'Mahavir Jayanti' is celebrated as the birth of Lord Mahavira, the last Tirthankara. It falls in the month of March or April according to Gregorian calendar. 

Mahavira was born into royalty as the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trisala. He was born on the thirteenth day of the rising moon of Chaitra month of Hindu Calender. 

On this auspicious day grand chariot processions with the images of Mahavira are taken out. Many jains engage in some sort of charitable act in the name of Mahavira. Donations are collected in order to promote charitable missions. People come to pay their respects and join in the celebrations in Jain temples across the whole India. 

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Mahavir Jayanti is the most important religious festival of the Jains to commemorate the birth anniversary of the great sage, Mahavir. Mahavir was born in a kingdom Kundalagrama in Bihar to King Siddartha and Queen Trishala. Also known as Vardhamana during his early days, Mahavir was the 24th and last Tirthankara of the Jainism who had founded the Jainism as well as established the core principles of the Jainism. He preached the virtues like ahimsa, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity and simple living. Lord Mahavir died at the age of 72 in 527 BC.


According to ancient texts, Mahavira was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE. This year, Mahavir Jayanti falls on April 20th, Wednesday. This is an auspicious occasion for the Jains. The idols Lord Mahavir are brought home, temples are opulently decorated and a ceremonial bath (Abhishek) is offered to the idol. All the Jain temples are adorned with flowers, flags etc. to celebrate this special occasion. Pujas are performed on grand scale in the temples after which chariot processions are carried out all over the cities. Devotees visit the temple early in the morning to seek the blessings of Lord Mahavir and pray for prosperity.


Lectures are given by monks and nuns to preach the values and virtues of Jainism. Sermons are held, important chapters from the life of Mahavir are read out to the devotees in order to remind people of the teachings of Lord Mahavir. On this day, people indulge in charity and donate as much as they can for a good cause. Clothes, blankets, alms and other daily necessity items are donated to the poor and needy. Traditional dishes are prepared and distributed amongst the poor. This day is celebrated with full zeal and zest by the Jains and they get together to pray in the temples, to do some charity and to remember the teachings of Lord Mahavir.

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