Samvatsari in Gujarat in 2020

Samvatsari in Gujarat in 2020
Jain temples on top of Shatrunjaya Hill, Gujarat. Image via Deposit Photos

  How long until Samvatsari?
This holiday next takes place in 44 days.
  Dates of Samvatsari in Gujarat
2022 Wed, Aug 31Regional Holiday
2021 Fri, Sep 10Regional Holiday
2020 Sat, Aug 22Regional Holiday
2019 Mon, Sep 2Regional Holiday
2018 Thu, Sep 13Regional Holiday
  Summary
The last day of Paryushana, the most important holy event of the year for Jains.

When is Saṃvatsarī?

Saṃvatsari is a regional public holiday in the Indian state of Gujarat on Shukla Panchami (5th day) in the Jain calendar month of Bhadrapada. It usually falls on the same day as Ganesh Chaturthi. This means it falls between mid- August and September in the Gregorian calendar.

Traditions of Saṃvatsari

Saṃvatsari  (meaning Annual Day or Forgiveness Day) is considered to be the holiest day of the Jain calendar. It takes place on the last day of 'Parva Paryushana', the most important of all the Jain festivals to the Shwetambara sect of Jainism. 

On this day, Jains seek forgiveness for their mistakes committed knowingly or unknowingly from all the living beings. They also forgive those who have made mistakes against them. The day is also known as Kshama Yachna Divas (apology-seeking day), Ahimsa Divas (non-violence day) and Daya Divas (kindness day).

Alms are distributed to the poor, and a Jina (a great teacher) image is ceremonially paraded through the streets. A communal confession is performed by the believers, and letters are sent asking for forgiveness and the removal of all ill feelings about conscious or unconscious misdeeds during the past year. 

On Samvatsari, Jains greet their friends by saying "Michachhami Dukkadam". It means, "If i have offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, I seek your forgiveness."

Paryushana

The word 'Paryushana' means 'to stay in one place', which signifies a time of reflection and repentance for the Jain devotee. Originally this was primarily a monastic practice. This festival consists of eight days of intensive fasting, repentance and pujas. Often monks will be invited to give teachings from the Jain scriptures.

Jainism

Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches a path to spiritual purity and enlightenment through disciplined nonviolence to all living creatures. Jains are strict vegetarians and live in a way that minimises their use of the world's resources.

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