India is a land of fairs and festivals, each state of India represents its own distinct culture which shows its own identity. People of different religions in India celebrate their festivals with great pomp, enthusiasm joy and happiness. There is a wide variety of festivals celebrated in India. These popular festivals of India are true expressions to represent rich culture and traditions. India is a country where every religion and community celebrates its culture. India is a country of holidays and festivals, be it Hindu festivals, Islamic festivals or any other religion, the country has colours of festivals throughout the year.
Most Famous Festivals of India
Being a part of the festivals in India brings you closer to understanding the rich culture that they have been following for generations. Here is a list of month-wise Indian festivals which will help you choose some among the many:
- New Year 1 January 2022, Saturday
- Lohri 13 January 2022, Thursday
- Pongal, Uttarayan, 14 January 2022, Friday
- Makar Sankranti 14 January 2022, Friday
- Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti 23 January 2022, Sunday
- Republic Day 26 January 2022, Wednesday
- Basant Panchmi, 5 February 2022, Saturday
- Saraswati Puja 5 February 2022, Saturday
- Mahashivratri 1 March 2022, Tuesday
- Holika Dahan 17 March 2022, Thursday
- Holi 18 March 2022, Friday
- Bank’s Holiday 1 April 2022, Friday
- Chaitra Navratri, Ugadi, 2 April 2022, Saturday
- Gudi Padwa 2 April 2022, Saturday
- Cheti Chand 3 April 2022, Sunday
- Ram Navami 10 April 2022, Sunday
- Chaitra Navratri Parana 11 April 2022, Monday
- Baisakhi, Ambedkar Jayanti 14 April 2022, Thursday
- Hanuman Jayanti 16 April 2022, Saturday
- Akshaya Tritiya 3 May 2022, Tuesday
- Jagannath Rath Yatra 1 July 2022, Friday
- Ashadhi Ekadashi 10 July 2022, Sunday
- Guru Purnima 13 July 2022, Wednesday
- Hariyali Teej 31 July 2022, Sunday
- Nag Panchami 2 August 2022, Tuesday
- Raksha Bandhan 11 August 2022, Thursday
- Kajari Teej 14 August 2022, Sunday
- Independence Day 15 August 2022, Monday
- Janmashtami 19 August 2022, Friday
- Hartalika Teej 30 August 2022, Tuesday
- Ganesh Chaturthi 31 August 2022, Wednesday
- Onam/Thiruvonam 8 September 2022, Thursday
- Anant Chaturdashi 9 September 2022, Friday
- Sharad Navratri 26 September 2022, Monday
- Gandhi Jayanti 2 October 2022, Sunday
- Durga Puja Ashtami 3 October 2022, Monday
- Durga Maha Navami Puja, 4 October 2022, Tuesday
- Sharad Navratri Parana 4 October 2022, Tuesday
- Dussehra 4 October 2022, Tuesday
- Karva Chauth 13 October 2022, Thursday
- Dhanteras 23 October 2022, Sunday
- Diwali, Narak Chaturdashi 24 October 2022, Monday
- Bhai Dooj, Govardhan Puja 26 October 2022, Wednesday
- Chhath Puja 30 October 2022, Sunday
- Children’s Day 14 November 2022, Monday
- Merry Christmas 25 December 2022, Sunday
Most Important Festivals in India
In this article, we will talk about the most popular festivals in India including Holi, Diwali, Kite Festival, the Pushkar Camel Fair, and many more.
- Ganesh Festival
- Navratri and Dussehra festival
- Janmashtami Festival
- Raksha Bandhan
- Gangaur festival
- Makar Sankranti
- Chhath Puja
- Camel Festival
- Nongkarma Dance Festival
- Kumbh Mela
- Losar Festival
- Goa Carnival
- Bhog Bihu
- Gurupurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti
- Mahavir Jayanti
- Basant Panchmi
- Republic Day
- Buddha Jayanti
- International Mango Festival
- Independence Day
- Mewar Festival
- Gudi Padwa
- Kite Festival
Deepawali is one of the biggest and most popular festivals of Hindus which symbolizes the victory of “light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”. Deepawali is celebrated with enthusiasm, vigour and grandeur across the country of India. This festival of India is widely associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Diwali is a festival of joy and splendour for Hindus which is celebrated for five days. In Deepawali, Dhanteras is celebrated on the first and second days. On the third day, the main festival is Diwali where people worship Goddess Lakshmi and light as well as firecrackers. The fourth day is the festival of Govardhan Puja. Finally, Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the last day. This fifth day marks the end of the Diwali festival.
