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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.


New Year's Day 1st, January Id-Ul-Fitr * 14th,June
Lohri 13th, January Independence Day 15th, August
Makara Sankranti 14th, January Raksha Bandan 26th, August
Republic Day 26th, January Gokula Astami 2nd, September
Vasanth Panchami 22nd, January Id - Ul - Zuha * 21st, August
Maha Shivratri 13th, February Muharram 21st, September
Holi 1st, March Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Good Friday 30th, March Dussera 19th, October
Easter 1st, April Diwali 6th, November
Ram Navami 25th, March Govardan Puja 8th, November
Baisakhi 14th, April Guru Nanak Jayanthi 23rd, November
Tamil New Year 14th, April Id- Ul - Milad * 20th, November
Mahavir Jayanthi 29th, March Christmas 25th, December


Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 14th
Maha Shivratri February, 31st
Holi March, 1st
Telugu New Year March, 18th
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami March, 25th
Mahavir Jayanthi March, 29th
Onam festival August, 15th
Gokula Ashtami September, 2nd
Ganesh Chathurthi September,13th
Dussehra October,19th
Diwali November,6th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday March, 25th
Good Friday March, 30th
Easter Day April, 1st
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day February, 15th
Wesak(Buddha Day) April, 30th
Dharma Day July, 27th

Jewish Festivals

Purim February, 28th
Passover 1st Day March 30th to April 7th
Jewish New Year September, 9th-11th
Day of Atonement September, 29th-30th
Tabernacles October 18th- October 19th

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January, 5th
Baisakhi April, 14th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November,23rd
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * August, 21st - 22nd
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) September, 11th - 12th
Muharram September, 21st
Milad-Un-Nabi* November, 20th - 21st
Id-e-Milad November, 20th - 21st
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj April, 13th
Ramadan 1st May,16th
Id-ul-fitr June, 14th
Ramzan Id June, 14th
* Subject to appearance of Moon


Valentines' Day February, 14th
Doctor's Day March, 30th
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 13th
Father's Day June, 17th
Friendship Day August, 5th
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 9th
Children's Day November, 14th

           2016 Festivals in India