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Gyan Panchami is a festival celebrated by Jains (people belonging to Jain sect) to acknowledge the importance of their scriptures. Gyan signifies the natural light of the soul. The difference between right and wrong also comes to us through knowledge or Gyan. So, Gyan Panchami is celebrated in Jainism to invoke the inner soul and to achieve inner peace.
It is the day to honour the knowledge spread by the holy books. Jain people observe a very difficult fast on this day. It is believed that by observing this fast, the foolish or ignorant can also become wise and get happiness and good luck.
This festival is celebrated on the fifth day after Diwali, the festival of lights, in the month of Karthik (ninth month of the Hindu calendar). It is also known as 'Saubhagya Panchami' and 'Labha Panchami’.
Rituals and Celebrations
People belonging to Jain community celebrate this day with great joy and happiness. Women start their day by cleaning their houses. They then start preparing for the special puja (prayers) or rituals to be performed at home. Prayers are recited during the festival to acquire the right knowledge and proper guidance. Jains observe fast throughout the day during which they cannot speak anything, i.e. they keep absolute silence till the time they break their fast.
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