अस्तित्वम् तत् सत्।
It is written in Manusmriti “Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah”, which means “Dharma protects the one who protects Dharma”.
Folk Festivals | Indian Culture
The Ancient Tradition of celebrating festivals goes back to the Vedic times of Aryans. The Vedic scriptures and literature give many sources of information about festivals when celebrations were carried on to honor gods, trees, rivers, and mountains. These Festivals of India include prayers, fasting and also social and cultural significance. One mention can be made that during the time of Krishna, Yadavas performed Indra Pooja in order to obtain rain from heaven. They have performed the Indra pooja as a festival for honoring Lord Indra Bhagawan. In the festivals of India, there are performances of music, dance, and drama which took place rugged physical activities. Other activities included friendly wrestling, bull riding, pole climbing and horse racing etc. Across the globe, Indians celebrate a diverse number of festivals and celebrations, typically marking events from ancient Indian and often coinciding with seasonal changes. These celebrations either are a fixed annual date on solar calendar or they occur on a particular day of the lunisolar calendar. There is some regional variation associated with the observance of the festivals. There are numerous festivals that are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Utsava is the Sanskrit word for festivals. The Sanskrit word Utsava comes from the word “ut” meaning “removal” and “sava” which means “worldly sorrows” or “grief”. There is a long list of festivals in India celebrated among various communities and religious groups. Some festivals are related to the state and communities while others are celebrated as per the religious beliefs. The majority of the religious festivals of India have some interesting mythological story associated with them. These stories are passed from one generation to another so that the relevance of celebrating these festivals can be understood and the tradition is carried forward by future generations. Each festival in India is celebrated wonderfully with a mixture of lights, colors, decorations, dance, music, and mouth-watering food. All major Indian festivals are celebrated on a grand level with a lot of love, joy, and happiness.
Now-a-days, Indian festivals all around the world are celebrated with more enjoyment. There are many fun activities including the basics of praying to Gods, celebrating religion and customs. Some Festivals of India these days have enjoyable rides such as roller coasters, jumping castles, and a lot of singing performances and trivia questions. There is also food that is shared with all from different religions. Some Festivals of India stay the same and don’t change; few of them are mentioned here.
National Festivals | Indian Culture
Diwali, one of the most prominent Hindu festivals of India, is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. During this festival of lights, houses are decorated with clay lamps, candles, and Ashok leaves. People wear new clothes, participate in family puja, burst crackers, and share sweets with friends, families, and neighbours. It is the most popular festival in India.
Significance: The festival marks the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, after a long exile of 14 years.
Key attractions: Homes decorated with fancy lights, candles and clay lamps, bustling shops and markets, and fireworks and crackers
When: The darkest new moon night of Kartik month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to mid-October – mid-November as per the Gregorian Calendar
Where: All over the country
Things To Do: Light diyas, decorate your home, share sweets and gifts with family and loved ones
Also known as the festival of colours, Holi is one of the famous festivals of India, celebrated with a lot of fervour across the country. On the eve of Holi, people make huge Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it. On the day of Holi, the famous festival of Indian states, people gather in open areas and apply dry and wet colors of multiple hues to each other, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons. It tops the charts of 10 famous festivals in India as it is celebrated all across the world with happiness.
Significance: It signifies the victory of good (Prince Prahlad) over evil (Holika) and the arrival of spring.
Key attractions: Holika bonfire, playing with colors, and bhang thandai
When: Full moon (Purnima) of the Phalgun month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to the month of March of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Almost all over the country; most vibrant celebrations can be seen in North Indian states
Things To Do: Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it, play with colors, eat sweets esp. Gujiya
Dussehra, also referred to as Vijayadashami, is also among the most famous festivals of India in Hindu religion. It is celebrated in different forms of countrywide. Ramlila (enactment of scenes from Ramayana) is held everywhere for 10 days. It’s culminated with “Ravan Dahan” – the burning of huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran which is a real spectacle to see. While in Mysore, a colorful procession is taken out, in Kullu it is celebrated for 10 days welcoming their mountain deities in the valley. The Mysore Palace is lit like a bride and the atmosphere is filed with the music of drums. It is a spectacle to not miss on your trip to the city of royals. It is one of the most religious festivals of India.
Significance: It celebrates the death of the demon king Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama.
