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The most important India holidays

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India is the land of culture and diversity. There are people from all religions, castes, and societies who stay together in this country. Also, India is known for its tolerance and love towards other religions.

People not only stay together but also celebrate their festivals together. India is an Asian country that probably celebrates one festival every year. This article will tell you about the main festivals in the country and the India holidays according to them. 

1. Pushkar Camel Fair

The Pushkar Camel Fair is also called the Pushkar Mela and the main purpose of hosting this carnival or festival is to celebrate the beautiful camels. The camels are known as the “ship of the desert” and the festival is one of the most beautiful travel experience ever. It is locally also known as the Kartik Mela and people go to Pushkar, Rajasthan during this time, from all over the world. 

Where

The Camel Fair is the ritual or highlight of the beautiful town of Pushkar in Rajasthan. The town is just near the famous city if Ajmer and falls at the very end of the extensive Thar Desert. The Camel Fair of Pushkar is set up on a fairground that is located at the meeting point of the NH 89 and the Brahma Temple Road. 

When

The Pushkar Camel Fair is generally celebrated during November on the night of full moon or the Kartik Purnima. Starting from next year, the dates are-

  • 2020- 22nd November-30th November
  • 2021- 11th November- 19th November
India festivals

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • You must not miss a camel safari during the time of the Pushkar Festival
  • Beware of the crowd in the carnival in Pushkar. Keep your belongings safe with you. 

2. Diwali festival

Diwali or Deepawali is one of the major India holidays and is celebrated in almost all parts of India, especially Northern India. It is called the ‘festival of lights’ and is celebrated widely by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists too.

The name justifies the glitz and glamour that you see around in India during this time. The name ‘Deepavali’ comes from the word ‘deep’ or an earthen lamp. According to Hindu Mythology, the festival marks the celebration of Lord Rama’s homecoming from exile.

It is said that the natives of Ajodhya lit ghee lamps to celebrate happiness, glory, and prosperity. Fireworks and lamps in every corner of localities all over the country still celebrate the glory of homecoming. The festival of Kali Puja is also associated with Diwali or Deepavali. You can find here more detailed article about Diwali. 

Where

The five places where you will experience the best Diwali in India are-

  • Varanasi’s Dev Deepavali
  • Goa’s Naraka Chaturdashi
  • Amritsar’s Bandi Chhor Divas
  • Rajasthan’s celebration of lights
  • Kolkata’s Kali Puja

When

Diwali dates for the next 6 years:

  • 2020- 14th November, Saturday
  • 2021- 4th November, Thursday
  • 2022- 24th October, Monday
  • 2023- 9th November, Thursday
  • 2024- 1st November, Friday
  • 2025- 21st October, Tuesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Clean your homes and remove all clutter and mess
  • Arrange for a Lakshmi Puja at your home or workplace
  • Light lamps after sunset every day
  • Feast, because it is a festive time
  • Wear new, clean and traditional outfits

3. Holi festival

Holi is one of the national India festivals of the subcontinent. It is on the list of India holidays in every calendar. It has an interesting story behind the celebrations of the festival. It is the ‘Festival of Colors and Love’.

People celebrate Holi in India, Nepal, parts of Asia and also in sections of the Western world. It is celebrated in the Western World in places where you will find devotees of Lord Krishna. The other story according to Hindu mythology is of Kind Hiranyakashyap and his evil sister Holika.

According to Hiranyakashyap’s conspiracy, he wanted Holika to push his son Prahalad to death by fire. When Holika started calling the fire gods with Prahalad in her lap expecting he will burn to ashes, Lord Vishnu came to rescue.

He took the Narsimha (half-lion and half-human) avatar and saved his devotee, Prahalad. Holika died instead and the festival marks the victory of good over evil. 

Where

You will be able to experience Holi at its best if you visit Vrindavan or Mathura. They celebrate Holi in the biggest possible way. It is not difficult to reach these places as they are close to Delhi. 

When

Holi dates for the next six years are-

  • 2020- 9th March- 10th March
  • 2021- 28th March- 29th March
  • 2022- 17th March- 18th March
  • 2023- 6th March- 7th March
  • 2024- 25th March- 26th March
  • 2025- 13th March- 14th March

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Drink proper amount of water
  • Wash your hands before touching food because of so much color around
  • Try to use homemade or natural colors
  • Use natural ingredients to remove colors 

4. Republic Day of India

26th January is the day when India celebrates the creation of its Constitution in 1950. It is one of the Gazette India holidays. It is the day on which B.R. Ambedkar revealed the entire book that contains Indians Constitutional rules legislations. Parts of the Constitution have been amended over the years, but some parts remain the same. 

Where

New Delhi is the capital of India and the best place to experience Republic Day celebrations. Early in the morning the President and other powerful candidates of Indian Politics grace the celebrations. It is extended by the Army, Navy and Airforce officers who put up marvelous shows. There are other events too. 

