2 October 2020
Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday in India. Jayanti means jubilee, and this holiday falls on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday in 1869, to celebrate his contribution to world peace. The United Nations also declared in 2007 that 2 October will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.
In India, Gandhi Jayanti is marked by prayer services and tributes across the country, including at Gandhi’s memorial Raj Ghat in New Delhi where he was cremated. Popular activities include prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies in different cities by colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions.
Painting and essay competitions are conducted, and best awards are granted for projects in schools and the community encouraging a non-violent way of life as well as celebrating Gandhi’s effort in the Indian independence movement.
Gandhi’s favourite Bhajan (Hindu devotional song), Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, is usually sung in his memory. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi throughout the country are decorated with flowers and garlands, and some people avoid drinking alcohol or eating meat on the day.
In 2019, as it was the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, the Central Railway zone celebrated by painting diesel locomotives with the Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on the backdrop of the national tricolour., and prime minister, Narendra Modi, released a Rupee 150 coin in his honour.