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The Nineteen Day Feast:

Blend of worship, fellowship, and grassroots democracy

The centerpiece of Baha’i community life is the Nineteen Day Feast. Held once every 19 days, it is the local community’s regular worship gathering- and more.

Open to both adults and children, the Nineteen Day Feast is the regular gathering that promotes and sustains the unity of the local Baha’i community. Although its program is adoptable to a wide variety of cultural and social needs, the Feast always contains three elements: spiritual devotion, administrative consultation, and fellowship. As such, the Feast combines religious worship with grassroots governance and social enjoyment.

The use of the word “feast” might seem to imply that a large meal will be served. That is not necessarily the case. While food and beverages are usually served, the term itself is meant to suggest that the community should enjoy a “spiritual feast” of worship, companionship and unity. Baha’u’llah stressed the importance of gathering every nineteen days, “to bind your hearts together,” even if nothing more than water is served.

During the devotional program, selections from the Baha’i writings, and often the scriptures from other religions are read aloud. A general discussion follows, allowing every member a voice in community affairs and making the Feast an “arena of democracy at the very root of society.” The Feast ends with a period for socializing.