is India's great national
festival. The Constitution of India has been in effect since
January 26, 1950, a date celebrated annually as Republic Day in
India. It is a national holiday in India. To mark the importance
of this occasion, It is celebrated every year on January 26,...........
Festivals of India
India is a land of great
diversity. It described as a land of many religions and innumerable
languages, it might well be described as a land of festivals as well.
Indians love celebrating. Every little occasion from the harvesting of
crops, welcoming the spring or rain, to seeing the full moon lends itself to
joyous celebrations splashed with colors, music, folk dances and songs. Even
the birthdays of divine beings are celebrated by connecting them with
The Indian calendar is one long procession of
festivals. These are as varied in origin as they are large in
number. India is a multilingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural
The homes are neatly
decorated, new dresses are worn for every occasion, prayers offered
to Gods, and lot of sweets and goodies are cooked. Most of these
festivals are common to most part of India however they may be known
by different names in different parts of the country. Different
cultures also mean that different rituals are followed.
Indian festivals are
celebrated according to the solar and lunar calendars. Consequently,
dates & months may vary accordingly.
Here's a list of
common festivals celebrated all over India. To have a detailed
knowledge of Indian festivals individually,
Click here or go to our
Festivals link in Devotional section.
Lohri : Lohri marks the culmination
of winter, and is celebrated on the 13th day of January in the month of
Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti. For Punjabis, this is more
than just a festival, it is also an example of a way of life. Lohri
celebrates fertility and the spark of life. People gather round the
bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing
popular songs and exchange greetings.
Makar Sankranti / Pongal
: These are celebrated predominantly in the southern
part of India. This harvest festival marks the commencement of the sun's
journey to the Northern Hemisphere. People take dips in rivers and
worship the sun In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by the flying
Republic Day: Celebrating the anniversary of India's
establishment as a Republic 26th January 1950, all the state capitals
resound with the beating of drums and parading of the army. Delhi, the
national capital of India has the grandest parades, displaying India's
strength in terms of the armed forces and weapons. These are followed by
floats and dancers from all parts of the country.
Maha Shivratri: Maha Shivaratri This
is a day of fasting dedicated to Lord Shiva, the third deity of the
Hindu trinity. Religious people stay awake and chant prayers the whole
night. Processions to the festivals are followed by chanting of mantras
and anointing of lingams.
is a festival in honor of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and learning.
Holi : This is one of the most exuberant festivals and also the
most colorful. It heralds the advent of spring and the end of winters.
It is celebrated by throwing colored water and powder at each other. On
the eve of Holi, bonfires are built to symbolize the destruction of the
evil demon Holika.
is a major Jain festival and commemorates the birth anniversary of
Mahavira, the 24th and last Jain Tirthankar. It is a day of prayer.
There are celebrations in all Jain temples and pilgrimages to Jain
Ram Navami: is the day of Rama's
birth and is celebrated as a day of great piety, with the chanting of
prayers and the singing of ballads.
Easter and Good Friday
: Good Friday is observed in India in April every year, broadly on the
pattern adopted worldwide. Christians from all stratas of society visit
the Church to attend the Mass held on this occasion. Easter Sunday,
which follows Good Friday is celebrated with much joy and gaiety.
Processions are taken out in some parts of the country.
Baisakhi, celebrated with joyous music and dancing, is New Year's Day in
Punjab. It falls on April 13, though once in 36 years it occurs on 14th
April. It was on this day that the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh,
founded the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood) in 1699. The Sikhs, therefore,
celebrate this festival as a collective birthday.
Id-ul-Fitr or Ramazan Id:
is a day of feasting and rejoicing as it marks the end of the end of
Ramazan (Ramadan), the Muslim time of fasting.
May - June :
The Buddha's birth, enlightenment and his reaching nirvana are all
celebrated on this day. The Buddha is supposed to have gone through each
of these experiences on the same day, but of different years.
festival is dedicated to Ananata, the serpent whose coils Lord Vishnu
rests between universes. Offerings are made to snake images. Snakes are
supposed to have the power over the monsoon rainfall and keep evil from
is an integral part of the Hindu family structure whereby a woman ties a
rakhi or decorative thread on the wrist of her brother to remind him to
protect her if the need arises.
The anniversary of India's independence commemorates the day on August
15th. The prime Minister delivers an address from the ramparts of
Delhi's Red Fort. It is celebrated all over the country with meetings
and flag-hosting ceremonies.
September - October - November:
Janamashtami: The birth of lord
Krishna, the eighth incarnation on earth of Lord Vishnu, is celebrated
throughout India. Devotees celebrate it by fasting and prayers, which is
followed by feasting and merriment.
Id-ul-Zuha or Bakrid:
celebrates the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim, who willingly agreed to kill
his son at the behest of God. To celebrate the event Muslims sacrifice
one animal per family or group of families. There are prayers in
mosques, feasting, and rejoicing. New cloches are worn and visits and
greetings are exchanged.
is celebrated Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is
celebrated against a setting of lush green vegetation. This picturesque
harvest festival brings ten days of colour, feasting, boat races, song
and dance to the state.
Ganesh Chaturthi: This festival is dedicated to the popular
elephant headed God, Ganesha. Pune, madras, and Bombay are the important
centers of celebration. In Maharashtra, huge images of Ganesha are
carried in procession. On specific dates in the following ten days,
these images are immersed in the sea or rivers with thousands of
worshippers dancing and singing after them.
Navaratri, the Festival of Nine
Nights, is celebrated in honor of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and
Saraswati. The tenth day, Dussehra, commemorates the victory of Rama, of
the epic Ramayana, over Ravana. In many places it culminates with the
burning of huge images of Ravana and his accomplices, celebrating the
victory of the good over evil. Re-enactments of the epic Ramayana takes
place in various places.
Gandhi Jayanthi: A solemn
celebration marking the birth date of Gandhiji, the father of the
nation, includes prayer meetings at the Raj Ghat where he was cremated.
Diwali or Deepawali: This is perhaps the happiest of Hindu
festivals.Of all the festivals celebrated in India, Diwali is by far the
most glamorous and important. is a festival of lights symbolizing the
victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness.
Countless number of lamps are lighted at night, giving the impression
that the stars have descended on earth.
Gurpurab: The birth anniversaries of Guru Nanak, the founder of
Sikhism (October-November), and of Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru
(December-January), are important festivals of the Sikhs. In addition to
the reading of the holy verses, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy
book, is carried in procession.
Govardhan Pooja: A Hindu festival dedicated to the holiest of
animals for the Hindus, the cow.
On this festival, the sisters put the teeka on
the forehead of there brothers with vermilion, sandal paste, roli or
kumkum (red turmeric) and pray for them.
Guru Nanak Jayanthi
is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of
Christmas: Christians in India
celebrate their festivals broadly on the pattern adopted worldwide.
However some influence of local Indian tradition has been absorbed
into the festivities. . Christmas is a major event in all Indian
Christian households and one can see Goa come to life at this time
of the year
Deepavali / Diwali
Indian Festivals - Index