Ha gifts, which we will repeat for the 4 days of Ayyam-i-Ha.
We already put on our playlist the 'Ayyam-i-Ha party' recording of Mr William Sears and children. So we definitely got our Ayyam-i-Ha songs and spirit ready!
This year as a service project, Mona has decided to sort out her toys and put aside of box of toys to give away to children who don't have many toys to play with.
We also decided to bake star and heart shaped cookies together and decorate them with all sorts of fun and colourful icing and sprinkles.
We want to put the cookies in little bags along with some handmade cards that we are going to create and adorned with glitter and Baha'i prayers or quotes. We want to share the little cookie gift bags to our close friends and family during the Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations.
I also wanted to host an Ayyam-i-Ha party for the children this year, but unfortunately considering the state I am in right now, I don't think I will be able to manage all of it this year. Hopefully next year I will be able to do more. We also have a couple of Ayyam-i-Ha parties to attend, so we will be very busy on the last days of February!
The very good thing about our Ayyam-i-Ha calendar is that it is completely detachable from the banner.
We used Velcro to hold the banner and the 20 pockets calendar together.
We are actually planning to use the calendar as a countdown for The Fast and Naw-Ruz. We want to make a 'Happy Naw-Ruz' Banner too.
We really want Mona to start becoming aware of the difference between Ayyam-i-Ha and the Fasting period (19 days). We are planning to have little stories or quotes for each pocket during the Fast and other specific instructions like to help set the table for dinner, to learn a new Baha'i prayer etc. And on the 20th day there would be a little surprise for her in the pocket.
We really hope that this is will help Mona to better understand the importance of this spiritual time.
So what are you planning or have planned for the celebrations of Ayyam-i-Ha? I would love to hear from you all in the comments section below.