When

Indian Republic Day dates for the next six years:

  • 2020- 26th January, Sunday
  • 2021- 26th January, Tuesday
  • 2022- 26th January, Wednesday
  • 2023- 26th January, Thursday
  • 2024- 26th January, Friday
  • 2025- 26th January, Sunday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in March Past and other similar activities
  • Witness the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. The event is telecast on radio and TVs too. 
  • Read about the leaders and freedom fighters of India. 

5. New Year holiday

If you have heard of the Gregorian Calendar, you must be knowing that 1st January marks its beginning. The day is celebrated widely among all countries including India. You will find large gatherings all around you and people greet each other with love and warmth. It is that time of the year when you think about all the good things and all the blessings of the year that ends.

Along with that, you brace yourself to welcome another new year that will bring along so many ups and downs. However, the celebration scale mainly depends on whether the region you are from, follows the Solar or the Lunar Calendar.

Where

The most ideal places to enjoy New Year in India are the Islands of Andaman and Nicobar. The second choice for a splendid celebration will be on the beaches of Goa. 

When

New Year in the next six years for you-

  • 2020- 1st January, Wednesday
  • 2021- 1st January, Friday
  • 2022-1st January, Saturday
  • 2023- 1st January, Sunday
  • 2024- 1st January, Monday
  • 2025- 1st January, Wednesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • You can start with a lovely meal on New Year’s Eve to mark the end of the year. 
  • Send midnight messages to friends and family
  • Play a year review game
  • Bake lots of cookies
  • New Year’s Eve Bingo is an ideal game for the evening

6. Rann Utsav- Kutch Festival6

The Rann Utsav or the Kutch Festival is the highlight of the Kutch area of Gujarat. It is celebrating the beauty of the white Rann of Kutch under the natural light of the moon on a Purnima night.

People who go there are left enchanted with the white sands sparkling more under the glistening moonlight. The Rann of Kutch is a salt stretch and looks like a desert. During the festival, it is like a carnival set up here. People stay here overnight and enjoy traditional dance and music shows.

Visit Gujarat during the Kutch Festival to experience how heaven looks like from a close distance. The festival takes place over 3-4 months so you do not have to rush on a specific day only. But make sure you get all your bookings done well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush. 

Where

The Rann Utsav or the Kutch Festival is celebrated in the same location year after year. To reach there, you must know the exact details of the place. It is in Kutch that falls under the Bhuj District of Gujarat. Along with the festival, you can also tour the other beautiful places in Gujarat. 

When

 Dates of the Rann Utsav or Kutch Festival in the following years are from 28th October 2019 till  23rd February 2020

India festivals - Rann Utsav

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • You must not wait for last-minute bookings because you may find everything booked after a certain time. 
  • Stay in the tents overnight to experience the real beauty of Kutch.
  • Enjoy other activities and games such as golf and camel cart races, ATV rides, paramotoring and much more. 

7. Makar Sankranti - Kite Festival in Gujarat and Lohri in North India

India is a diverse country and different regions may celebrate one festival in different ways. Similar is the case of the Makar Sankranti. It is the harvest festival that is known as Poush Parbon in Bengal, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, and more.

The name of Makar Sankranti is mainly used in West India and can be defined as the Kite festival. If you dig deep in the books of Mythology, the harvest festival is to celebrate the beginning of winter crops. Also, the festival marks the transition of the sun signs into the Capricorn or the Makar Zodiac.

In Punjab, Lohri is celebrated with equal pomp but the difference is here you will not be able to see the skies filled with colorful kites. The activity is more popular in Gujarat. 

Where

  • Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam
  • Makar Sankranti’s kite festival in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • You can also go to Bageshwar in Uttarakhand
  • Ganga Aarti in Haridwar, Uttarakhand
  • Kite Festival in Jaipur, Rajasthan

When

Dates of the Makar Sankranti in the following years-

  • 2020 – 15th January, Wednesday
  • 2021- 14th January, Thursday
  • 2022 – 14th January, Friday
  • 2023 – 15th January, Sunday
  • 2024 – 15th January, Monday
  • 2025 – 14th January, Tuesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in the rituals
  • Design your kites and fly them
  • Decorate your homes
  • Cook delicacies that are specifically prepared for Makar Sankranti, Pongal or Lohri
  • Arrange a get-together with friends and family

8. Pongal Harvest festival in Southern Part of India

Pongal is the major harvest festival that is celebrated in Tamil Nadu. The festival is known as Makar Sankranti in most of the other places in India. The Pongal festival marks the return of the Sun to the Northern Hemisphere.

Pongal or Makar Sankranti is similar to Thanksgiving Day in America. Moreover, it is important to the culture of Tamil Nadu because their economy predominantly survives on agriculture. So, they worship the sun because sunlight is an essential energy that they require for a good harvest.

The word ‘Pongal’ means spilling or boiling over, which is otherwise also considered a sign of prosperity. 

Where

The list will tell about the 5 best places where you will be able to experience Pongal. They are-

  • Madurai
  • Thanjavur
  • Pollachi
  • Salem
  • Coimbatore
Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

When

Dates for the next 6 years-

  • 2020- 15th January- 18th January
  • 2021- 13th January- 16th January
  • 2022- 13th January- 16th January
  • 2023- 15th January- 18th January
  • 2024- 15th January- 18th January
  • 2025- 14th January- 17th January

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Witness a Jallikattu match
  • Make Rangolis
  • Go shopping in some of the local markets. You can taste some fresh produce too. 
  • Try out special Pongal dishes and it is even better if you have a Tamil friend to guide you through the festival. 

9. Basant Panchami festival

Vasant Panchami or Basant Panchami is the welcoming of Spring during the Indian month of Magh. On the other hand, according to the Gregorian calendar, the dates always fall in January and February. It on the list of India holidays in all calendars you will find. Goddess Saraswati is the worshipped in Basant Panchami and everyone celebrates the occasion with great pomp.

Saraswati is the Goddess of learning and intellect and so young boys and girls celebrate the festival with more enthusiasm. They mostly wear yellow clothes on this day. Yellow signifies the vibrancy and the excellence that Spring holds for us. 

Where

You can experience the charm and beauty of Basant Panchami in any part of India. 

When

  • 2020- 29th January, Wednesday
  • 2021- 6th February, Tuesday
  • 2022- 5th February, Saturday
  • 2023- 26th January, Thursday
  • 2024- 14th February, Wednesday
  • 2025- 2nd February, Sunday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Relish traditional Indian desserts made with saffron
  • Participate in a kite flying session
  • Be a part of the rituals on this day
  • Wear clean clothes
  • Have a feast with friends and family

10. Kumbh Mela festival

Kumbha Mela or Kumbh Mela, as we call it, is a famous festival or fair that takes place every four years. It is held on the observance site of four of the main Hindu Pilgrimage Rivers. They are the Haridwar (Ganges River), Ujjain (River Shipra), Nashik (Godavari) and Prayag (Prayagraj).

The celebration highly depends on astronomical factors such as the position of the sun, moon, the stars, Jupiter and the other planets. According to Hindu Mythology, such astronomical factors help to predict priests about which moment on a particular day is auspicious.

The Kumbh Mela of Prayag is the most famous and takes place every 144 years. It was last held in 2001. Millions of people from all over the world gather to be a part and witness the Kumbh Mela celebrations. 

Where

Kumbha Mela is mainly celebrated in North India and if you want a glimpse of the pomp, you may visit-

  • Haridwar
  • Ujjain
  • Nashik
  • Allahabad

When

 2021- Haridwar Kumbha Mela

2025- Allahabad Kumbh Mela

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Try not to show off your precious items
  • Keep your phone safe and not in your back pocket
  • Keep your bags locked at all times
  • Try to keep your luggage light

11. Gurupurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti

The Guru Nanak Jayanti or the Gurpurab marks the birth Guru Nanak. He was the first Sikh Guru whose principles and philosophies are the most valuable for Sikhs all over the world. The Gurpurab Festivals is the most important festival for the Sikhs and each one of them tries to it in their possible ways.

On this day, people pay tribute to the Guru and try to recall his preaching and principles. There is so much enthusiasm all around and people from other societies and religions often join the Sikhs in their celebrations. The Day usually falls on a Karthik Poornima every year. It is an optional addition to the list of India holidays. 

Where

The celebrations are at its peak at the famous Gurudwaras around India such as-

  • The Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple in Amritsar
  • Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Delhi
  • Pathar Sahib Gurudwara on Leh-Kargil route
  • Hemkund Sahib in Chamoli
  • Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara in Kullu

When

  • 2020- 30th November, Monday
  • 2021- 19th November, Thursday
  • 2022- 8th November, Tuesday
  • 2023- 27th November, Monday
  • 2024- 15th November, Thursday
  • 2025- 4th November, Tuesday
Public holidyas in India
Golden temple in Amritsar - one of the locations of Guru Nanak Jayanti

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Be a part of the beautiful Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations.
  • Visit a Gurudwara and feast with the Sikhs. You will love it. 

12. Losar - Tibetan new year

Losar is a typical Tibetan-Buddhist festival which marks the beginning of a new year in the Tibetan calendar. Losar is celebrated in several parts of India too and you won’t want to miss such a colorful occasion for anything. The best part is that the Tibetan New Year is celebrated for two long weeks.

People starting cleaning their homes well before the festival and there is a special reason for it. Feng Shui holds considerable importance in the East Asian traditions including Tibetans. According to Feng Shui, clutter in the house attracts evil vibes and so people clean their homes to celebrate good over evil. 

Where

To experience the best of Losar, you might visit those places that have a considerable Tibetan population. Therefore, you can ideally visit Leh, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling and more. 

