The Significance Of 2nd October:- A Mark Of Celebrations Happening

2nd October has always had a special significance in my life as it is a synonym for celebrations happening in all spheres. Being originally from India, 2nd October is observed as a national holiday as it marks the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a renowned Indian freedom fighter and the Father Of India. People all over the Indian subcontinent dedicate honour and patriotism to this inspirational freedom fighter whose slogan embodies the message of practising non-violence and glorifying peace. The roots of my home country dedicate 2nd October as a day of remembrance and love by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, as he was popularly referred to because “Mahatma” is the literary equivalent of “greatness.” 


Moreover, this year, 2nd October also tends to become a major celebration in my immigrant country, Canada, as it coincides with the weekend of National Day For Truth And Reconciliation that falls annually on 30th September and in 2023, it combines into a long weekend with 2nd October. This article explores the highlights of the 2nd October observed in India and Canada. Furthermore, it ends with a personal common touch.   


Gandhi Jayanti is the informal name for the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On this day, prayer services and patriotic tributes become a common sight all over India. Special honour ceremonies happen at Gandhi’s memorial in Raj Ghat, New Delhi, where he had been cremated. Other unique things include schools and universities hosting public assemblies to glorify the essence of freedom. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi are also decorated throughout the country with garlands and flowers. Since it is a national holiday, all local government and socio-political institutions are closed. The country also marks Gandhi Jayanti as a “dry day” when no liquor or alcohol is served throughout India as a form of devotion and respect. To add, the government initiates granting awards on 2nd October to people who have practised the concept of non-violence in life in significant ways. The hymns of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram echo everywhere as a mark of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan. 


National Day For Truth And Reconciliation honours the foundations of the Canadian Indian residential school system. It is informally also referred to as Orange Shirt Day. This day is observed as a moment of silence for the deaths of approximately 3,200 children in residential schools due to the poor environmental conditions of the schools during that period. The most common cause of these deaths was tuberculosis. This day also glorifies the survivors battling these hostile conditions and their families and communities. Public commemorations become familiar as the government organises ceremonies to pay tribute to its tragic history and consider the harmful impacts on the poor children who had suffered in residential schools. The orange shirts symbolise solidarity, and wearing them during the National Day For Truth And Reconciliation recognises the sufferings, loss and pain of the children through the value of empathy. It also serves as an attempt to reflect on the past and learn from our ancestor’s mistakes. Since 30th September falls on a Saturday, the government of Canada extended the National Day For Truth And Reconciliation weekend to 2nd October to mark a public holiday. 



On a concluding note, 2nd October never fails to take a special place in my heart and evoke gratitude as I also share my birthday on this date. It is an emblem of honour for me to share the most special day of my life with significant celebrations happening in India and Canada while informally visualising the world celebrating my birthday, haha. 


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