Holi is one of the most famous and popular festivals in India, it is referred to as the “festival of colours”. Holi is a Hindu festival, celebrated around March every year. The festival is centred around the burning and destruction of the demon Holika, which is full of unwavering devotion to Lord Vishnu. However, in the really fun part, people throw coloured powder at each other and dye each other with water guns. It is associated with Lord Krishna as an avatar of Lord Vishnu, who loved to prank the girls of the village, drenched in water and colours.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important and popular festivals in India. Where people keep statues of Ganesha as a divine guest for five to ten days. The huge Ganesh idols are worshipped in well-decorated pandals for 8 to 10 days. Cultural activities of singing and dancing are organized during the festival. Lord Ganesha is offered his favourite modak. And finally, a huge procession is taken out by shouting slogans of Ganapati Bappa Morya and the idols of Ganesh ji are drowned with great drumming.
Navratri and Dussehra festival
Navaratri is one of the holiest Hindu festivals celebrated with great pomp throughout the country. Navaratri is celebrated for nine days, during which people worship Goddess Durga and her nine forms. Idols of Goddess Durga are installed in beautifully decorated pandals, and special worship of the Goddess is also done. Also, cultural songs, dances and dramas are grandly organized. Then finally the idols of Mata are immersed in the rivers with enthusiasm. Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day, Dussehra is one such festival, celebrated on the last day of Navratri in honour of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana.
Onam is one of the most popular festivals in Kerala, celebrated with joy and enthusiasm by people from all communities and especially by the Malayalees. During the Onam festival, a huge rangoli is made with flowers. In the celebration of Onam, boat races, tug of war, music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and other events are held at more than 30 places in various parts of the state. Onam is an important part of sadhya (feast) ceremonies.
Janmashtami is one of the most important religious festivals in India. Though Janmashtami is celebrated all over India it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp in Gujarat, Mathura and Vrindavan, where temples and houses are beautifully decorated. People fast all day and eat only after the midnight birth ceremony of Lord Krishna. Mathura has several temples dedicated to Krishna where prayers are offered throughout the night and religious hymns are sung. On this special day, small children dress up like Lord Krishna and Radha.
Raksha Bandhan is one of the most famous and popular festivals in India, which signifies the sacred relationship between brother-sister. During the Rakhi, the sister performs the brother’s aarti, performs tilak, and ties a rakhi (a sacred thread) on the brother’s wrist that wishes him well. The brother, in turn, swears to protect the sister.
Eid is one of the major festivals of the Muslim community. Where the people of the Muslim community celebrate with this great love and pomp. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. On this day, Muslims wear new clothes and attend many grand feasts. Eid-ul-Azha is an equally important festival, which is more prominent for the Qurbani. On this day people also sacrifice goats, sheep and in some places camels.
Christmas is one of the most famous and awaited festivals in India and the world, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is mainly celebrated on 25 December as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. Christmas holds great importance for elders and children and is especially known for Santa gifts. Everyone, regardless of their religion, looks forward to this day. On this day all churches are decorated with light and candles to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus.
Baisakhi is one of the famous festivals of India, celebrated with pomp and gaiety by the people of the Sikh community of Punjab. It welcomes the harvest season for rabi crops. Sikhs celebrate this festival with local folk dances like Gidda and Bhangra with great enthusiasm.
