In his memoirs, Youness Afroukhteh (Nine Years in Akka), describes how they celebrated the Ridván festivities in Bahji during the ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He recounts the following.

“With the arrival of the Ridván festivities we visited the Holy Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, as had now become the custom, with the same ceremony and formality of past years. The gardens around the Shrine had been expanded and so the use of the Mansion’s first floor reception room had been abandoned. In its place and adjacent to the Mansion had been built a small garden filled with colourful and fragrant flowers, and four rooms; this served as the resting area for the pilgrims. To the custom of the carrying of flowerpots by the pilgrims from ‘Akka to the Shrine, which had been carried out with great pomp and ceremony and in an atmosphere of complete humility and lowliness, another practice had been added. This was the transportation of water in some one hundred copper jugs by the pilgrims and residents from nearby springs to the Shrine to water the flowers while reciting divine verses and poetry. The spiritual state of the friends and the atmosphere of devotion and attraction which dominated the scene had a strange effect on any onlooker. When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá held a jug of water on His shoulder as He stood before the Holy Shrine, signalling permission for the chanting of prayers, while the friends stood in reverent attention, such a heart-stirring scene was created as to cause the tears of the spectators to flow. Some even pleaded to be given jugs so that they too could share in the honour of pilgrimage by watering the flowers. In any event, after chanting of the Tablets revealed for observance of that Holy Day and completing the rites of pilgrimage for the first day of Ridvan, we all returned to ‘Akka.”

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