Communities feel “invigorated” after celebrating Naw-Rúz

Posted: 2019/04/05


A joyful Naw-Rúz celebration has inspired the friends in Brant, Norfolk and Brantford, Ont., to focus on having an active year in service to the Cause. Photo: Suzanne Earls

The spirit of joy and renewal surrounding Naw-Rúz has given three communities in rural Ontario a new perspective on their development after they came together to celebrate the start of the new year.

Much like waking from the sleep of winter to the liveliness of spring, a Naw-Rúz celebration has reinvigorated the spirit of the Baha’i communities of Brant and Brantford Ont.

“There have not been regular activities in Brant or Brantford for a long time and we have despaired of there ever being any again.” said Barbara Mayo Melara, a member of the Brant community.

Despite this feeling, she and a friend from nearby Norfolk, Ont., decided to host a Naw-Rúz celebration in her home, inviting any Baha’is in the surrounding area they could think of. The response, Ms. Mayo Melara said, was delightful.

“Fifteen Baha’is and a friend arrived and eight more sent their regrets. The Norfolk Assembly provided the food and our local bakery made the cake with a nine-pointed star.”

People of all ages took part in the celebration, including three youth from Norfolk who asked if they could contribute too. Upon arrival, they were asked to create a banner and managed to complete it just in time to break the Fast and begin celebrating the new year.

“A five-year-old girl asked how she could help,” Ms. Mayo Melara recalled, “and she was set to arranging the cookies — promising to eat only the sparkles that fell off.”

The friends spent the evening discussing how to develop their communities. The conversation has continued since then, leading to plans for a summer picnic, finding ways to get the youth involved in projects taking place in the close-by community of Hamilton, Ont., and to reform the Spiritual Assembly of Brantford.

“It was really as if a fresh breeze suddenly invigorated us all.”  Ms. Mayo Melara said. “The spirit was amazing.”