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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 * 5th,June
Lohri 14th, January Independence Day 15th, August
Makara Sankranti 15th, January Raksha Bandan 15th, August
Republic Day 26th, January Gokula Astami 24th, August
Vasanth Panchami 9th, February Id - Ul - Zuha * 12th, August
Maha Shivratri 4th, March Muharram 10th, September
Holi 21st, March Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Good Friday 19th, April Dussera 8th, October
Easter 21st, April Diwali 27th, October
Ram Navami 13th, April Govardan Puja 28th,October
Baisakhi 14th, April Guru Nanak Jayanthi 12th, November
Tamil New Year 14th, April Id- Ul - Milad * 10th, November
Mahavir Jayanthi 17th, April Christmas 25th, December


Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 15th
Maha Shivratri March, 4th
Holi March, 21st
Telugu New Year April, 6th
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami April, 14th
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 17th
Onam festival September, 11th
Gokula Ashtami August ,24th
Ganesh Chathurthi September,2nd
Dussehra October,8th
Diwali October,27th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday April,14th
Good Friday April, 19th
Easter Day April, 21st
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day February, 15th
Wesak(Buddha Day) May, 18th
Dharma Day July, 16th

Jewish Festivals

Purim March 20th - March 21st
Passover 1st Day April 19th - April 27th
Jewish New Year September 29th - October 1st
Day of Atonement October 8th - October 9th
Tabernacles October 13th - October 20th

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January, 13th
Baisakhi April, 14th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November,12th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * August, 11th - 12th
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) August, 30th - 31st
Muharram August, 31st
Milad-Un-Nabi* November, 9th - 10th
Id-e-Milad November, 9th - 10th
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj April, 3rd
Ramadan 1st May, 6th
Id-ul-fitr June, 4th - 5th
Ramzan Id June, 4th - 5th
* Subject to appearance of Moon


Valentines' Day February, 14th
Doctor's Day March, 30th
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 12th
Father's Day June, 16th
Friendship Day August, 4th
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 8th
Children's Day November, 14th

           2016 Festivals in India