Why do we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi birthday?

Gandhi’s Birthday

In India, a wise and holy person is called a mahatma. The word means “great soul”. The greatest mahatma of all was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

As a leader, Gandhi was against violence. He believed that how we behave is more important than what we succeed in doing. He won many followers.

Gandhi worked many years for India’s freedom from Great Britain. His dream finally came true on August 15, 1947.

Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated across India to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation”.

It is celebrated on October 2nd every year. It is one of three official declared National Holidays of India and is observed in all its states and territories.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2nd 1869 in Gujarat, then known as Porbandar, British India.

Gandhi lived his life with acceptance and practice of truth, non-violence, vegetarianism, simplicity and faith in God and was a major political and spiritual leader within India. He was a pioneer of Satyagraha, which believed in resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon total non-violence.

His honorific title of Mahatma, which means “high-souled” in Sanskrit, was first used in 1914 in South Africa.

The movement led India to independence and his efforts have since inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He was a source of inspiration to many political leaders all over the world, including Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.

The day is marked by prayer services all over India, and especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated.

Celebrations on the day include prayer meetings and commemorative ceremonies in various cities by colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions.

Painting and essay competitions are held and awards are announced for projects in schools and the community, on the themes of glorifying peace, non-violence and Gandhi’s effort in Indian Freedom Struggle.

Often Gandhi’s favourite devotional song, Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram is sung in memory of him.

The impact and fame of Gandhi beyond India are reflected in the International Day of Nonviolence which is celebrated worldwide on his birthday.

India celebrates the birthday of the great leader on October 2. In his honour, many people walk from far across India to the place where his body was cremated.

Picture Credit : Google