India celebrates Gandhi Jayanti to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, better known as the “Father of the Nation” or “Bapu”. Gandhi Jayanti, observed on 2nd October, is one of the three national festivals celebrated in India and is a public holiday for Indians. Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader, who contributed towards bringing peace and non-violence to the whole world. His teachings are still cherished and widely used for solving conflicts and finding peaceful solution to problems. Though the festival is celebrated as a quiet affair, some significant events take place every year. Read through the following lines to know all about celebrating Gandhi Jayanti.
How Is Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated
Prayer meetings are held at Raj Ghat, New Delhi, the memorial where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. The prayer services are attended by the President and Prime Minister of India. Other dignitaries are also present. Everyone present pays their homage to the great leader. Since Gandhi respected all the religions, various religious and political leaders come and pay their tribute to Gandhi. Religious verses and prayers from different holy books are also read out. Moreover, Gandhi’s favorite devotional song “Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram” is sung in the memory of the deceived.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, all schools and offices are closed throughout the nation to celebrate the occasion. In most schools, the occasion is celebrated by performing different works, such as cleaning public areas, planting new saplings, distributing medicines to the poor and needy, and pledging to educate poor people. 2nd October has also been declared as the ‘International Day of Non-Violence’ by the United Nations General Assembly on 15th June, 2007. Hence, on this day, liquor is neither sold nor consumed throughout India in Gandhiji’s honor. Some sincere followers of Gandhiji also refrain from consuming meat on this day.
In other Indian states, commemorative ceremonies are held in colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions. Schools and communities organize painting and essay competitions where awards for the best performance are distributed. The themes for these competitions are usually glorifying peace, non-violence and Gandhi’s effort in Indian Freedom Struggle. Recitation of famous verses and teachings of Gandhiji also are a part of the activities performed to commemorate the great leader. Since the day is a national holiday, people relax and sit back at home with their family and friends. Watching movies based on Gandhi’s life is also a popular activity indulged in by all Indians alike.