Baha’i Fast

It is fasting period for Baha’is. Begining 2nd March and ending on 20th March. The 21st March is the Equinox and the Baha’i New Year. The fast is from food and drink from sunrise to sunset – about 12 hours.
I am sitting here wondering how to talk about my experience of the Fast. I have been doing it for over 20 years now. Some years I haven’t completed the whole fast due to circumstances – usually travelling. This year will be one of those as I am away this week attending the National Rural Health Conference.

It has been interesting observing my changed attitude to the fast as I have gotten older. I always thought I would become more relaxed towards it. Yet I find that with a change in physical prowess, I have become slightly more nervous about it.

I remember 20 years ago doing a full days work driving a tractor and side-fertilising a field of young maize while fasting, with just a nap at lunch-time. 20 years later I find myself tiring after a morning of physical work and really enjoying a couple hours sleep in the afternoon when I can get it. So I have this little anxiety that I might not do my work as well as I might. On the other hand that anxiety has never been proven, and, as the cool of the late afternoon moves in I sometimes find that sunset has well and truly gone by before I realise.

Although it takes a bit of discipline to get up that hour or so earlier to have breakfast before the sunrises, I greatly enjoy saying the fasting prayers with my wife as the dawn builds. Today the overcast skies receded and the farming valley our house looks across looks marvellous at dawn.

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