Key attractions: Hustle bustle of the decorated markets, Ram-Leela acts, and the big event of the burning of effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran
When: 10th day of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
Where: All across India
Things To Do: Visit Dussehra celebrations, attend ravan dahan, visit prominent temples to glance celebrations
Navratri is one of the most important festivals of India. This festival is celebrated by all people throughout India in different ways. In Gujarat, it is a nine-day celebration of rejuvenating Garba nights and highly energetic Dandiya Raas dances. People are dressed in beautiful, colorful traditional clothes and the environment is very youthful and invigorating. Fasting is a famous tradition of Hindu religion and is associated with a scientific fact. Whenever there is a change in season, one should fast to give rest to their digestive system and boost their immunity for the next season.
Significance: It represents the celebration of the Goddess Amba (Power) in nine different forms.
Key attractions: The 9 days of dance festivities in Gujarat, the exquisite Chaniya Choli’s (traditional skirt & blouse), and the Gujarati cuisine – Sabudana Khichdi, Mandvi Paak, Singoda ki Kheer, and Potato Wafers
When: The first nine days of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Almost all over the country; most vibrant in Gujarat, Maharashtra and the metros
Things To Do: 9-days fasting, visit temples and religious places, 8th and 9th day of Navratri are celebrated with Kanya Pujan, attend dandiya nights
One of the important Hindu festivals of India, Durga Pooja is celebrated with grandeur by Bengalis, throughout the country and is ranked as one of the top in the list of religious festivals of India. The 10 days of fast, feast, and worship of Goddess Durga are accompanied by cultural songs, dances, and dramas. Huge and beautiful Durga idols are made and placed in specially made artistic Pandals(canopies). People dress in traditional wear and go around the pandal-hopping, praying, and feasting.
Significance: It commemorates Lord Rama’s invocation of Goddess Durga before going to war with the demon king Ravana.
Key attractions: Plush pandals, incredibly beautiful ten armed Durga idols, and the pooja
When: 10th day of Ashwina Shukla paksha according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Kolkata and the metros are the best places to be in India during Durga Pooja celebrations
Things To Do: Visit Durga Pooja pandals to catch the true vibe of this celebration
Janmashtami is again a beautiful one among the most important religious festivals of India. Janmashtami celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular. People fast throughout the day and break it with a special meal after dusk which makes it one of the important in the list of festivals of India. Visiting temples, praying, dancing, and singing bhajans (hymns) at midnight is a part of the celebrations of the birth of Lord Krishna. Often, small children dress up like Lord Krishna on this day. Images and picturization of Krishna’s life story are depicted in the “jhankis” in temples. It is one of the popular festivals of India.
Significance: It is the annual celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna.
Key attractions: The Janmashtami puja and festivities in the temples and the jhaankis of Lord Krishna
When: The 8th day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated by the Hindu community all over, but the festivities at Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular
Things To Do: Visit Krishna temples and attend special puja that includes bhajans and jhankis
Ganesh Chaturthi, another one of the important Hindu religious festivals of India , is a 10-day affair of colorful festivities. Huge handcrafted Ganesh idols are installed in homes or outdoors, in public pandals. Pujas are performed in the morning and the evening. The last day is the day of Visarjan – immersion of an idol in a water body. Cultural activities of singing, dancing, and theater, and free medical and blood donation camps are held.
Significance: It’s the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God.
Key attractions: The beautifully crafted life size idols of Ganesha, and the immersion ceremony
When: The 4th day of the first fortnight (Shukla Chaturthi) in the month of Bhadrapada of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh with fervor and gaiety
Things To Do: Indulge in cultural activities, be a part of visarjan ceremony
One of the most important Sikh festivals of India, special assemblies on the lives and teachings of the gurus, and langars (community meals) are organized in the gurudwaras. Karah Prasad is distributed among all, and hymn chanting processions are held in the city. People light up their homes with lamps and candles and burst crackers to celebrate Gurpurab.
Significance: It is the celebration of the anniversary of the ten Sikh Gurus
Key attractions: The soulful Bhajan-Kirtan (hymns), Gurbani in the Gurdwaras, the Langar and the Karah Prasad
When: The full moon day in the month of Kartik of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds
to November of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world, especially in Punjab
Things To Do: Visit gurudwara, indulge in sewa and langar, help needy, do charity
One of the famous festivals in the list of festivals of India, Rakhi is celebrated among Hindu. Signifying the brother-sister bonding, during Rakhi, the sister performs Aarti (prayer), applies tilak, and ties rakhi (a sacred thread) on the brother’s wrist wishing his well being. The brother, in return, vows to protect the sister. Another festival which has a strong similarity to Rakhi is Bhai Dooj which comes just after Diwali.
