Source: Chicago Sun-Times
On March 19, 1999, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the celebration of the Baha'i New Year, or Naw-Ruz, which takes place on the vernal equinox (Saturday, March 20th) and is a religious holiday in the Baha'i faith. For the 19 days before Naw-Ruz, Baha'is between the ages of 15 and 70 refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. Lorelei McClure, spokeswoman for the Baha'i National Center in Evanston, Illinois, stated: "It is a time to deny oneself material comforts. Fasting is an outward sign of the inward cleansing." The Baha'i Temple in Wilmette, IL is expected to be filled with more than 350 followers for a devotional program and a buffet to mark the end of the fast.