Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated yearly on 2 October. It is one of the official declared national holidays of India, observed in all of its states and union territories. Gandhi Jayanti is marked by prayer services and tributes all over India, including at 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 encouraging a non-violent way of life as well as celebrating Gandhi’s effort in the Indian independence movement. Gandhi’s favorite bhajan (Hindu devotional song), Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, is usually sung in his memory. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi throughout the country are decorated with flowers and garlands, and some people avoid drinking alcohol or eating meat on the day. Public buildings, banks and post offices are closed.
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