Significance: It symbolizes the strong bonding of a brother and sister.
Key attractions: The ritual of Rakhi and the brightly decked up markets showcasing a colourful variety of rakhis and sweets
When: The full moon day of Shravana month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Particularly in North, Central and West India
Things To Do: Celebrate the day with your siblings
Eid is one of the major festivals of India for the Muslim community. People dress up in fineries, attend a special community prayer in the morning, visit friends, and relatives and exchange sweets. Children are given idi (money or gift) by elders.
Significance: It celebrates the conclusion of the holy month of fasting called Ramadan.
Key attractions: The beautifully decked up markets and mosques, the morning Eid namaz at the mosques, and the sweet dishes.
When: On the 1st day of the month of Shawwal of the lunar Hijri calendar, which corresponds to July of the Gregorian Calendar
Where: Celebrated by Muslims all over the country
Things To Do: Attend a special community prayer in the morning, visit friends, and relatives and exchange sweets
Popular among the festivals of India celebrated in the North East, Bihu is the harvest festival of Assam. During the month-long celebrations, young men and women wear their traditional clothes and perform the Bihu dance in the village fields and courtyards. During Bihu celebrations in India, a community feast is held with a lot of fanfare.
Significance: It’s the traditional new year celebration of Assamese.
Key attractions: The Bihu dance and the local cuisine – coconut ladoo, til pitha, ghila pitha, and fish pitika
Where: Celebrated by the Assamese diaspora around the world, especially in Assam
Things To Do: Wear traditional clothes and attend ceremonies, indulge in local rituals
Hemis, the two-day religious festival from Ladakh, is one of the most important festivals of India. It attracts a lot of locals and foreign tourists each year. The festivities include the Cham dance done by the priests to the tune of the traditional music of cymbals, drums, trumpets played by the monks. It’s among the most unique types of festival where the dancing priests dress up in elaborate brocade outfits and masks.
Significance: It’s the celebration of the birth anniversary of spiritual leader Padmasambhava, founder of Tibet Tantric Buddhism.
Key attractions: The scenic Hemis monastery and the Cham dance
When: 10th day (called Tse-Chu in the local language) of the Tibetan lunar month, which corresponds to June or July of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
Things To Do: Attend the ceremonies and processions by the priests
Onam is among the important national festivals of India, wherein people wear traditional wear, adorn houses with Pookalam (floral designs), and prepare Onasadya (elaborate meal of about 13 dishes). Events such as Vallamkali (snake boat race), Kaikottikali (clap dance), Kathakali dance, and Pulikali procession (artists dressed and painted like tigers and hunters) are held.
Significance: It celebrates the homecoming of the legendary king Mahabali.
Key attractions: The spectacular Snake Boat Race, the enigmatic Kaikottikali dance, and the Elephant procession
When: In the month of Chingam of the Malayalam calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated by people of all communities in the state of Kerala.
Things To Do: Attend boat races, and other ceremonies
The four-day long harvest festival of South India is one of the most famous festivals of India. People prepare Pongal dish and wear their traditional attire. On this famous festival of South India, celebrities include bonfires, dancing, cattle races, sweets, and savories. The houses look resplendent with Kolam designs (traditional floral designs made with rice, colored powders, and flower petals)
Significance: It’s a festival of thanksgiving to nature representing the first harvest of the year.
Key attractions: The variety of Kolam designs and cattle races
When: In the month of first harvesting of the year
Where: Celebrated by Tamils all over India, primarily in Tamil Nadu
Things To Do: Bonfires, dancing, cattle races, sweets, and savories
One of the most famous and awaited festivals in India and the world, Christmas happens to be of sheer significance for elders and children alike. Everyone regardless of their religion wait for this day, children specifically for the surprise gifts from Santa. All the churches are lit up and decorated to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus.
Significance: Birthday of Lord Jesus
Key attractions: Christmas tree decoration, prayers, birth of Lord Jesus and Santa Claus
When: Each year on 25th December
Where: The festival is celebrated across India. The best places to celebrate Christmas in India are Goa, Pondicherry and Kerala.
