Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation”. Though the title is not officially declared, as the Constitution of India does not permit a father of nation, it is mostly conferred to him. The United Nations General Assembly announced on 15 June 2007 that it adopted a resolution which declared that 2 October will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated yearly on 2 October. It is one of the three official declared national holidays of India, observed in all of its states and union territories. The other two are Independence Day (15 August) and Republic Day (26 January). Gandhi Jayanti is marked by prayer services and tributes all over India, especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated. Popular activities include prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies in different cities by colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions. Painting and essay competitions are conducted and best awards are granted for projects in schools and the community on themes of glorifying peace, non-violence and Gandhi’s effort in Indian Freedom Struggle. Gandhi’s favourite bhajan (Hindu devotional song), Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram, is usually sung in his memory.