Friday, February 10, 2012

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown

The Baha'i celebration of Ayyam-i-Ha is approaching and we are getting very excited! These are the four or five intercalary days from February 26th to March 1st dedicated to hospitality, charity, and gift giving. This is the first year Samaya is old enough to appreciate it, and I am determined to start some family traditions.

First up: Our 19-day countdown to Ayyam-i-Ha calendar pulled together just in time for the Ayyam-i-Ha fairy to make her first delivery! It is made entirely of wool felt with a stick slid through the top and hung on our kitchen wall. Every morning Samaya checks it for a small treat (usually a little bag of freeze-dried fruit) and an activity written on a rolled up piece of paper and sealed with a sticker. A mini clothespin with a flower glued to it marks the correct pocket. The activities are all geared toward some act of service, the practice of a virtue, or simply fun preparation for Ayyam-i-Ha. Here's our list this year:

  1. Look at a seed catalogue and draw pictures of how we want our garden to be this year. 
  2. Make felt balls for Violet’s birthday present.
  3. Make art for a friend in the community and deliver it to her.
  4. Take a walk in Vaughn Woods.
  5. Read ‘Something Important by Patti Rae Tomarelli. Pick out beads at the bead store and make prayer beads just like Maggie. Bring them to Abdu’l-baha’s room after nap.
  6. Bake a cake for Violet’s birthday and decorate the living room for her party!
  7. Listen to ‘The Sheep’. Bake cookies for the neighbors as an act of generosity.
  8. Make valentines for friends and family.
  9. Make melted crayon stars to hang in the window.
  10. Make pipe cleaner stars to hang in the living room. 
  11. Listen to Mommy tell a story about Abdu’l-Baha giving cloaks to the people of Akka. Then choose clothes to donate to Cross Roads for children in need.
  12. Decorate the house while listening to Ayyam-i-Ha music.
  13. Go out to lunch with Grandma, Grandpa, and Penny.
  14. Go to the Children’s Museum with the whole family!
  15. Read What a Mess and pick up trash at the park.
  16. Read Maggie Celebrates Ayyam-i-Ha and make pinecone birdfeeders to hand outside.
  17. Read My Dinosaur Celebrates Ayyam-i-Ha.
  18. Bake the cookies for the Ayyam-i-Ha cookie temple
  19. Make pizza with Mommy for our Ayyam-i-Ha party tonight! 
Tomorrow will be day 5 on our calendar and Samaya is really getting into it. Tonight as I was putting her to bed, she lay quietly for a few minutes before sitting up. "Mommy, you stay here and I'll be right back," she whispered. "I have to go see if the Ayyam-i-Ha fairy brought my treat.