Is Shivaji Jayanti a Public Holiday?
Shivaji Jayanti is observed as an official public holiday in the state of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. This means that most of the public and private sector businesses, offices, schools, universities, colleges, academic institutions, banks as well as post offices remain closed in these states. The general population in these states enjoy a day off on the day of Shivaji Jayanti.
However in other states, the festival of Shivaji Jayanti is considered an optional holiday, which means that the employers can announce this day as a day off.
Shivaji Jayanti History
Shivaji Jayanti history holds relevant significance and commemorates the beginning of its observance. In 1869, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule came across the tomb of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Raigad, and then in the year 1870, initiated the observance of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti or Shivaji Jayanti.
The celebrations were held on a grand scale in Pune. After the popularity of this event, Bal Gangadhar Tilak used this occasion as a platform to unite the masses in the 20th century during the Great British Oppression with an objective of attaining Indian Independence.
This tradition was later followed by Babasaheb Ambedkar as well. Since then, this day is observed with utter devotion, and the general population, especially in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, celebrate this day with great fanfare by carrying out processions and participating in cultural activities.
Who is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj?
Shivaji Bhosale I is said to be the founder of the Maratha Empire and was an Indian warrior-king who expanded his feathers and courageously fought his enemies without any fear or pity. He was officially crowned as the first Chhatrapati or Emperor of his kingdom.
Known to be an affluent strategist, a fine warrior and an intellectual king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered several wars and maintained both hostile and engaging relations with colonial powers, Mughal Empire and Sultanate of Bijapur and Golkonda. He was an extremely secular person and believed in kindness.
He used to respect women and would safely return the women captured during the war with honour. His basis for evaluation was never religion but skills. It was under his guidance that powerful sea forts and Navy was built for the very first time in India as a mode of protection from foreign invaders.
He preferred transparency in administrative and political traditions, and promoted the use of Sanskrit and Marathi during court conventions rather than any other Persian language.
Shivaji Jayanti Celebrations
On the day of Shivaji Jayanti, the locals in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa organize grand street processions with the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj being lifted on a platform or podium. People are seen playing with dry colors and dressing up as Shivaji Maharaj to commemorate this event. Several theatrical plays and dramas are enacted on this day, where the glory of Shivaji Maharaj is hailed.
Several schools conduct debate competitions, where students are asked to debate on the topics based on the ideologies of the great warrior. Several cultural programs are held and both students and teachers participate with full force. Several delicacies are prepared on this day, and people gorge on lip-smacking foods with their loved ones.
Some religious institutions or temples dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj conduct a ceremonial puja and invoke the great king. The preachings and ideas of the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are remembered on this day.
Interesting Facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji
- Shivaji’s name was derived from a local deity and not from the Mahadeva aka Lord Shiva.
- He had a secular vision, and considered every religion equal.
- Despite being a Hindu King, a majority of the military personnel in his army were Muslims.
- One of the interesting facts about Shivaji Maharaj is that he offered to lend his helping hand to Aurangzeb in winning over Bijapur.
- From a handful of two thousand soldiers, he created a powerful army of ten thousand soldiers.
- Shivaji Maharaj was extremely good with guerrilla tactics in the war, and taught his army the skill.
- He advised his troops to back up and regroup rather than risking their lives in the war.
- One of the golden moments of his life was when he single-handedly defeated the veteran general Afzal Khan in an one-on-one fight.
- He was extremely respectful of women and made sure they were treated with dignity.
- He was as cruel as one could be when it came to assaulting women or those captured in wars and would punish those who would try to harm them.
- He possessed a merciful attitude and would welcome those who had surrendered in his own army, since he judged people on the basis of their skills.
Shivaji Jayanti Observances
1. Is Shivaji Jayanti a bank holiday in India?
Shivaji Jayanti is a bank holiday in the state of Maharashtra. However, it can be observed as an optional holiday in several parts of the country.
2. What is the full name of Shivaji Maharaj?
Shivaji Bhosale I is the full name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
3. At what age did he capture his first fort?
He captured his first fort called Torna Fort at the age of sixteen.
4. Can you consume alcohol on the day of Shivaji Jayanti?
Shivaji Jayanti is considered a dry day in the state of Maharashtra, which means that the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
From the above information, it is evident that the festival of Shivaji Jayanti 2023 in India is observed on Sunday, 19 February with great enthusiasm.
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