Jain Festival List: Celebrating Spiritual Traditions and Rituals

Jain Festival List

Celebrating Jain Festivals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Jain Festival List

Jainism, one of the ancient religions of India, is rich with numerous festivals that reflect its spiritual traditions and values. These festivals, steeped in rituals and significance, commemorate the lives and teachings of the Tirthankaras and other revered figures in Jain history. Below is a detailed Jain festival list to help you understand and appreciate the vibrant culture and religious fervor of Jainism.

Jain Festival List

Paryushana

Paryushana Parva is one of the most important Jain festivals. Celebrated in the months of Shravana and Bhadra (August or September), it is a period of reflection, repentance, and forgiveness. Śvetāmbara Jains observe it for eight days, while Digambara Jains celebrate it for ten days. The festival is marked by fasting, prayers, and reading of the Kalpa Sutra, which recounts the life of Mahavira and other Tirthankaras. The final day, Anant Chaturdashi, signifies Lord Vasupujya’s attainment of moksha.

Mahavir Janma Kalyanak

Mahavir Janma Kalyanak celebrates the birth of Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, around March or April. This festival involves processions, ceremonial bathing of Mahavira’s idol, and discourses on his teachings. It is a day of great joy and spiritual rejuvenation for Jains worldwide.

Diwali

Diwali in Jainism marks the nirvana (liberation) of Mahavira in 527 BCE. This significant festival, occurring in October or November, also celebrates the attainment of omniscience (Kevala Gyan) by Gautama Swami, Mahavira’s chief disciple. Jains light lamps symbolizing knowledge and refrain from bursting crackers, focusing instead on spiritual practices and rituals.

Ashtahnika Parv and Nandishwar Ashtahnika

These festivals are celebrated thrice a year for eight days, during Kartik, Falgun, and Ashadh months. The observances include special poojas and rituals like SiddhChakra Vidhan, fostering greater spiritual insight and wisdom.

New Year

Following Diwali, Jains celebrate their New Year on the first day of Kartika. This day is marked by the Snatra Puja ritual and commemorates Gautama Swami’s attainment of keval gyan.

Gyana Panchami

Gyana Panchami, observed on the fifth day of Kartika, is dedicated to the worship of knowledge. Holy scriptures are displayed and venerated, emphasizing the significance of learning and wisdom in Jain philosophy.

Pausha Dashmi

Celebrated in December or January, Pausha Dashmi marks the birth of Parshvanath, the 23rd Tirthankara. Many Jains observe a three-day fast known as Attham during this period.

Maun Agiyaras

On Maun Agiyaras, which falls in October or November, Jains observe silence and fasting to commemorate the Kalyanaka of many Tirthankaras. It is a day dedicated to meditation and introspection.

Navapad Oli

Navapad Oli is a nine-day period of semi-fasting, observed twice a year, during March/April and September/October. Jains consume a single meal daily, prepared without ghee, oil, or spices.

Mahamastakabhisheka

Held every twelve years in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, Mahamastakabhisheka is a grand festival honoring the colossal statue of Bahubali. The last ceremony took place in 2018, with the next one scheduled for 2030.

Roth Teej

Roth Teej, celebrated in Bhadrapada (August or September), reminds Jains of the importance of relinquishing material wealth. Devotees consume a single type of grain food, roth, once during the day.

Varshi Tapa or Akshaya Tritiya

This festival commemorates Lord Rishabhdev’s completion of a year-long fast, celebrated in Vaishakh (April/May). Devotees perform austerities, concluding with the consumption of sugarcane juice, mirroring Rishabhdev’s actions.

Shrut Panchami

Celebrated in May, Shrut Panchami honors Acharya Pushpadanta and Bhutabali, who preserved Jain scriptures. It’s a day for venerating sacred texts and reflecting on their teachings.

Posh Dashmi

Posh Dashmi, celebrated in December/January, honors the life of Parshvanatha. It’s a significant day for reflection and spiritual activities within the Jain community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the main festival of Jain?
The main festival of Jain is Paryushana, celebrated for eight to ten days, focusing on repentance, forgiveness, and spiritual rejuvenation.

What is the 10-day festival of Jain?
The 10-day festival of Jain is the Digambara version of Paryushana, also known as Das Lakshana Parva.

What is the holy day of Jainism?
Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, celebrating the birth of Lord Mahavira, is considered a holy day in Jainism.

What is the calendar of Jainism?
The Jain calendar is lunisolar, with festivals spread throughout the year, including Paryushana, Diwali, and Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, among others.

By understanding these festivals, one can gain insight into the rich cultural and spiritual tapestry of Jainism, making it a fascinating subject for both practitioners and those interested in world religions.

Author: Admin
Jain Sattva writes about Jain culture. Explore teachings, rituals, and philosophy for a deeper understanding of this ancient faith.

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