Wednesday, 23 August 2017
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It marks the birthday of Mahavira, founder of the modern Jain religion and the last in the galaxy of 24 Teerthankaras (Jain Prophets). He was born on the 13th day of the rising moon of Chaitra, in either 599 BC or 615 BC.

Celebrations take place at Jain Temples throughout India. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated widely throughout the Jain community. Due to the high numbers of Jains in Rajasthan and Gujarat, most celebrations are seen in these states.

However, those that follow Jainism travel to recognized Jain shrines to celebrate Mahavir Jayanti. In Gujarat, the shrines are located at Girnar and Palitana. Others flock to Mahavirji in Rajasthan.

Lord Mahavira was born in Vaishali, which also hosts a majestic celebration.

Temples that host Mahavir Jayanti festivals are decorated with flags to mark the birthday of Lord Mahavira.

Each locality holds a traditional bath (abhishek) for a deity of Lord Mahavira.

Following the bath, the deity is carried in a parade throughout the region.

Each parade varies but generally includes drummers, horses, elephants, singers and lamps.

Depending on the region, the parade ends at a temple, shrine or large communal area where people may pray and meditate.

The four kinds of donations recommended for every Jain on this day include:

Gyan daan: sharing of knowledge
Abhay daan: protecting people from bad actions
Aushad daan: donating medicines
Ahaar daan: giving food

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