Shivaji Jayanti: glorifiying and honoring the legendary Indian hero
Holiday: Shivaji Jayanti (Mahashivarathri).
When? On 19th February.
The meaning. Birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1630-1680), an Indian warrior king, who was born on this day at the Shivneri fort. He is consider to be a creator of the Maratha nation. His military and civil administration was of the greatest importance for his country.
Schivaji Maharaj established competent and progressive civil rules, innovated military tactics, revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit.
How it is celebrated. Chhatrapati Shivaji is a hero not only for the people of Maharashtra (the region around Mumbai where he lived), but for all Indians as well. To honor this great ruler his birth anniversary is celebrated on a huge scale every year all over the country.
People dress up like Shivaji or wear national clothes and there are colorful processions. People get together in large squares, dance, wave flags, play tradition musical instruments known as lezims and have fun. Various events that commemorate the achievements of the Shivaji are celebrated on this holiday.
Skits are performed on the streets portraying different stories about the war, Schivaji’s successes and important times from his life. His glory is represented in poems, movies and scriptures. An atmosphere of joy prevails over India on this day. (Research and text by Vita Vitrenko.)