Every year on November 12, Baha’is around the world celebrate the anniversary of the birth of their religion’s Prophet Founder, Baha’u’llah. Often they gather together to say prayers, read together about His life, and of course – celebrate!
“Baha’u’llah” is an Arabic title that means the “Glory of God,” since Baha’is believe He is the latest in series of Divine Messengers that have taught humanity about God throughout history – Messengers such as Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad.
Baha’u’llah founded the Baha’i Faith, a major world religion based on the principles of the oneness of humanity, the equality of women and men, the essential harmony of science and religion, the need for spiritual solutions to economic problems, the divine origin of all religions, and the need for world peace.
Though many people of all faiths agree with these principles today, Baha’u’llah advocated them in a time and place in which they were completely alien. He was born in 1817 to a wealthy family in Persia (modern-day Iran) and was known throughout His life for His kindness and generosity. Because of His teachings, Baha’u’llah was stripped of His wealth, jailed in the region’s most notorious prisons, and exiled in tortuous conditions to Baghdad, Constantinople, Adrianople, and finally Akka/Acre (in modern-day Israel).
He died in 1892 and is buried in this final place of exile, which is today a site of pilgrimage for Baha’is all over the world. Nearby Haifa is now the location of the Baha’i international administrative center as well as beautiful gardens visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Every year on November 12, Baha’is gather to remember the remarkable life and Person of Baha’u’llah. It is a time of great celebration and joy. One of my favorite childhood memories of this holiday is of our family all gathered around the piano singing the following song while my mother played (scroll to the end for a video of my father singing this song!)
This song came from the book “Sing A New Song-Baha’i Songs for Children” published in 1968 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the USA. It seems this songbook is now out of print, though you can find some information about it on this hymnals website. (Unfortunately, the site doesn’t not include information about this song).
Do You Know What We Remember…?
Do you know what we remember, on the twelfth day of November?
We give thanks to the land of Ta [Teheran], for giving us Baha’u’llah!
Ring the bells and sound the horn!
This was the day when He was born! (Ding dong, ding dong!)
So this year to celebrate I decided to make bells with my little Monkey. Not only because of this song, but also because Baha’u’llah referred to Himself as the “Most Great Bell,” ringing out to announce the dawn of a new age for all humanity.
So I pulled out my handy craft foam and got to work. First I made a template out of cardboard (does anyone else have a stash of empty cereals boxes sitting around for craft projects??) and used it to trace a dozen bells out of the craft foam.
Once they were cut out and ready to go, my little Monkey and I sat down to decorate. Suppressing my natural aversion to mess, I let him go crazy with the glitter glue. After all, if you aren’t festive and sparkly on a holiday, then when are you?
It was actually much less messy than I had anticipated. The main issue was that our aesthetics were very different. Namely, his consisted of wanting to squeeze all the glitter glue out in big piles, which I was sure would never dry. I did persuade him to then create designs out of these glops of glitter glue, so in the end we only ended up with one blotch that will be permanently wet.
Nevertheless, we were both pleased with the results. You’ll never guess which of us decorated which!
After they were (almost) all dry, I enlisted my husband’s help in stringing them up over our mantel, using some royal blue embroidery thread. My very handy husband reworked one of our corncob holders in order to make holes small enough for the thread.
I purposely hung the bells up out of my little Monkey’s reach, in the hopes that the bells will last at least until the holiday on November 12th. But I also saved out two just for him, which I taped to the wall above his table and which he is free to touch and play with as much as he wants. (And he has!)
And now for the video! Nothing says love like agreeing to sing a song on video for your daughter’s blog (or agreeing to tape your husband singing the video). Since I was unable to find any recordings of this song to share, I asked my father if he would do the honors for me. He agreed!
Many, many thanks to my dad for singing and my mom for doing the video! I know you will all enjoy this as much as I do! So without further ado, here is my father singing my childhood favorite for the holiday, “Do You Know What We Remember…?”
You can find All Done Monkey (Embracing The Magic In the Madness of Motherhood) at: