Home for Purim…and Home for Ayam-i-Ha!

Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia (Iran) were saved from extermination by Queen Esther and her Zoroastrian husband, the King of Persia.  Zoroastrians are also monotheists, and there are many similarities between the two faiths. Rabbi Hillel termed Zoroaster, "The Arabian Moses"  This year Purim is celebrated on February 28th.

Ayam-i-Ha is one of the most joyous and fun holidays for Baha'is, but is takes place on days that are not on the calendar! Ayam-i-Ha is a Baha'i holiday of hospitality, charity and the giving of gifts. It begins February 25th at sundown.  Ten years ago I was asked to write a kid's poem/dialog for Baha'i Children's Class. Happily, it has made its way around the world. (A note of explanation: Months on the Baha'i calender have names such as Knowledge, Speech, Glory, Questions, etc.  The holiday takes place at a time where there is no month, no week. They are not in any month, or week. They are, therefor, outside time)


This is a "back and forth" conversation between two kids…one is explaining the holiday of Ayam-i-Ha to the other.
I'm feeling quite happy,
I'm feeling quite fine.
It's Ayyam-i-Ha, 
The days outside time!

Days outside time?
That makes no sense at all!
You mean no watch on your wrist?
No clock on the wall?
How can you have days outside time
That makes no sense, no reason, no rhyme.
Besides, if I may say so, and I certainly will,
If you think there's no time, you must be quite ill.

I'm not sick in the head, nor home sick in bed,
Days outside time,
What a relief
No time for sadness, worry or grief!

You are silly as can be,
I must insist,
Days outside time can never exist!

Oh, tell me then, stand right up and speak,
what Baha'i month this is, what Baha'i day of the week? 

Is it the first day of Speech, Glory or  Splendor, Knowledge, or Questions, one or another? No, these days have no months or weeks to be in,
So these days are outside time — does that make your head spin?

Days outside time what a strange thing to say.
Time is how we measure the length of a day.
Besides, time is important, I'm here to shout
Time is something I don't want to run out!

You can't run out of what isn't there,
If you're bald all your life, you don't miss your hair.

That makes no sense either, you're making me laugh.
But explain this much faster, cut it in half.

Ok ok, if you say so.
I'll tell you right now, and then you can go.
Ayyam-i-Ha is all about fun
And kindness, charity
And us all being one.
People are often in so much of a  hurry
Their life is a mess, a run around flurry
They have so little time to get things done,
everything is half-baked, and left most undone
But these days outside time are special as can be,
For these special days set us all free.
They remind us of love, and thinking of others,
Helping our moms, dads, sisters and brothers.
Days outside time give you time by the double
Where there is love, there's always enough time, and nothing is too much

Say that again, I like what I heard,
Say it slowly, word by word.

"Where there is love, nothing is too much trouble, and there's always
enough time" Abdu'l-Baha

Oh, I think I finally understand.
Ayyam-i-Ha is really quite grand
Days of kindness, joy and  delight
 From the start of the day 'till the last thing at night.

You got it now, my happy new friend
Time isn't rock solid, it was made to bend
Love makes time go quickly, or slow down to a crawl,
Because where there is love, there's always enough time, and nothing is too
much trouble at all.

I'm feeling quite happy,
I'm feeling quite fine
It's Ayyam-i-Ha,
The days outside time

©2000 by Burl Barer
all rights reserved

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