Abdu’l-Bahá - Birthday

Look at me, follow me, be as I am; take no thought for yourselves or your lives, whether ye eat or whether ye sleep, whether ye are comfortable, whether ye are well or ill, whether ye are with friends or foes, whether ye receive praise or blame; for all these things ye must care not at all.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 503

O ye friends of God! According to what is heard, some of the friends have celebrated my birthday in some countries on the fifth of Zamadi-Avval (23rd day of May). Although their intention is no other than good, their aim be to promote the Word of God and to commemorate the True One among the people in this manner, yet, according to the text of the Religion of God and the irrefutable command, the fifth of Zamadi-Avval (May 23rd) is the day of the Declaration of His Highness the Supreme (the Báb) -- may my life be a sacrifice to Him! Consequently, they must celebrate and adorn that Blessed Day in the name of the Declaration of that Orb of regions; make rejoicing and happiness, and impart the glad-tidings of heavenly beatitude to each other. For that holy essence was the Herald  576  of the Most great Name. Therefore, no one must mention that day of the fifth of Zamadi-Avval (May 23rd) except as the Day of the Declaration of His Highness the BÁB. This is the unquestionable text of the Religion of God. Regarding the birth of this servant, which also happened on that day, this a proof of the favors and bounties of God toward this servant. However, this Blessed Day must be known as the Day of the Declaration of His Highness the Supreme (BAB) and the beginning of the effulgence of the Sun of Reality. You must on this account be engaged in rejoicing, happiness and gladness. This is the truth! Beware! Beware! that you avoid that which is mentioned; otherwise, it will cause the utmost grief to the heart of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 575

The explanation of how 26 November came to be substituted, in relation to the Birthday of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, for 23 May is related by the late Hand of the Cause Hasan M. Balyuzi in his book, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on page 523: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told the Bahá’ís that this day was not, under any circumstances, to be celebrated as His day of birth. It was the day of the Declaration of the Báb, exclusively associated with Him. but as the Bahá’ís begged for a day to be celebrated as His, He gave them November 26th, to be observed as the day of the appointment of the Center of the Covenant...

Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 299