14th February: “Valentines Day” or “Parents’ Worship Day”?
Written by Roneel Narayan on February 14, 2022
Parents’ Worship Day, known as Matru Pitru Poojan Diwas was started in 2007 as a countercultural tradition to Valentine’s Day.
It is celebrated on 14 February every year.
The day was first celebrated on 14 Feb 2007 at Sant Asaram’ji Gurukul, Ahmedabad.
This festival draws its inspiration from the puja of Shiva and Parvati performed by Ganesha.
According to The Hindu, the Indian state of Chhattisgarh has been celebrating Matru-Pitru Pujan Diwas since 2012, on the advice of Sant Asharamji. It is Officially Celebrated by the ‘Chhattisgarh Govt’ in schools and Colleges as Ordered by Chief Minister Raman Singh.
In 2013 some schools & colleges in Bhubaneswar started to celebrate Parents Worship Day.
In 2015 the State Government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party made it an official celebration. In 2015 the right-wing political party Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha endorsed the day. On 14 February 2015, it was celebrated on a large scale by an NGO Bhartiya Yuwa Shakthi at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Krida Mandal, Nehru Nagar, Kurla. The event imparted theoretical and practical values to parents and children. It was celebrated by Sanatan Dharma Sabha in Jammu in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
In 2017 the District collector in Madhya Pradesh issued a notice for schools, youth and urged people to celebrate 14th Feb as Matru-Pitru Pujan Diwas.
In December 2017, the Education minister of Jharkhand, Neera Yadav issued a notice to celebrate the day in 40,000 government schools in the state in 2018.
In 2018, Gujarat Technological University and Swaminarayan Institute of Technology celebrated Parents Worship Day to reaffirm respect towards Parents.
In 2019, Gujarat Education Minister, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama appreciated the initiative of celebrating 14th Feb as Matru Pitru Pujan Diwas.
In 2020, the Gujarat Education department told schools to organize Parents Worship Day on 14th Feb in order to nurture the best values from childhood and to protect Indian culture.
Matru Pitru Poojan Diwas (MPPD) also called Matra Pitra Pujan Divas is a festival initiated by Sant Asaram ji. On this day, children from all religions worship their parents and seek their Blessings by offering them tilak, garland. It is seen by many as a method to cement the bond between family members and to imbibe good values like respect, obedience and humility in children. Right-wing activists claim that it is an alternate method to counter teenage pregnancy. In several states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Valentine’s Day has been officially renamed as Matru-Pitru Pujan Diwas.
As per the Directorate of Public Instructions, every year February 14 is celebrated as Parents’ Worship Day instead of Valentine’s Day in Chhattisgarh. Parents are invited to schools and children worship them by performing aarti and offering sweets.
Muslim students expressed love for their parents by celebrating the day as ‘Abba Ammi Ibadat Diwas’.