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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 * 23rd, April
Lohri 14th, January Independence Day 15th, August
Makara Sankranti 14th, January Raksha Bandan 30th, August
Republic Day 26th, January Gokula Astami 6th, September
Vasanth Panchami 26th, January Id - Ul - Zuha * 28th, June
Maha Shivratri 18th, February Muharram 29th, July
Holi 8th, March Gandhi Jayanthi 2nd, October
Good Friday 7th, April Dussera 24th, October
Easter 9th, April Diwali 12th, November
Ram Navami 30th, March Govardan Puja 14th, November
Baisakhi 14th, April Guru Nanak Jayanthi 27th, November
Tamil New Year 14th, April Id- Ul - Milad * 28th, September
Mahavir Jayanthi 4th, April Christmas 25th, December


Hindu Festivals

Makara Sankranthi/Pongal January, 14th
Maha Shivratri February, 18th
Holi March, 8th
Telugu New Year March, 22nd
Tamil New Year April, 14th
Ram Navami March, 30th
Mahavir Jayanthi April, 4th
Onam festival August, 31st
Gokula Ashtami September ,6th
Ganesh Chathurthi September,19th
Dussehra October,24th
Diwali November,12th

Christian Festivals

Palm Sunday April,2nd
Good Friday April, 7th
Easter Day April, 9th
Christmas Day December, 25th

Buddhist Festivals

Paranirvana Day February, 15th
Wesak(Buddha Day) May, 5th
Dharma Day July, 3rd

Jewish Festivals

Purim March 6th - March 7th
Passover 1st Day April, 6th
Jewish New Year September 15th - September 17th
Day of Atonement September 24th - September 25th
Tabernacles September 29th- October 6th

Sikh Festivals

Birthday of Guru Gobind January , 20th
Baisakhi April, 14th
Martyrdom of ArjanDev June, 16th
Gurunanak Jayanthi November, 27th
TeghBahadur Martyr Day November, 24th

Islamic Festivals

Id-Ul-Zuha * June 28th - June 29th
Al- Hijira( Muslim Newyear) July 18th - July 19th
Muharram July, 29th
Milad-Un-Nabi* September 26th - September 27th
Id-e-Milad September 26th - September 27th
Lailat-Al-IsrawaAl-Miraj February , 18th
Ramadan 1st March , 23rd
Id-ul-fitr April 21st - April 22nd
Ramzan Id April 21st - April 22nd
* Subject to appearance of Moon


Valentines' Day February, 14th
Doctor's Day March, 30th
May Day May, 1st
Mother's Day May, 14th
Father's Day June, 18th
Friendship Day July, 30th
Teacher's Day September, 5th
Grand Parent's Day September, 10th
Children's Day November, 14th

           2016 Festivals in India