When is Mahavir Jayanthi 2023?
Mahavir Jayanti is among the most sacred festivals by the Jain community. The festival honours the birth of Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism.
Who is Mahavir Jayanti?
Mahavira, also known as Vardhamana, was the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trisala and was born between 599BC and 615 BC. His actual birth year is not known. The Sweetabar Jain community believes that Mahavira's mother had 14 odd dreams interpreted by the astrologists as a prophecy that Mahavira would either become an emperor or a sage (Tirthankara). At 30, he left his family and went to exile for 12 years as an ascetic. Mahavira spent the time preaching non-violence and treated everyone with reverence. It is believed that at the age of 72, Mahavira attained enlightenment (Nirvana). He got the name Mahavira for showing exceptional skills in controlling his senses.
When is Mahavir Jayanti?
Mahavir Jayanti is marked on the 13th day of the waxing half of the Hindu month of Chaitra. The month coincides with late March or early April of the Gregorian calendar. Mahavir Jayanti 2021 will be observed on Monday, 6th April.
Is Mahavir Jayanti a public holiday?
Mahavir Jayanti is a public holiday in all the states and union territories in India.
What is open or closed on Mahavir Jayanti?
Mahavir Jayanti is a gazetted holiday and, therefore, a day off to the general population. Government offices, banks, post offices, businesses, and schools remain closed on this day.
Things to do on Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir Jayanti is a time for prayers and fasting for the Jain community. As a Jain, you can take part in decorating the temple with flags. While at it, spend time in the temple listening to the teachings of Mahavira and Jainism, usually recited by the monks and nuns.
It is common for Jains to wash the statues of Mahavira with water and fragrant oils. The statue washing symbolizes Mahavira's purity and serves as a cleaning routine for religious statues every year.
You can also witness the largest processions on Mahavir Jayanti. The idol of Mahavira is usually carried by chariots led by the Jain monks on the streets. The faithful of the Jainism gather to accompany the chariots as they recite special rhyming prayers to honour Mahavira.
If you are a Jain, you also need to perform charitable acts to demonstrate your humble lifestyle. You can offer food and clothes by taking them to the temple. Usually, the monks and nuns take what they need and donate the rest of the items to the vulnerable in society.
Besides the temple, you can also visit other ancient Jain historical sites. Some of the great places include Gomateshwara, Shikharji, Ranakpur, Dilwara, and Sonagiri.
You could also stay at home and spend time bonding with your family as you share festive meals. Whether you are a Jain or not, you need to refrain from eating any type of meat on this day. Jainism opposes animal slaughter and any sort of animal killings.
Mahavir Jayanthi Observances
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