When

2020- 24th February- 26th February

2021- 12th February, Friday

2022- 3rd March, Thursday

2023- 21st February, Tuesday

2024- 10th February, Saturday

2025- 28th February, Friday

India festival list
Tibetan monastery in Mcleod Ganj

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Try baking some traditional Amdo bread. They are crispy and delicious and especially made during Losar.
  • Witness the visual feasts that Tibetans will display during this time of the year. 
  • Be a part of the rituals to be able to take a closer look at Tibetan culture.
  • Participate in celebrations and feel like you are one of the locals in that place. Tibetans are sure going to welcome everyone during Losar. 

13. Maha Shivaratri festival

The meaning of Maha Shivratri is literally “the night of Lord Shiva”. It is one of the most prominent India festivals for Hindus. Shivratri is widely celebrated in India and Nepal too. According to the Hindu calendar, Shivaratri is mainly celebrated in the month of Magh on the night of a New Moon.

Several legends are popular about how the rituals started and you can believe in any of them. On this night, Lord Shiva is worshiped mainly with wood apple leaves, cold water, milk and more. It is said that all these rituals are done to appease the lord and prevent him from doing Tandav. 

Where

  • Haridwar in Uttarakhand
  • Guwahati in Assam
  • Bhavanath Taleti in Junagadh
  • Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh
  • Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
  • Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh
  • Mandi in Himachal Pradesh
Shiva meditating statue at Murudeshwar temple, in Karnataka, India

When

  • 2020- 21st February, Friday
  • 2021- 11th March, Thursday
  • 2022- 1st March, Tuesday
  • 2023- 18th February, Saturday
  • 2024- 8th March, Friday
  • 2025- 26th February, Wednesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

Fasting is a major part of the Mahashivaratri rituals and you might want to experience how it feels. After that post-sunset, people worship Lord Shiva and break their fast with healthy foods such as dates and fruits. 

14. Christmas holiday

Christmas means a big celebration and lots of red and white all around. The festival marks the birthday of Jesus Christ. It is also one of the most pervasive festivals since it is celebrated by everyone irrespective of their religions.

Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December every year and the weather during this time of the year influences the festival too. We see a lot of yummy plum cakes and cookies during Christmas because what is better than some hot cookies on a chilly winter evening? 

Where

  • Goa
  • Sikkim
  • Shillong
  • Bangalore
  • Pondicherry
  • Mumbai
  • Kolkata
  • Kerala

When

  • 2020 – 25th December, Friday
  • 2021- 25th December, Saturday
  • 2022- 25th December, Sunday
  • 2023- 25th December, Monday
  • 2024- 25th December, Wednesday
  • 2025- 25th December, Thursday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Do some baking
  • Decorate the house with a Christmas tree and lights
  • Greet people with messages and small gifts
  • Do some charity

15. Dussehra festival

Also known as Dashain or Vijaya Dashami, it is the day on which Hindus celebrate the victory of good forces over all evil power. It is one of the gazettes India holidays that every citizen of the country is entitled to.

Dussehra takes place in the Indian month of Ashvin, on the completion of the 9th day of the Sukla Paksha. The date differs according to the Gregorian calendar every year. Celebrations take place in every corner of India and also outside India. People greet each other with sweets and other gifts. It also ends the festival of Navaratri or Durga Puja in all Hindu homes.

Where

  • Kolkata
  • Dasara in Mysore
  • Kullu
  • Gujarat’s Navaratri
  • Delhi
  • Varanasi
Calendar with holidays India
Young people dressed up as Hanuman, the mighty and devoted half man half monkey, who fought the evil

When

  • 2020- 25th October, Sunday
  • 2021- 14th October, Thursday
  • 2022- 4th October, Tuesday
  • 2023- 23rd October, Monday
  • 2024- 12th October, Saturday
  • 2025- 1st October, Wednesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Try to keep yourself away from too many crows
  • Invite family and friends for a get-together
  • Prepare your favorite desserts at home
  • Distribute sweets amongst poor people

16. Dev Deepawali

People are often confused about the difference between Diwali and Dev Diwali. However, both the concepts are completely different and so are the rituals. The name Dev Diwali translates to “Diwali of the Gods”. It is mainly celebrated in Varanasi, or the home of Gods, according to Hindus. Also, the celebrations always start 15 days after Diwali.

Like Diwali is celebrated at the time of Amavasya, Dev Diwali rituals are conducted on the full moon night in the month of Kartik or Kartik Poornima. The festival marks the victory of Lord Shiva against the powerful demon known as Tripurasura. 

Where

There is only one name when you want to celebrate or witness Dev Diwali at its best and it is Varanasi or Banaras, the city of Temples. The way the rituals are conducted out here is spectacular. 

When

  • 2020- 29th November
  • 2021- 4th November, Thursday
  • 2022- 24th October, Monday
  • 2023- 9th November, Thursday
  • 2024- 1st November, Friday
  • 2025- 21st October, Tuesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Visit Varanasi and make a plan to stay overnight
  • Take a trip to Bodh Gaya
  • Witness Dev Diwali on the riverside of Varanasi

17. Bihu

Bihu is, in short, the harvest festival celebrated mainly in Assam and other neighboring states. Bihu is celebrated three times over the year and every time it has a different name to it. In April, they celebrate the Bhogali or Rongali Bihu. Then comes the Kati or Kongali Bihu in October and finally the Magh Bihu in January.

