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This is a big month for Bahá’í holy days. Ridvan, a 12-day holiday that began on April 19, will end on the evening of May 1. But, they also honor the Declaration of the Báb starting on the evening of May 22 (see below) and the Ascension of Baháʼu'lláh starting on the evening of May 27. Here are a few other late spring holy days coming up this month.

Beltane (May 1): For Wiccans and Neo-Pagans, the first day of May marks an important cross-quarter holiday (one that falls half-way between a solstice and an equinox). For the northern hemisphere, it’s Beltane, which highlights the earth’s vitality. The Green Man (representing energy and fecundity) falls for the beautiful May Queen (wearing springtime flowers in her hair). Their love ushers in the abundance of summer.

Vesak (May 7): Vesak is one of the most important holy days in the Buddhist tradition. It almost always incorporates a celebration of the Buddha’s birth, which happened around 500 or 600 BCE. However, many Buddhists also honor the Buddha’s enlightenment and the Buddha’s death. According to tradition, those things happened on the same day as the Buddha’s birth, but 35 and 80 years later, respectively. Buddhists around the world celebrate on different dates, but many will celebrate around May 7.

Declaration of the Báb (starts evening, May 22): The Báb was the forerunner of Baháʼu'lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith. Born Sayyid Ali Muhammad in early 19th century Persia, he declared himself the Báb, which means “Gate,” at the age of 25. He believed he was the harbinger of a new religious age and predicted the coming of Baháʼu'lláh. He is regularly compared to John the Baptist of the Christian tradition.

Shavuot (starts evening, May 28): Religiously, this Jewish holiday is about God revealing Jewish law – the Torah – to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Christians usually refer to this story as God giving Moses the 10 commandments. Synagogue readings on this day include the Book the Ruth, and food focuses on dairy. (Think cheese blintzes here.) Like Passover and Sukkot, it’s also an agricultural holiday. Click here for more on that.

Moses on Mount Sinai
Moses receiving the Torah is our featured craft this month. It can be used in Christian, Jewish, or interfaith contexts.

Supplies: one sheet of background paper, a small Moses template, and ten dot stickers per person; paper for the mountain; glue sticks; and crayons/markers/colored pencils.
  1. Let the kids cut or tear mountains out of paper. Any type of paper will work, but we like to use recycled paper grocery bags.
  2. Let them glue their mountains onto the background sheet. They can draw then fire and/or smoke. Or, they can add smoke (or snow) to the top of the mountain using cotton balls.
  3. Let them color the Moses template and glue it to the top of the mountain.
  4. Finally, let them add ten dot stickers to their images to remind them of the ten commandments. They can even write the numbers 1-10 on them.

Kids' Books Recommendations

There are only a few books out there about Bahá’ísm for kids. Most of them focus on age-appropriate Bahá’í readings and prayers. This one, marketed to kids age 6-10, focuses on the life of the Báb.

More Reading

We’ve had opportunities to write posts on both Beltane and Vesak for Multicultural Kid Blogs. The Beltane post even includes some great craft ideas!
May Day Activities and Crafts for Kids
10 Fun Facts for Kids about Vesak
And don’t forget to join our public FB group at Faith Seeker Kids for daily interfaith articles and tips!

The Middle School volume of our Unit 1: Peace curriculum is now an award-winner!!

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Curriculum Spotlight

Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Middle School (Hard Copy)
Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Middle School (Hard Copy)
Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Middle School (Digital)
Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Middle School (Digital)
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