In Jainism, Mahavir Jayanthi is the most important religious day. It marks the birth of Mahavira, the 24th and the last Tirthankara. He was born on the 13th day of the rising moon of Chaitra, in either 599 BC or 615 BC (depending on religious tradition).
On Mahavir Jayanthi, Jain temples are decorated with flags. In the morning the idol of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath called the 'abhishek'. It is then placed in a cradle and carried in a procession around the neighbourhood. The devotees make offerings of milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps and water to the people in procession. People meditate and offer prayers. Pilgrims from all parts of the country visit the ancient Jain Temples at Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat on this day.
Mahavir Jayanthi is also celebrated during the 8 day of holy period of Paryushan. Biography of Mahavir Swami, particularly His birth, is read on the day of Mahavir Jayanthi.

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