The main crop of the North-eastern section of India is paddy and you will get it in abundance in the state of Assam. Every time they harvest the crop, they celebrate the success and also thank god for the bounty in this way. The North-Eastern people live a simple and humble lifestyle and their traditions are also very different from the rest of India. Besides, the presence of various tribes and clans make the celebrations more colorful. 

Where

  • Dispur
  • Guwahati
  • Tezpur
  • Dibrugarh

When

Like you already know, Bihu comes three times in a year, in January, April, and October. The celebrations are similar during each Bihu but you will surely find some differences each time. 

India holidays - Bihu festival

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Travel to Assam during this time to witness the Bihu celebrations at its best
  • Try to participate in the fun and rituals during Bihu to take a closer look at the Assamese culture.
  • Have fun and click a lot of pictures during the local dance and music shows that you can witness at almost every corner of Assam during the festive season. 
  • Indulge in Assamese delicacies and some typical food items that are prepared during Bihu. 

18. Baisakhi

Baisakhi is a typically Punjabi harvest festival and ranks among one of the most popular in the country. It is celebrated with a lot of pomp and with so much excitement. It also marks the occasion on with the last Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur started the Khalsa Pant. Therefore, it is a day of double celebrations for Sikhs.

The first reason for the celebration is, however, to thank god for his bounty. It is the time when the Rabi crops are ripe and ready. It is a time of great fun and lots of merry-making in every corner of Punjab. Also, Punjabis staying in other parts of the country try to celebrate this festival in their ways. 

Where

  • Amritsar
  • Chandigarh
  • Jalandhar
  • Ludhiana

When

  • 2020- 13th April, Monday
  • 2022- 14th April, Thursday
  • 2023-14th April, Friday
  • 2024- 13th April, Saturday
  • 2025- 14th April, Monday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Be a part of the musical celebrations during Baisakhi
  • Witness the traditional way of celebrating the festival and bring back a lot of pictures that you can cherish for a long time. 
  • Feast on North India, especially Punjabi delicacies.

19. Carnival in Goa

To mark the pre-celebrations of the month of Lent, the native Christians of Goa host a massive carnival. It has now become a part of Goanese traditions because the carnival has been put up since the 18th century.

The whole concept of the Goa carnival and the massive celebrations was started by the Portuguese, who settled in Goa and ruled the state for over 500 years. The people of Goa accepted the rituals happily and so the tradition continues, though the Portuguese no longer rule the state. The carnival is locally known as the “Viva Carnival”.

The other names for the festival include Carnaval, Entrado, Intruz and more. It is one of the best ways to experience the influence of Portuguese culture on the Goanese society. The blend of both cultures makes the festival more exciting and colorful. 

Where

The Carnival of Goa, as the name suggests is a highlight of the beach state and you will find it nowhere else. It is an exclusive celebration that is almost impossible in any other place due to the essence of the concept. It is also a part of the Goanese tradition that the natives like to hold on to and not popularize it in any other way. 

India holidays September

When

  • 2020- 22nd February- 25th February
  • 2021- 13th February- 16th February

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in all the merry-making, dance, music and more
  • Devour the taste of the local food and drinks, especially fusion food that has the tastes of Goa as well as Portugal
  • Witness the Red and Black dance show, which is a major highlight of the Goa carnival

 

20. Easter

India is known for its diversity in terms of language, culture, religion, and beliefs. Therefore, Easter is no exception too. It is a typically Christian celebration that is celebrated with a lot of pomp around the world. However, India does not lag too much when it comes to the celebration including Easter. The festival of Easter holds a double meaning.

The first is that it marks the beginning of the arrival of the beautiful Spring season. Secondly, Easter marks the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death. It holds a lot of importance for Christians and they consider it a very auspicious occasion. Apart from praying, merry-making is a huge part of this day. 

Where

Although every city has several churches where you can witness Easter celebrations, few places will amaze you even more-

  • Goa
  • Pondicherry
  • Shekhawati
  • Sikkim
  • Kabini

When

  • 2020- 12th April, Sunday
  • 2021- 4th April, Sunday
  • 2022- 17th April, Sunday
  • 2023- 9th April, Sunday
  • 2024- 31st March, Sunday 
  • 2025- 20th April, Sunday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Show your creativity and design colorful Easter eggs
  • Prepare candies and gift them to your closed ones
  • Arrange activities such as egg-hunting for kids

21. Mahavir Jayanti

The Mahavir Jayanti is the main religious festival of the Jains. It marks the birth of Lord Mahavir who is also known as Vardhamana Mahavira. He was the 24th and last saint or Tirthankara of the Jains. Just like Gautama Buddha, he had attained Nirvana or enlightenment and was the main preacher of Jainism.

