Declaration of the Bab Day
Declaration of the Bab Day is celebrated by Bahá'ís, being one of their nine holy days. Bab came before Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahá'í faith, playing a role similar to that of John the Baptist, who came before Jesus Christ. May 22 is the anniversary of Bab's declaration or revealing of himself. The holiday begins at two hours and eleven minutes after sunset, as that was the same time that Bab declared himself.
In 1783, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i began traveling around Persia saying a great day was coming—a day when the Qa'im, The Promised One of Islam, would arrive. Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti became his student and successor, and continued Shaykh's work after his death. At the time there was much opposition to the message. Siyyid died in 1843, but before he did, he said the Promised One was about to be revealed. His student, Mulla Husayn, along with Mulla's brother and nephew, went to Shiraz, on May 22, 1844. Mulla walked outside the cities' gate as evening approached, and was greeted by a kind, young man named Siyyid Ali Muhammad. He accompanied him to his house and saw he had all the signs of the Promised One.
After doing some tests, Mulla found out Siyyad Ali Muhammad was who he had been waiting for. Siyyid referred to himself as the Bab, meaning gate or door, because he said God's revelation would come through him. He said he was the forerunner of another messenger, Baha'u'llah. The day is celebrated by Bahá'ís as "one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals."
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by going to a Declaration of the Bab event. They consist of celebrations, prayers, and storytelling. Anyone can attend, and it is not required that attendants are a member of the Bahá'í faith. Contact members of Bahá'í groups in your community for information on events. You could also spend the day reading more about the Bahá'í faith.