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Mahaveer Jayanti is an important festival for Jains, which commemorates the birth of Lord Mahaveer, the last and the most revered Tirthankara of the Jain religion. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence across India and other parts of the world where Jain communities reside. The festival falls on the 13th day of the Chaitra month (March-April) according to the Hindu calendar. In this article, we will explore the significance, history, rituals, and customs associated with Mahaveer Jayanti.

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The Significance of Mahaveer Jayanti

Mahaveer Jayanti is celebrated to honor the birth of Lord Mahaveer, who is considered as the founder of Jainism. Lord Mahaveer was born in the city of Vaishali, Bihar, in 599 BC. He was born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala, who were both followers of Jainism. Lord Mahaveer renounced his kingdom at the age of 30 and embarked on a spiritual journey to seek enlightenment. He practiced penance and meditation for 12 years and finally attained enlightenment under a mango tree in Bihar. Lord Mahaveer then spent the rest of his life preaching Jainism and spreading the message of non-violence, truth, and compassion.

The History of Mahaveer Jayanti

The celebration of Mahaveer Jayanti dates back to ancient times. It is believed that Lord Mahaveer was born on the 13th day of the Chaitra month, which coincides with the full moon day. The festival has been celebrated since the time of Lord Mahaveer, and it gained more prominence during the reign of the Mauryan Empire. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, who was a follower of Jainism, used to celebrate Mahaveer Jayanti with great pomp and show. The tradition of celebrating Mahaveer Jayanti has been carried forward by Jain communities all over the world.

The Rituals and Customs of Mahaveer Jayanti

The celebrations usually start a few days before the actual festival. Jains perform puja and offer prayers to Lord Mahaveer in temples and other places of worship. The festival is also marked by the hoisting of the Jain flag, which is known as the ‘Jhanda’. Devotees also take out processions, chanting hymns and singing devotional songs.

On the day of Mahaveer Jayanti, Jains observe a day-long fast and offer donations to the poor and needy. They also organize food drives and distribute free food to the underprivileged. In some places, Jains perform a ritual known as ‘abhishek’, which involves pouring milk, honey, and other substances on the idol of Lord Mahaveer.


Mahaveer Jayanti is an important festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Mahaveer, the founder of Jainism. The day is marked by various rituals and customs, including puja, fasting, and donations to the poor. The festival is a reminder of Lord Mahaveer’s teachings of non-violence, truth, and compassion, which continue to inspire millions of people across the world.

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