Jainism FAQs

Do Jains have temples?

Mūrti-pūjaka Jains have temples to hold their idols. The non-mūrtipūjaka sects have mendicant dwelling-halls that are not part of temple complexes.

The local temple is often the centre of the community.

Do Jains have festivals?

Festivals are important to Jains. All sects hold festivals throughout the year, which act to revive faith, strengthen community ties and proclaim religious identity to outsiders. They are also major periods of sustained contact between lay people and monks and nuns and serve as ways of passing on teachings and customs.

All Jain festivals celebrate events in the lives of the Jinas.

What are the most important festivals?

The statue of Māhavīra is decorated for Māhavīr Jayantī at the Śvetāmbara temple in Potters Bar, England. Celebrated in March to April, the festival of Māhavīr Jayantī commemorates the birth of the 24th Jina, Māhavīra. The festival is celebrated by all Ja

Māhavīra decorated
Image by Ravin Mehta © Ravin Mehta

All Jain sects celebrate three festivals each year:

The different Jain sects also hold their own festivals, which may have equivalents in the other sects. For example, the Śvetāmbara festival of Jñāna-pañcamī has a Digambara counterpart in Śruta-pañcamī.

In addition, most communities hold local festivals that commemorate events in the temple or mendicant dwelling-hall or in the lives of monks and nuns. Examples are the installation of a new idol or religious icon in the temple – pratiṣṭhā – and the initiation of a new asceticdīkṣā.

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