Valmiki Jayanti is the birthday of the first Indian poet and author of the great epic Ramayana, Maharishi Valmiki. It is celebrated on the full moon in the sixth month of the Hindu calendar. It usually falls in October, sometimes in September. This year the holiday will be celebrated on October 9th. The year of the poet’s birth is not exactly known. It is believed that Valmiki lived around 500 BC.
Indians began to celebrate the holiday at least more than 1000 years ago. Many cities argue for the honor of being considered the place of residence of the great poet. The largest temple “Maharshi Valmiki Temple”, built 1300 years ago, is located in Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai.
Scholars suggest that the Maharishi had many ashrams. In which of them the wife of Rama Sita hid during the exile and where she gave birth to the twins Lava and Kush, probably not so important. The holiday is considered public in 7 states of India.
- in his youth, the future poet was a robber. When he tried to rob the seven sages, they gave him a mantra which he repeated for many years;
- the name Valmiki means “born in an anthill” and Jayanti means “victorious”. According to legend, when he sat in meditation, the ants built an anthill around him. So several years passed, until a revelation from Vishnu himself came to him that all his sins were forgiven.
How to celebrate
On Pargat Divas, portraits of Valmiki, usually depicted as a monk in saffron robes and holding pen and paper, are paraded in processions. They are called Shobha Yatra, and are accompanied by street prayer singing. A lot of tourists gather for a colorful procession. Participants of the holiday are treated to free food, including dogs and other animals. Temples of Maharishi Valmiki are decorated with flowers, the atmosphere of happiness and purity reigns around. Everyone will be interested to get to the event!
When is Valmiki Jayanti celebrated in 2022?