Things To Do: Visit church and attend prayers, attend carnivals and celebrations
Just like other festivals in India and the world, Easter is also celebrated with much fervour and great religious solemnization in different parts of the country. Celebrated during Spring, Easter celebrations in India are distinguished by various colourful decorations, dance and plays, simmel and plum cakes, and bright lanterns adorning the streets.
Significance: Resurrection of Lord Jesus
Key attractions: Folk songs and dance, Easter eggs, cakes, chocolates, street decorations
Where: The festival is celebrated across India. The best places to celebrate Easter in India are Goa, Pondicherry, and Kerala
Things To Do: Attend prayers
Baisakhi, one of the famous festivals of India is celebrated by the Sikh community of Punjab and those around the world. It celebrates the welcoming of the harvest season for the rabi crops. The Sikhs celebrate this festival with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by performing local folk dances such as Giddha and Bhangra. The festival is of great religious significance in India as it marks the day when the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, laid out the foundation stone for the Panth Khalsa-the Order back in 1699.
Significance: Welcoming the harvest season
Key attractions: Folk dance like Bhangra and Giddha, Punjabi feasts, decorations in houses and Gurudwaras
Where: The festival is celebrated across Sikh communities in India. The best place to celebrate Baisakhi in India is Punjab
Things To Do: Visit gurudwaras, enjoy scumptious food served at celebrations, be a part of local celebrations
Makar Sankranti is the genuine new year of North Indians (according to their religious calendar) and Sikhs which is celebrated just one day after Lohri. On this day, worship to God is performed to seek his blessings for the new year. It is in a way the end of winter and the beginning of spring which means the agricultural cycle for farmers. The dates are set according to solar cycles, unlike other Hindu festivals where dates are decided by lunar cycles. People celebrate this day by flying kites and having savory ‘Bajre ki khichdi’ and sweet ’til ladoo’. Gujaratis celebrate this festival by the name of Uttarayan.
Significance: Beginning of agricultural cycle
Key attractions: Kite flying
Where: The festival is celebrated across North Indian and Sikh communities in India. The best place to celebrate Makar Sankranti in India is North region
Things To Do: Attend celebrations, visit temples and holy places
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this Indian festival holds great reverence among the devotees of Lord Shiva. It has a huge significance in Hindu mythology celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun. It is believed that whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day attains salvation and redemption from their sins. It is also among the most crucial festivals of India for unmarried and married women to attain marital bliss.
Significance: Devotion to Lord Shiva
Key attractions: Fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva
Where: North India and Nepal
Things To Do: Visit temples and witness celebrations and festivity
Celebrated in the months of January or February, Basant Panchmi is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and is one of the famous festivals of India. It is an important day for scholars and students when they worship the Goddess of Knowledge. It is widely celebrated in the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Punjab, and Haryana. People in Rajasthan offer jasmine garlands to the goddess and langars are held in the state of Punjab.
Significance: It marks the beginning of spring
Key attractions: On this day, people wear yellow colored clothes and make yellow dishes like sweet saffron rice and kadhi.
When: It is celebrated on the fifth day of Magha month of Hindu calendar.
Where: states of Bihar West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Punjab, and Haryana
Things To Do: Attend Saraswati Puja and celebrations
Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is an important day for the people from Jain religion as it marks the birth of Lord Mahavir. If you have noticed, the statue of Lord Mahavir is given a Mahabhishek where it is bathed with milk and flowers. Even a grand procession of Lord Mahavira’s idol is carried out in the streets.
Significance: It is the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir
Key attractions: Prayers are offered and fasting is observed. Rath Yatra is also carried out.
When: It is celebrated on the 13th day of Chaitra month of Hindu Calendar
Where: It is widely celebrated in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan
Things To Do: Attend grand processions, visit Jain temples
Ugadi is a regional new year celebration for the people of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. This auspicious harvest festival is observed by making rangolis on floor, decorations on doors called torana, buying and giving gifts and sharing special food. It is one of the famous festivals of India.
