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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 - 2016

New Year's Day 1st, January Id-Ul-Fitr * 07th, July
Lohri 13th, January Independence Day 15th, August
Makara Sankranti 15th, January Raksha Bandan 18th, August
Republic Day 26th, January Gokula Astami 25th, August
Vasanth Panchami 12th, February Id - Ul - Zuha * 12th, September
Maha Shivratri 7th, March Muharram 1st, October
Holi 23rd, March Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Good Friday 25th, March Dussera 11th, October
Easter 27th, March Diwali 30th, October
Ram Navami 15th, April Govardan Puja 31st October
Baisakhi 13th, April Guru Nanak Jayanthi 14th, November
Tamil New Year 14th, April Id- Ul - Milad * 13th, December
Mahavir Jayanthi 19th, April Christmas 25th, December

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2016)

Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 15th
Maha Shivratri March, 7th
Holi March, 23rd
Telugu New Year April, 8th
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami April, 15th
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 19th
Onam festival September 13th
Gokula Ashtami August 25th
Ganesh Chathurthi September, 5th
Dussehra October, 11th
Diwali October, 30th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday March, 20th
Good Friday March, 25th
Easter Day April, 5th
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day February, 15th
Wesak(Buddha Day) May, 21st
Dharma Day July, 19th

Jewish Festivals

Purim March, 23rd -24th
Passover 1st Day April, 23rd -30th
Jewish New Year October, 2nd-4th
Day of Atonement October, 11th-12th
Tabernacles October 17th - October 18th

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January, 16th
Baisakhi April, 13th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev May, 22nd
Gurunanak Jayanthi November, 14th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * September, 12th
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) October, 2nd
Muharram October, 1st
Milad-Un-Nabi* December, 11th - 12th
Id-e-Milad December, 13th
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj May, 5th
Ramadan 1st June, 6th
Id-ul-fitr July, 7th
Ramzan Id July, 8th
* Subject to appearance of Moon

NATIONAL FESTIVALS OF INDIA - (2016)

Valentines' Day February, 14th
Doctor's Day July, 1st
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 8th
Father's Day June, 19th
Friendship Day August, 2nd
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 11th
Children's Day November, 14th


           2015 Festivals in India