Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
Mahavira's Teachings
The Early Centuries of Jainism
Jainism In Indian History
Jainism Enters The Modern Age
Doctrines of Jainism: Part 1
  Doctrines of Jainism: Part 2
  The Jain Path In Life: Part 1
  The Jain Path In Life: Part 2
  Daily Practices and Recitations
  Rituals and Festivals
  Pilgrimage and Sacred Places
  Jainism and Other Religions



Paul Marett

The Jain Calendar

The regular festivals of the Jain year follow the traditional Indian calendar so the dates vary somewhat from year to year in the European calendar. Each Indian month is divided into the bright half (when the moon is waxing) and the dark half, and the days are numbered within each half-month. The Indian months are given below alongside the European months within which they fall. The year is often given according to the Vikram Samvat era which commenced in 57 B.C. (abbreviated V.S.) or, in Jain circles, according to the Ira Nirvana Samvat, commencing with Mahavira's nirvana in 527 B.C. It must be remembered that the Indian New Year falls around October in the European calendar.

The table below shows the more important dates in the Jain calendar. Jains also remember the five great events in the life of each Tirthankara (conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience, moksa). These occasions are kept as days of fasting, semi-fasting or other religious activities. Although more than one commemoration may fall on the same day, they are too numerous to have been included here. In addition, pious Jains fast partially or totally on the 2nd., Sth., 8th., 1 lth., and 14th. day of each half-month, or engage in other religious activities.

Jain Festivals And Holy Days

Indian Falling Bright Day Festival

month within or Dark

European half



Karttika Oct/Nov Br 1 New Year (Gautama's omniscience; Start of accounting year for Jain businessmen)

Br 5 Jnana Pancham (adoration of knowledge

Br 8-15 Karttiki Atthai (eight-day fasting and worship, particularly of the siddhachakra)

Br 14 Four-monthly Chaturdashi (marked by pratikraman, repentance, ritual)

Br 15 End of Chaturmas, four month rainy season retreat: monks move out. Pilgrimage to Satrunjay resumes after being discontinued during rainy season. *

Dk 10 Mahavira�s Renunciation

Margasirsa Nov/Dec Br 11 Maunagiyaras (day of silence)

Pausa Dec/Jan Dk 13 Rsabha's Moksa

Magha Jan/Feb Within this month 15 days are devoted to 19 great events relating to 14 Tirthankara

Phalguna Feb/Mar Br 8-15 Phalguni Atthai (eight day fasting and worship)

Br 14 Four-monthly Chaturdashi

Caitra Mar/Apr Br 7-15 Oli(nine-daysemi-fast)

Br 13 Mahavira Jayanti (Birth of Mahavira)

Br 15 An important date for pilgrimage to Satrunjay*

Vaisakh Apr/May Br 3 Aksaya Trutiya (Rsabha broke his one-year fast with sugar cane juice and modern devotees do the same)

Br 10 Mahavira's Omniscience

Dk 13 Shantinatha's Birth and Moksa

Dk 14 Shantinatha's Renunciation

Jyaistha May/Jun Within this month 7 great events relating to 6 Tirthankara are celebrated

Asadha Jun/Jul Br 6 Mahavira's Conception

Br 8-15 Asadhi Atthai (eight-day fasting and worship)

Br 14 Four-monthly Chaturdashi

Sravana Jul/Aug Dk 12 Beginning of eight-day Paryusana (Svetambara)

Dk 15 Public reading of life of Mahavira from the Kalpa Sutra

Bhadrapada Aug/Sept Br 1 Reading of Mahavira's birth from the Kalpa Sutra

Br 4 Samvatsari (last day of Paryusana, nearly all Jains fast, annual confession and forgiveness)

Br 5-14 Paryusana (Digambara)

Asvina Sept/Oct Br 7-15 Oli (nine-day semi-fast)

Dk 14 Roopa Chaturdashi (or Chhoti Diwali) (followers came for last sight of Mahavira as he commenced his last sermon)

Dk 15 Diwali (Mahavira's Moksa: worship of Mahavira in the morning general illumination at night to symbolize the light of knowledge)