Mahavir is also known as a reformer of the Jains, mainly because he was the last Tirthankara and made necessary changes to the rules of Jainism.

His principles and rules are what Jains all over the world follow to date. Usually, the celebrations do not include extreme levels of merry-making or dance and music. The celebrations, however, include traditional delicacies, rituals, bits of dance, music and paying tribute to the Lord. 

Where

Although, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated almost in all parts of India wherever there is even a small population of Jains. However, celebrations are the best in Western India, for example, Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is because you will find the largest Jain population in these two states. 

When

Mahavir Jayanti is mostly celebrated on the 13th Day of Chaitra. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is around the time of March- April.

  • 2020- 6th April, Monday
  • 2021- 25th April, Sunday
  • 2022- 14th April, Thursday
  • 2023- 4th April, Tuesday
  • 2024- 21st April, Sunday
  • 2025- 10th April, Thursday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

The best way to be a part and enjoy the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti is by witnessing the rituals. You can taste the delicious Jain delicacies and desserts. You will be surprised to see how humble their food habits are. 

22. Buddha Jayanti

Also known as the Buddha or the Budh Poornima, it is another one in the India festival list of Gazette holidays. Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Poornima marks the occasion of the birth of Lord Buddha. Surprisingly, it was on the same day after years of practice and meditation that he attained Nirvana or enlightenment.

Again, the occasion of Buddha Poornima also marks the death of Lord Buddha. It is the most important Buddhist religious festival and is celebrated by people all over the country and in parts of Nepal and the rest of Asia. Buddha Jayanti usually falls in the Indian month of Baisakh. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls somewhere between April and May. 

Where

The Buddhist monasteries in India and Nepal are the best places where you can experience Buddha Poornima at its best. following are four of the best options for you-

  • Kay Monastery in Himachal Pradesh
  • Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Ghum Monastery in Darjeeling
  • Tsuglagkhang Complex in Dharamsala (Uttarakhand)

When

  • 2020- 7th May, Thursday
  • 2021- 26th May, Wednesday
  • 2022- 16th May, Monday
  • 2023- 5th May, Friday
  • 2024- 23rd May, Thursday
  • 2025- 12th May, Monday
India holidays October
Monks in Tsuglagkhang Temple, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Plan a trip to any part of India where you will be able to visit a monastery such as Darjeeling or Himachal Pradesh
  • Witness Buddhist culture and enjoy peace during this occasion.

23. Janmashtami festival

Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna and is also a gazette Indian holiday. Lord Krishna was born on the 8th night of Bhadra, according to the Indian calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is somewhere in August- September. Krishna is mostly worshipped and celebrated in his child avatar since it is the occasion of his birth.

Baby Krishna’s cradle is decorated and his idols are worshipped. On this day, the lord is treated just like someone would treat a baby boy. It is such a beautiful scene to capture. According to Hindu Mythological stories, Lord Krishna loved to steal butter from his neighbors and then he ate it with his friends. So, people offer ‘malai’, ‘matha’ or butter to please Baby Krishna on the occasion of his birth. 

Where

Visit Mathura and Brindavan to experience the best version of Janmashtami. It is a divine feeling when you participate in the celebrations in these places. You will be able to witness the scenes of Krishna’s birth and his childhood through plays and decorations when you visit these places. 

When

  • 2020- 11th August, Tuesday
  • 2021- 24th August, Saturday
  • 2022- 18th August, Thursday
  • 2023- 6th September, Wednesday
  • 2024- 26th August, Monday
  • 2025- 16th August, Sunday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Witness the Dahi handi or kite-flying competitions
  • Participate in the rituals of Janmashtami
  • Read about the childhood and birth of Lord Krishna
  • Taste typical Janmashtami food made of sago or Sabu dana. 

24. Raksha Bandhan festival

In India, everything is celebrated including relationships and families. The best example of such a unique celebration is the festival of Raksha Bandhan. The festival celebrates the love of a brother and a sister or you may say that it is a way in which India celebrates Siblings Day. Raksha Bandhan always falls on the full moon or Poornima in the Month of Shraavana.

According to the Gregorian calendar, it is from July- August. On this day, sisters tie a lucky thread or rakhi on their brother’s wrist and wish him a long and healthy life. The brother in turn promise to protect their sisters. The siblings exchange gifts on this occasion and families celebrate it with good food, togetherness, and merriment. 

Where

Raksha Bandhan is a common festival that you will be able to witness in every Hindu home in India.

When

  • 2020- 3rd August, Monday
  • 2021- 21st August, Saturday
  • 2022- 11th August, Thursday
  • 2023- 30th August, Wednesday
  • 2024- 19th August, Monday
  • 2025- 8th August, Friday
India holidays July
Raksha Bandhan - sisters tie a lucky thread or rakhi on their brother’s wrist and wish him a long and healthy life.

