Kanakadasa Jayanthi is one of the regional holidays of Karnataka. It is celebrated every year on the 18th day of Kartik. This day is meant to commemorate the birth anniversary of Shri Kanaka Dasa, who was a legendary poet as well as a saint from the year 1509.
History of the Festival
Kanaka Dasa was a revolutionary Haridasa who contributed to devotional literature in Kannada and brought a change in the society. He also spread messages of equality by uplifting the social community. Some of his popular teachings include the elimination of an individual’s ego, equality of the men, and attaining salvation. He is known for his keertanas and usage of the local language for Carnatic music.
Kanaka composed more than 240 songs in Kannada and lived for a healthy hundred years. He was a soldier by profession but after he was injured at a war, he turned to music and literature.
To pay tribute to this great saint, the Karnataka Government has memorialized his birthday (according to the Hindu calendar) as a state festival. Government offices and educational institutions remember the writer on this day and pay their respects.
This year, the Kanakadasa Jayanthi falls on 3rd December 2020.