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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 - 2014

New Year's Day 1st, January Tamil New Year 14th, April
Lohri 13th, January Easter 20th, April
Makara Sankranti 14th, January Id- Ul - Milad * 14th, January
Republic Day 26th, January Raksha Bandan 10th, August
Vasanth Panchami 4th, Febraury Gokula Astami 17th, August
Maha Shivratri 27th, Febraury Independence Day 15th, August
Id - Ul - Zuha * 5th, October Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Holi 17th, March Dussera 4th, October
Ram Navami 8th, April Diwali 23rd, October
Mahavir Jayanthi 13th, April Govardan Puja 24th, October
Muharram 4th, November Guru Nanak Jayanthi 6th, November
Baisakhi 14th, April Id-Ul-Fitr * 30th, July
Good Friday 18th, April Christmas 25th, December

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2014)

Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 14th
Maha Shivratri Febraury, 27th
Holi March, 17th
Telugu New Year March, 31st
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami April, 8th
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 13th
Onam festival September 7th
Gokula Ashtami August, 17th
Ganesh Chathurthi August, 29th
Dussehra October, 4th
Diwali October, 23rd

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday April, 13th
Good Friday April, 18th
Easter Day April, 20th
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day Febraury, 8th
Wesak(Buddha Day) May, 14th
Dharma Day March, 31st

Jewish Festivals

Purim March, 15 -16th
Passover 1st Day April, 15th
Jewish New Year September, 24th
Day of Atonement October, 3 - 4th
Tabernacles October, 9 - 15th

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January, 7th
Baisakhi April, 14th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November, 6th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * October, 5th
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) October, 25th
Muharram November, 4th
Milad-Un-Nabi* January, 18th
Id-e-Milad January, 14th
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj May,27th
Ramadan 1st June, 28th
Id-ul-fitr July, 30th
Ramzan Id June, 29th
* Subject to appearance of Moon

NATIONAL FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2014)

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

OTHER FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2014)

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