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

The best way to enjoy Raksha Bandhan is by celebrating it with your family, especially your siblings. Plan a nice surprise for them or maybe you can cook their favorite meal to show them how much they mean to you. 

25. Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival is the highlight of Orissa. The festival is associated with Lord Jagannath, who is also another version of Lord Vishnu. The natives of Orissa celebrate the festival over one week with a lot of rituals and merriment.

People from all over the world visit Orissa during this time. According to the Mythological tales, it marks the occasion on which Lord Jagannath, along with Balaram and Suvadra visit his maternal aunt’s place on a chariot. Just after a week, he comes back to his home in Orissa in the same chariot and it marks the end of the festival.

The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa is decorated like a palace during this time. The Rath Yatra celebrations are generally carried out in the month of Ashada according to the Indian calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar, it is during June- July. 

Where

  • The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa
  • ISCKON temples in Mayapur, West Bengal and all over India

When

  • 2020- 23rd June, Tuesday
  • 2021- 11th July, Sunday
  • 2022- 30th June, Thursday
  • 2023- 19th June, Monday
  • 2024- 7th July, Sunday
  • 2025- 1st July, Friday
India holidays February

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Enjoy the beaches of Puri because the festival is an excuse for you to plan a holiday
  • Get your children mini chariots
  • Visit the Rath Yatra special fairs and carnivals
  • Enjoy Rath Yatra delicacies after participating in a procession

26. Muharram

Muharram is a gazetted holiday in India and the occasion marks the beginning of a new year according to the Islamic Lunar calendar. Muharram is an extremely auspicious occasion for every Muslim and it is witnessed all over the country.

Also, the 10th day in the month of Muharram is a day of mourning, especially for the Shia clan of Muslims. It marks the day on which Imam Hussein left the world. He was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the son of Hazrat Ali. The Lunar calendar that the Muslims follow runs 10-12 days after the Gregorian or the Solar Calendar. 

Where

Muharram is witnessed all around the country and there is probably no special place where you can experience it in a better way. 

When

  • 2020- 21st August- 18th September
  • 2021- 10th August- 7th September
  • 2022- 30th July- 28th August
  • 2023- 19th July- 17th August
  • 2024- 7th July- 5th August
  • 2025- 27th June- 15th July

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

Because of the violent nature of the holiday, no part of it is recommended, certainly not small children.

27. Independence Day

Independence Day, also known as Swatantrata Diwas marks the most important event for the country. It is on this day in 1947 when India successfully freed itself from British rule. Also, on this day, the Government of the United Kingdom passed the Indian Independence Act.

Finally, sovereignty and legislation were transferred to the Constitution of India. Jawaharlal Nehru took the oath as the first Prime Minister of independent India on 15th August. It is one of the most important national holidays in India. 

Where

The ideal places to visit and feel the emotion of this special day includes-

  • Red Fort, New Delhi
  • Raj Ghat
  • India Gate
  • Sabarmati Ashram
  • Cellular Jail
  • Netaji Bhawan
  • Alfred Park
India holidays tour

When

  • 2020- 15th August, Saturday
  • 2021- 15th August, Sunday
  • 2022- 15th August, Monday
  • 2023- 15th August, Tuesday
  • 2024- 15th August, Thursday
  • 2025- 15th August, Friday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • You can plan a short trip to spend the holiday
  • Read about India’s freedom and the freedom fighter
  • Attend flag hoisting programs
  • Prepare tri-color dishes
  • wear color-coordinated dishes

28. Nowruz or Parsi New Year

Nowruz or Patteti, as you know is the Parsi New Year and marks the beginning of a new year as per the Iranian calendar. It is witnessed all over the world and in India as a day of celebration of love, positivity, peace, and prayers. Parsees include Zoroastrians and Muslims from both Shia and Sunni clans

Where

To witness Nowruz at its best, you may visit Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is because the largest population of Muslims live in both of these states. 

When

  • 2020- 20th March, Friday
  • 2021- 21st March, Sunday
  • 2022- 21st March, Monday
  • 2023- 21st March, Tuesday
  • 2024- 20th March, Wednesday
  • 2025- 21st March, Friday
India calendar - Norwuz

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Go shopping and purchase new clothes for the family and yourself.
  • Clean and decorate your house
  • Wear clean clothes and pray because you must thank the almighty for his blessings
  • Enjoy Irani and Persian delicacies with the whole family

29. Ganesh Chaturthi- Maharashtra

Ganesh Chaturthi is an important Hindu festival that is also the highlight of Maharashtra. It is celebrated in the state for ten days. During this time people pray, feast, enjoy and celebrate with all their hearts. Streets in every corner of Maharashtra look crowded and you can see idols of Lord Ganesh everywhere.

Organizations and work everywhere go slow during this time of the year. Although the rest of the country also celebrates the festival, Maharashtra stands out among all of them. Ganesh is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and has an elephant-head. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the Lord’s birthday. He is offered laddus and modaks that are his favorite food.  

