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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, May
Lohri 13th, January Independence Day 15th, August
Makara Sankranti 14th, January Raksha Bandan 22nd, August
Republic Day 26th, January Gokula Astami 30th, August
Vasanth Panchami 16th, February Id - Ul - Zuha * 19th, July
Maha Shivratri 11th, March Muharram 19th, August
Holi 28th, March Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Good Friday 2nd, April Dussera 15th, October
Easter 4th, April Diwali 4th, November
Ram Navami 21st, April Govardan Puja 5th,November
Baisakhi 13th, April Guru Nanak Jayanthi 19th, November
Tamil New Year 14th, April Id- Ul - Milad * 19th, October
Mahavir Jayanthi 25th, April Christmas 25th, December


Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 14th
Maha Shivratri March, 11th
Holi March, 28th
Telugu New Year March, 13th
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami April, 21st
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 25th
Onam festival August, 12th
Gokula Ashtami August ,30th
Ganesh Chathurthi September,10th
Dussehra October,15th
Diwali November,4th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday March,28th
Good Friday April, 2nd
Easter Day April, 4th
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day February, 15th
Wesak(Buddha Day) May, 26th
Dharma Day July, 24th

Jewish Festivals

Purim February 25th - February 26th
Passover 1st Day March 27th - April 4th
Jewish New Year September 6th - September 8th
Day of Atonement September 15th - September 16th
Tabernacles September 20th- September 27th

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind December, 22rd
Baisakhi April, 13th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November,19th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * July, 19th - 23rd
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) August, 9th - August 10th
Muharram August, 19th
Milad-Un-Nabi* October, 18th - 19th
Id-e-Milad October, 18th - 19th
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj March, 11th
Ramadan 1st April, 13th
Id-ul-fitr May, 12th - 14th
Ramzan Id May, 12th- 13th
* Subject to appearance of Moon


Valentines' Day February, 14th
Doctor's Day March, 30th
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 9th
Father's Day June, 20th
Friendship Day August, 1st
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 12th
Children's Day November, 14th

           2016 Festivals in India