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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 - 2015

New Year's Day 1st, January Tamil New Year 14th, April
Lohri 13th, January Id-Ul-Fitr * 17th, July
Id- Ul - Milad * 4th, January Independence Day 15th, August
Makara Sankranti 15th, January Raksha Bandan 29th, August
Republic Day 26th, January Gokula Astami 5th, September
Vasanth Panchami 24th, January Id - Ul - Zuha * 24th, September
Maha Shivratri 17th, February Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Holi 6th, March Dussera 22nd, October
Ram Navami 28th, March Muharram 24th, October
Mahavir Jayanthi 2nd, April Diwali 11th, November
Good Friday 3rd, April Govardan Puja 12th November
Easter 5th, April Guru Nanak Jayanthi 10th, November
Baisakhi 14th, April Christmas 25th, December

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2015)

Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 15th
Maha Shivratri February, 17th
Holi March, 6th
Telugu New Year March, 21st
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami March, 28th
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 2nd
Onam festival August 28th
Gokula Ashtami September 5th
Ganesh Chathurthi August, 29th
Dussehra October, 22nd
Diwali November, 11th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday March, 29th
Good Friday April, 3rd
Easter Day April, 5th
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day February, 15th
Wesak(Buddha Day) June, 1st
Dharma Day July, 2nd

Jewish Festivals

Purim March, 4 -5th
Passover 1st Day April, 3 -11th
Jewish New Year September, 13-15th
Day of Atonement September, 22-23rd
Tabernacles September 30 - October 4

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January, 5th
Baisakhi April, 14th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November, 10th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * September, 24th
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) October, 15th
Muharram November, 24th
Milad-Un-Nabi* December, 24th
Id-e-Milad January, 4th
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj May,16th
Ramadan 1st June, 18th
Id-ul-fitr July, 18th
Ramzan Id July, 19th
* Subject to appearance of Moon

NATIONAL FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2015)

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

OTHER FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2015)

Valentines' Day February, 14th
Doctor's Day July, 1st
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 10th
Father's Day June, 21st
Friendship Day August, 2nd
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 13th
Children's Day November, 14th