Baoutha is a three-day celebration that is composed of prayers and fasting.
This annual observance is limited to the Chaldean Catholic Church and occurs exactly 3 weeks before the start of lent.
In the 6th century a severe plague inflicted the northern regions of modern day Iraq; the ancient city of Nineveh, modern day Mosul, Iraq.
The plague was devastating the city of that region, and out of desperation the people ran to their bishop to find a solution. The bishop sought help through the scriptures and came upon the story of Jonah in the Old Testament.
In this story God sent the prophet Jonah to warn the city of Nineveh of great destruction unless they repent for their sins. The king of that region declared a 3-day fast to ask for God's forgiveness. God accepted this and spared the city from destruction.
Upon looking at the story the bishop therefore ordered a 3-day fast to ask for God's forgiveness. At the end of the 3-day fast, the plague had miraculously stopped, therefore, on the 4th day the Chaldean people rejoiced.
Every year the northern region maintained the 3-day fast in thanks of the miracle that God brought them until the Chaldean church suggested that every Chaldean around the world participate.
The word Baoutha is an Aramaic word that means pleading, and from this meaning we receive the title of this commemoration. In modern days it is a call for penance to plead to God for forgiveness.