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Mahavir Jayanti

Mahavir Jayanti food consists of the food items that are consumed and donated on the birth celebrations of Mahavira, the founder of the Jain sect. The 24th Tirthankar, as he is also known was renowned for his lessons on austerity and non violence. Sharing of knowledge and food with the less fortunate is a traditional ritual associated with Mahavir’s birth occasion which falls on the thirteenth day of Chaitra according to the Hindu calendar.

Milk, rice and fruits are the Jayanti food items offered to the idol along with flowers, incense and lighted lamps. Donations from the rich Jains are collected to promote vegetarianism and prevent slaughter of animals mainly the cow. The celebrations are particularly elaborate in the Jain temples of Girnar and Palitana located in Gujarat. People from all over India throng these temples on the occasion every year.

The day is particularly austere keeping in tradition with the religion with no overt festivities or gaiety. It is observed in solitude on the contrary.

Traditional Mahavir Jayanti Recipes and Mahavir Jayanti Food Menu

Fruits and sweet food items are traditionally served during Mahavir Jayanti with each food item being donated to the poor as well. Some of the most popular food cooked according to the traditional Jayanti recipes are:-

  • Kheer- An Indian version of rice pudding cooked with rice, milk and sugar.
  • Dahi Chane Ki Subzi- A vegetarian dish prepared with red chana and yogurt is a traditional food cooked during the occasion.
  • Spicy Puri- Deep fried breads prepared out of wheat dough spiced with cumin, coriander and turmeric is customarily eaten.
  • Badusha- A deep fried fritter made of Maida or refined flour is dropped in sugar syrup and served according to the traditional Mahavir Jayanti recipes.
  • Boondi Raita- A savory form of yogurt mixed with spices and boondi is a favorite Jayanti food.

Significance of Mahavir Jayanti Recipes

The food is generally plain and simple fare in keeping with the austerity of the occasion. Sacrifice and penance are the principal themes on Mahavir Jayanti and the objective of the religion is to attain moksha or freedom from temptation even when it comes to food.

Mahavir Jayanti food: Trivia

Mahavir preached the idea of donating grains to the poor which has become a ritual of Mahavir Jayanti.