Course: The Badí’ Calendar: Reshaping Our Material, Social & Spiritual Reality (2020)
Faculty: Candace Hill, Edward Diliberto
Wayne Talbot of Georgetown, Texas knew exactly what he wanted to achieve when he took our Badí’ Calendar course. Here, in his own words, Wayne describes the research he undertook and shares the fruit of his work. Two of the Wilmette Institute staff members have started using his calendar, and it works very well! Wayne is happy to help anyone who uses Outlook or Google Calendar access his app. Read on for the details.
“Ever since I learned about the Bahá’í faith, the calendar was one of the things that immediately made sense and attracted me to the faith. I have always kept a calendar handy and when I got a Google account, I set up the Badí’ calendar as one of my calendars and shared it among my community. This was very simple since all the calendar dates were fixed and tied to the Gregorian dates. This worked until the implementation of the uniform Badí’ calendar provisions announced by the Universal House of Justice took effect. It took me a while to understand the changes, and even then, I was still unsure, so I went back to the published paper calendars.”
“This year I was on the area committee for the celebration of Ayyám-i-Há and we started talking about the start, end and length of Ayyám-i-Há. Everyone checked their calendars. It turns out several had calendars from the internet, several had their own calendars, and others had apps on their phones and the all disagreed. We couldn’t sort it out simply so I went looking for the right answer and, with some effort, found it. I decided that I would become an authority on the Badí’ calendar so I could assist my community. I found the course The Badí’ Calendar on the Wilmette Institute web site and signed up. My goal was to understand enough to identify the correct date of any Holy day in the future and explain why it was that date, how to observe it, and what the Holy day meant.”
“Upon enrolling in the class, I learned that it provided just what I wanted, both a mechanical understanding of the algorithms of determining the dates but also the spiritual implications and meaning of the placement of those Holy days. I made one of my objectives, my project, to create a Badí’ calendar that complied with the uniform Badí’ calendar provisions and could be used by any computer. To do that project I created an Excel workbook that tracked the relationship between each Badí’ date and each Gregorian date through the BE 221 (2056 CE). This took approximately 36,000 calculations to create and validate. From that, I created files in the .ics (iCalendar) format that can be imported into most calendar programs such as Google and Microsoft Outlook. I published two calendars: one for all the Badí’ day, month, and year dates with feasts, Holy days, and festivals, and another with only feasts, Holy days, and festivals. I started sharing these with other students and mentors in the class and with the public in general. I have offered the calendars to Google as standard calendars to select; they have yet to reply.”
The simplest way to get your own calendar installed is to email Wayne at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have Outlook you will need to ask him in your email to send you the iCalendar file with instructions. If you use Google Calendar the process is really easy. Wayne will approve your email address, adding you to the community calendar. You then follow the instructions here to make the calendar show up on your computer and/or smartphone: Google Calendar Instructions.
Wayne says “My ongoing project is to contact the internet publishers of calendars that do not comply with the uniform Badí’ calendar provisions and get them to remove the incorrect data or to update it using my calculations.”