Makar Sankranti is one of the most prominent festivals in India, According to the Hindu calendar, it is believed to be a symbol of the god Sun. While people from North India and the Sikh community celebrate the day as New Year. Whereas Gujaratis celebrate this festival under the name of Uttarayan. Which is celebrated exactly one day after Lohri. On this day, God is worshipped to seek blessings for the new year. In other places in India, people celebrate this day as kite flying and savory bajra khichdi ‘and sweet’ sesame seeds.
Pongal is one of the most popular festivals in South India. Pongal falls in the middle of January every year to mark the auspicious beginning of Uttarayan. This four-day festival of Tamil Nadu is celebrated to express gratitude to nature. The festival starts with the harvest festival bhogi, when all the old things and agricultural wastes are burnt on the first day of the festival to clean the houses for a new beginning. “Jallikattu” or bullfight also takes place on this day.
Chhath Puja is the most prominent festival of Bihar where the locals pray for the prosperity and well-being of the Sun God and his wife Usha, who is believed to be the source of all powers, it is celebrated with great pomp. Chhath Puja takes a joyous and colourful form, in which people wear their best clothes. And to celebrate gather on rivers and other water bodies in honour of Chhat Maiya ‘or Ganga.
Camel fair is an annual five-day fair held on the banks of the Pushkar Lake in Pushkar city of Rajasthan and the world’s largest camels can be seen here. Apart from buying and selling animals, this place has also come to be known as an important tourist destination, because there are some exciting events taking place such as the longest moustache, Matka bust, and bridal competition. Apart from this, a camel race competition is also held, which attracts thousands of tourists.
Nongkarma Dance Festival
India’s main festival Nongkarma Dance Festival is one of the most important festivals of the Khasi tribe of the hill state of Meghalaya. Nongkarma Nritya Utsav is a five-day religious festival dedicated to making happy Goddess Bansi Sinsar for the good harvest and prosperity of the people. Nongkarma dance festival is performed by unmarried men and women dressed in unique costumes. In which the dance of men is naturally more vigorous and energetic. Nongkarma dance festival attracts Indian and foreign tourists along with local people.
Ugadi Mahotsav is one of the famous festivals in India. Ugadi Mahotsav is the major festival of Karnataka, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and as a symbol of the New Year in Karnataka. Ugadi is considered an auspicious time to start new ventures. As it is said by the local people that Lord Brahma started building the vast universe on the auspicious day of Ugadi. That is why it is considered a very important day for the local people. People decorate their houses and rooms of worship with flowers and mango leaves to celebrate this holy festival, and also prepare special dishes.
Kumbh Mela is one of the most famous fairs in Madhya Pradesh. This festival is held four times every twelve years in four cities of India – Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. The Kumbh Mela reminds us of the victory of good in the battle of supremacy against evil. A dip in the holy Shipra River washes away all sins and ends the cycle of rebirth. This is followed by ritual bathing, various other activities that tourists can engage in devotional singing, debates about mythology and mass meals for nearby people.
One of the major festivals celebrated in India, Losar Festival is a popular festival in Arunachal Pradesh, which is celebrated with great pomp by the people of the Monpa tribe as the Tibetan New Year. In which the first worship is done in the Tawang Math on the day of the festival, and then offerings are made in the temple of the house. The festival is especially marked by enjoyable events such as dance, music and entertaining battles between the king and his various ministers.
Carnival is a major and popular festival of Goa called Rio Carnival. It was originally a Catholic festival, which has been celebrated since the 18th century and has now turned into a large event. It attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The main attraction of the carnival is the parade, which includes bullock carts, horse-drawn carts, and elaborate tableaux, and evening dancing is also popular in this festival.
Assam one of the most beautiful state of the Indian subcontinent, celebrate the festival of Bhog Bihu with great pomp and show. The festival marks the welcoming of the goddess of prosperity in the beauty and spirit of the land of Assam. This traditionally aboriginal ethnic festival also devotes the beginning of the Assamese New Year. The prosperous festival is celebrated among different native communities of Assam regardless of their caste, culture and backgrounds and thus promotes the celebration of ethnic diversity among each other.
Gurupurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti
Gurupurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the most important festivals in the Sikh religion. This day is celebrated all across the country to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder and the first Guru of Sikhism. It is also known as the “Prakash Utsav” and is one of the biggest festivals for every Sikh. On this special day, devotees take out Prabhat Pheri carrying the Sikh flag and Palanquin of the Guru Granth Sahib in the morning, go to the gurudwara and pay obeisance, chant Wahe Guru, do bhajan kirtan and perform langars all across the country.
Easter is one of the prominent cultural festivals of Christians commemorating the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion. As per historians On the day of Good Friday, Jesus Christ was executed by crucifixion and it is believed that God had raised Jesus from the dead. The Holy day of Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon which lies on or after 21st March. For every Christian, Easter is the joyful end to the Lenten season of fasting and penitence.
Mahavir Jayanti is one of the eminent festivals of the Jain religion. The whole Jain community celebrated this day all across the world with great joy in the memory of the last spiritual teacher of Jainism. It is one of the most auspicious days for Jains. On this day, devotees of Lord Mahavir perform charitable acts, prayers, pujas, and vratas. Many devotees like to visit the temples of Lord Mahavir to meditate and offer their prayers.
Basant Panchami is one of the auspicious occasions which is celebrated to honour the goddess Saraswati the deity of knowledge, language, music and all arts. This prime festival of the Hindus marks the onset of spring which makes the Earth bloom with beautiful flowers and various plants. The festival is also celebrated the agricultural fields’ ripening with yellow flowers of the mustard crop. The people of the Indian subcontinent celebrate this occasion in various ways depending on the region they live in.
Republic Day is celebrated as the day on which the Constitution of India came into effect. Every year it is celebrated on the 26th of January. It also marks the transition of India to a fully sovereign republic in the Commonwealth of Nations with the President of India as the nominal head of the Indian Union. The day is celebrated mainly in the national capital, New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India. The ceremonious parades take place at the Rajpath, with the various cultural events performed as a tribute to India showcasing its unique unity in diversity and rich cultural heritage.
Buddha Jayanti is one of the biggest festivals in Buddhism. It is also regarded as the day of enlightenment which commemorates the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. In major parts of North India, Lord Buddha is preached as the ninth incarnation of Lord Krishna and the eighth form of Lord Vishnu. Devotees on this day, wear white clothes and meditate. It is believed to consume only vegetarian food on Buddha Purnima. They also prepare ‘kheer’- as an offering to the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, and thus distribute it to the needy and the poor peoples.
Every year 15th August is celebrated as Independence Day in India, commemorating the nation’s freedom from British rule in 1947. It is one of the three National holidays which is observed throughout India. The day begins with the Prime Minister of the nation hoisting the flag in New Delhi and thus commemorates the occasion by a traditional ceremony, parades and cultural events in India’s capital. Moreover, the President addresses the nation and delivers a speech.
The City of Lakes, Udaipur celebrates this colourful festival “Mewar Festival” with great joy and enthusiasm. The festival marks the advent of spring and showcases the rich traditional culture and heritage of the Mewar Region. Moreover, on this day, the married women observe fast for the marital bliss and good health of their partner, while the unmarried prays for an ideal match. It is believed to prepare the traditional sweet “Ghevar” as an offering to the Lord and then gets distributed among each other as Prasad.
Gudi Padwa is another spring-time festival that marks the onset of this colourful season and the reaping of Rabi crops. It is one of the most important festivals for the state of Maharashtra as it indicates a traditional new year for Marathis and Konkani Hindus. This festival is also known as “Ugadi” in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. India is a diverse nation, thus the festival is celebrated in different states in different styles with a different set of rituals.
The colourful city of Gujrat celebrates the vivid “Kite Festival” with great joy and pompousness. The great kite festival or the festival of Uttarayan marks the day when winter begins to turn into summer, according to Hindu mythology. It is celebrated on the 14th of January every year. Moreover, in many parts of India, it is celebrated as “Makar Sankranti” one of the major harvest festivals of the nation.
India, the land of fairs and festivals is eager to provide you with a warm welcome!