Festival celebrated on the name of a loyal person
There are two important books of Hinduism: Ramayan and Mahanharat. The character of Bhishma is a known character in the Mahabharata. He was the son of King Shantanu and Ganga in Hindu mythology and the eighth day of the Shukla Paksh is celebrated as Bhishma Ashtami. Bishma is the person in the whole Mahabharata, who is respected for his honesty and sincerity and loyalty to the state as per his commitment to his father. He is also described as the Lord of Lords by Sri Krishna and was blessed with death as per own wish. As per leading Hindu book, Mahabharata, Bhishma, laid himself down on the bed made of arrows on Magh Shukla Ashtami day. In order to please Shantanu, Bhishma promised that he will never marry and would remain faithful to the royal state of Kaurava dynasty.
Bhishma festival is celebrated normally in all the Vishnu temples all over the country as well as in the Iskon temples. There are five days which start with Bhishma Ashtami and end with Bhishma Dwadasi. This particular duration is called as Bhishma Panchaka vrata. Bhishma is considered from the day one to till this day as the best example for self-denial, loyalty and devotion. Bhishma was offered with barley, sesame, various kinds of flowers and water from the holy Ganges River.
In the battle between two groups, Bhishma supported and sided with Kauravas and was badly injured. People still remember and admire him for his loyalty to the state as well as his devotion to his father. There are a lot of incidents of life of Bhishma, Who was originally named as Dev Vrat which can inspire the society even today.