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FESTIVALS OF INDIA

It is well known that no other country holds so many festivals of antiquity as does India. Each festival brings an episode of some remote past back to the memory. Owing to its religious and regional variations, India has a number of festivals.

There are said to be more number of festivals in India, than there are days in a year. The religious and national ones are celebrated with great gaiety. The cultural ones attract many great artists from all over India. Hardly a day passes without a festival taking place somewhere in India. They range from small one-day village or temple functions to weeklong art functions.

In India, during the pre-historic Indus valley civilization (3000BC to 1500BC) people had been celebrating various occasions of joy. This is evident from the archaeological excavations at Mohenjadaro and Harappa. Those practices continued during the Epic and Vedic times (800-300BC). During the Mauryan times functions like birthday, marriages, return from a victory were indeed a grand show of wealth and pomp. Festive assemblies like Utsavs were held by the Kings to entertain people where delicious food and drinks were supplied. Such social festivals continued to be popular during the imperial Gupta age too. Festivals accompanied the worship of Gods and Goddesses.


Only a few of the festivals take place on a particular date. Most of them follow the lunar calendar and hence the exact date of the festivals varies from year to year. Muslim holidays and Muslim festivals follow the Islamic calendar. Most of the cultural festivals take place during the winter season. Most of the days of the festivals are not determined by the pre-set dates of a linear calendar, but according to the waxing and the waning of the moon. Fairs and festivals are moments of remembrance and commemoration of the birthdays and the deeds of great gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, gurus, prophets and saints. Seasonal or secular festivals underline the unity that draws together seemingly diverse groups.

For the men, festivals mean display of valour and virility through various races like the boat races of Kerala, or wrestling matches and animal fights. For the women it means cleaning the house and decorating it according to their artistic inclinations and proving their culinary skills to satisfy their wards and their hubbies. For the children, it is a time to be away from the tedious schools, with savories to munch all the time, new costumes and plenty of free time to roam around with their friends. Festivals also reinforce the presence of God in the life of the individual, the family and the community as a whole.

LIST OF FESTIVALS - 2012

New Year's Day 1st, January Tamil New Year 14th, April
Lohri 13th, January Easter 9th, April
Makara Sankranti 14th, January Id- Ul - Milad * 4th, February
Republic Day 26th, January Raksha Bandan 2nd, August
Vasanth Panchami 28th, January Gokula Astami 10th, August
Maha Shivratri 20th , Febraury Independence Day 15th, August
Id - Ul - Zuha * 26th, October Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Holi 09th, March Dussera 24th, October
Ram Navami 1st, April Diwali 13th, November
Mahavir Jayanthi 5th, April Govardan Puja 14th, October
Muharram 15th, November Guru Nanak Jayanthi 28th, November
Baisakhi 13th, April Id-Ul-Fitr * 19th, August
Good Friday 6th, April Christmas 25th, December

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2012)

Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 14th
Maha Shivratri Febraury, 20th
Holi March, 9th
Telugu New Year March, 22nd
Tamil New Year April, 13th
Ram Navami April, 1st
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 5th
Onam festival August, 29th
Gokula Ashtami August, 10th
Ganesh Chathurthi September, 19th
Dussehra October, 24th
Diwali November, 13th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday April, 1st
Good Friday April, 6th
Easter Day April, 9th
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day Febraury, 8th
Wesak(Buddha Day) May, 5th
Dharma Day January, 8th

Jewish Festivals

Purim March, 7th
Passover 1st Day April, 7th
Jewish New Year September, 16th
Day of Atonement September, 25th
Tabernacles October, 1st

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January, 5th
Baisakhi April, 14th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November, 28th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * October, 25th
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) November, 14th
Muharram November, 15th
Milad-Un-Nabi* Febraury, 4th
Id-e-Milad March, 1st
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj June,17th
Ramadan 1st August, 11th
Id-ul-fitr August, 30th
Ramzan Id July, 20th
* Subject to appearance of Moon

NATIONAL FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2012)

Republic Day January, 26th
Independence Day August, 15th
Gandhi Jayanthi October, 2nd

OTHER FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2012)

Valentines' Day Febraury, 14th
Doctor's Day March, 30th
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 8th
Father's Day June, 20th
Friendship Day August, 7th
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 11th
Children's Day November, 14th