My annual 19-day Baha'i fast is drawing to a close. It's been a rewarding experience (as it always is). My mind seems clearer, my body lighter, events more connected. If the One spreads oneness and shows connections and a spiritual aspect to life, then I have been brought closer to the One.
This evening (Mar.20th) is Naw Ruz, the traditional New Year that marks the spring equinox, when all places around the world experience equal day and night. Also, in the northern hemisphere and particularly the temperate zone, this marks the beginning of longer days and shorter nights (ie. spring).
[Addenda 2014.04.20] I was reading pages on the edwardsamuels website about copyright, and in the section on the Statute of Anna (1709), he states that at that time the calendar new year was celebrated on March 25. He adds that it wasn't until 1752 that the formal new year was moved back to January 1. The previous Julian calendar placed the new year on January 1st. In common usage, 1 January was regarded as New Year's Day and celebrated as such, but from the 12th century until 1751 the legal year in England began on 25 March -- I guess to be in line with the spring equinox.
In addition to Zoroastrian New Year, March 21st is also the Baha'i New Year (start of year 171) as well as coinciding (always? sometimes?) with the Hindu Spring and New Year month Chaitra. The Iranian tradition was passed on to Central Asian countries, including Kazakhs, Uzbeks, and Uighurs, and there is known as Nauryz. It is usually celebrated on 22 March. [end of addenda]
Furthermore, the U.N. has designated the date as International Day for the Removal of Racial Discrimination and International Day of Forests.
There was also some steps taken by major media Huffington Post and Al-Jazeera to approach Native Americans for discussions on their representation and misrepresentation in the media.
In the traditional Persian/Middle East solar calendar of which Naw Ruz is part, the day actually starts with 12 hours of darkness starting at sunset/sunclipse, followed by 12 hours of light starting from sunrise/sunsee (those new italicized terms should replace their antiquated antecedents). In the Muslim calendar, the counting of the hours doesn't start at midnight and noon, but at sunset and sunrise. Thus, 7pm would be 1 o'clock or 1st hour of night, and 3pm would be 9th hour of day.
[Haitian Students Breathe New Life into Depleted Pine Forest
United Nations Photo]
United Nations Photo]
Below is a short playlist of songs by A.R.Rahman, a wonderful composer, singer, educator whose songs are soundtracks to many Bollywood/Tamil movies. Having lived in Tamil Nadu for 3 years and travelled to Mumbai and Kolkata, the lyrics don't sound all the foreign.
Still, it would be nice to have the translated lyrics. I haveKahin To somewhere, but none of the others.If any reader can help locate the translations of the songs, please share in a comment.
But somehow, it's the melody, the interplay of female and male voices, the soft percussion of the tabla that ring through and resonate with and rejuvenate me.
I have a few more playlists (nothing outstanding as I have only minimally explored soundcloud).
But I thought the occasion deserved some otherly world, world music.