Where

Witness Ganesh or Vinayaka Chaturthi at its best version in these places-

  • Mumbai
  • Pune
  • Goa
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Hubbali
  • Delhi

When

  • 2020- 22nd August, Saturday
  • 2021- 10th September, Friday
  • 2022- 30th August, Tuesday
  • 2023- 18th September, Monday
  • 2024- 6th September, Friday
  • 2025- 26th August, Tuesday

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in the rituals of these functions. 
  • Feast on some of the delicacies
  • Prepare desserts that Lord Ganesh loves such as laddus and modaks
  • Hop around to see the decorations in the city. 

30. Onam

Onam is Kerala’s annual harvest festival that is celebrated with a lot of excitement and merriment. According to legendary tales, the spirit of the famous king Mahabali visits Kerala during Onam. The festival is the highlight of Kerala and people from all over the country visit the state during this time just to witness the celebrations.

The beautiful dress code of white and gold looks peaceful and divine and since Kerala is known as “God’s own country”, the dress code justifies it. Onam is generally celebrated in the month of Chingam. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is during August- September. 

Where

To witness the best version of Onam, plan a trip to-

  • Trivandrum
  • Kannur
  • Palakkad
  • Ernakulum
  • Alleppey
  • Thrissur

When

  • 2020- 22nd August
  • 2021- 21st August
  • 2022- 17th September
  • 2023- 17th August
  • 2024- 15th September
  • 2025- 5th September
India holidays - Onam festival

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in the rituals of Onam
  • Witness the beautiful boat rowing competition that are highlights of Onam
  • Enjoy Kerala’s traditional delicacies

31. Gandhi Jayanti

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Gandhiji is the “Father of Our Nation” and he was born on 2nd October 1869. The occasion of Gandhi Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of this great man and is also one of the National holidays in India.

He led the path to independence of India and lived the humblest life. He was the man behind movements such as the Dandi March and the Non-Violence movements. Gandhi believed that non-violence could work wonders. It is the reason why the UN General Assembly declared his birth anniversary as the World Non-Violence Day. 

Where

There are two places in India where you can feel the essence of Gandhi Jayanti the most. The first is Sabarmati Ashram where Gandhiji spent his best time. The next is Gandhi Ghat which still speaks of his sacrifices for the Nation. 

When

  • 2020- 2nd October, Friday
  • 2021- 2nd October, Saturday
  • 2022- 2nd October, Sunday
  • 2023- 2nd October, Monday
  • 2024- 2nd October, Wednesday
  • 2025- 2nd October, Thursday
Events of India

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Read about Gandhiji’s life on this day.
  • Think about his principles of non-violence and try to apply them in your life. 

32. Durga Puja

Also known as Durgotsava, the Durga Puja is one of the most celebrated India festivals that are a highlight of West Bengal. It is celebrated over 5 days and ends with Dussehra. It marks the occasion of Goddess Durga’s victory over the devil Mahishasura.

It is the celebration of women’s power and also good over evil. West Bengal, especially Kolkata lights up during this time. There is so much pomp, color, glamor, and merriment in the city. Decorations of different kinds fill the city and make it look like a heavenly place. People dress up in their best clothes and enjoy themselves with friends and family during this time.

Durga Puja is an emotion for Bengalis and they will celebrate these five days wherever they are in the world. It is celebrated in Ashvin, according to the Indian calendar. It means according to the Gregorian calendar; it falls within September- October. 

Where

If you want to find the best of Durga Puja, there is no other place like Kolkata. 

When

  • 2020- 22nd October- 26th October
  • 2021- 11th October- 15th October
  • 2022- 1st October- 5th October
  • 2023- 20th October- 24th October
  • 2024- 9th October- 13th October
  • 2025- 28th September- 7th October

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in the rituals of Durga Puja
  • Do lots of shopping and wear your best clothes
  • Roam around the city with your friends and family
  • Feast on your favorite dishes all through the week

33. Navaratri

Navaratri is celebrated during Durga Puja and marks the start of Devi Paksha. It is also a festival to celebrate the Mother Goddess and is more popular in North India. It is witnessed over 9-10 days. People fast and eat vegetarian food during this time.

It is because there are groups of Hindus who believe that vegetarian food is capable of cleansing the body. The Navaratri also ends with Dussehra and is celebrated with dance, music and a lot of merriment. 

Where

  • Katra
  • Kolkata
  • Vadodara
  • Ahmedabad
  • Mysore
  • Kullu
  • Bastar
  • Varanasi
  • Kota
  • Delhi

When

  • 2020- 17th October- 25th October
  • 2021- 6th October- 14th October
  • 2022- 26th September- 4th October
  • 2023- 15th October- 23rd October
  • 2024- 3rd October- 12th October
  • 2025- 22nd September- 1st October

How to engage/behave/enjoy (tips):

  • Participate in the Navaratri special Garba and Dandiya festivals
  • Fast and pray on these days to thank the Goddess for her blessings
  • Celebrate the festival with shopping and food
  • Spend time with your family
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