Significance: IT is a harvest festival considered auspicious to start new work
Key attractions: Famous Ugadi delicacies like Pulihora, Ugadi Pachadi and Bobbatlu, prepared with raw mango, neem, jaggery and tamarind
When: On the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra
Where: Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
Things To Do: Attend local celebrations
The Chhath Pooja is a 4 day long festival, dedicated to the worship of the sun god. The devotees pray to them thanking for the life, wealth and health of themselves as well as their family. Many also bathe in the holy Ganges river. Many devotees also fast during the pooja, following the legend of the fast of Rama and Sita to honour the sun god.
Significance: The festival is dedicated to the worship of the sun god
Key attractions: Some devotees fast from food and water as a ritual of the pooja
When: On the sixth day of the Hindu month of Kartika, which falls in October or November on the Gregorian Calendar
Things To Do: Attend festivals, take bath in holy rivers, indulge in celebrations
Also known as Annakut Pooja, Govardhan Pooja is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated the god of thunder and rain, Indra. In Maharashtra, the same day is celebrated as Bali Pratipada while in Gujarat this day coincides with Gujarati New Year’s day.
Significance: Celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra
Key attractions: On this day, food made of cereals like wheat, rice and leafy vegetables are cooked and offered to Lord Krishna
When: Most of the times it falls next day after Diwali
Where: All across India
Things To Do: Go for Govardhan parikrama, visit temples and celebrations
Gudi Padwa is a grand harvest festival mainly celebrated in the state of Maharashtra marking the beginning of an auspicious New Year. People make rangoli designs at the entrance of their homes and decorate it with flowers. Folks meet friends and relatives, and women cook sweets like Shrikhand, Puran Poli and Sunth Paak.
Significance: On this festival, people pray to Lord Vishnu
Key attractions: Local people make Gudi (bamboo doll) using mango and neem leaves and hang them at the entrance
Things To Do: Attend celebrations
Republic Day is one of those festivals in India where patriotism amidst the citizens is at its peak. For this was the day when the constitution of India came into existence and the transition of the country from a British Dominion to a republic took place. This happened in the year 1950, three years after India got independence. Every year, this day is celebrated with great pride and excitement.
Significance: Celebrated as the day when the Constitution of India came into existence.
Key attractions: On this day, a grand parade is held every year that commences from Rashtrapati Bhavan and continues to Rajpath, India Gate, and then finally Red Fort.
Where: All across India
Things To Do: Attend Republic Day parade, indulge in celebrations
Taking place in Pushkar every year, this is one of the most interesting festivals in India. When the sandy floors of Pushkar are covered with camels, it is truly a sight to behold. This is that one festival that one should witness when looking for some ancient and old traditional-style Indian celebrations. Initially, the festival was celebrated to attract the local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival.
Significance: Celebrated as the holy day for cattle and camel traders to do business.
Key attractions: On this day, camel and cattle traders get together to do business on the holy Kartik Purnima festival.
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
Things To Do: Visit Pushkar and indulge in festivity
One of the most religious festivals of India, Kumbh Mela is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years, approximately at four banks of rivers that are considered holy – namely Prayag, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. The pilgrims in this festival dip in the holy waters to get rid of all their sins in life. Along with this, the celebrations also include exorbitant fair, religious discourses by gurus and saints, mass feedings of the poor, and more!
Significance: Celebrated based on the astrological positions of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter.
Key attractions: Millions and millions of pilgrims visit the Kumbh Mela and dip in the holy rivers.
Where: Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain, and Nasik (On rotation)
Things To Do: Take bath in the holy river, attend ceremonies and pujas, attend lectures by spiritual gurus
A famous Tibetan festival, Losar is one of the greatest Indian festivals and celebrations. Majorly celebrated in the neighbouring region, Tibet, Losar is a festival that is also celebrated in India by the Tibetans or the followers of Buddhism residing in this nation. Losar is the Tibetan New Year that is celebrated in a fun and frolic way. This also involves a way to show gratitude to God for the harvest.
Significance: Celebrated as the day when the lunar pattern, according to the Tibetan calendar, begins.
Key attractions: The celebrations are spread over three days, where different activities take place on each day.
Where: Himachal Pradesh, Leh And Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh
Things To Do: Indulge in local celebrations
One of the grand festivals falling in the list of Indian festivals that is celebrated in Nagaland is none other than the Hornbill. This week long festival is celebrated to show respect to their culture and folklore. Also famed as the ‘Festival of Festivals’, Hornbill is all about celebrating the ancient tribal traditions, lifestyles, and heritage.
Significance: Celebrated as the day to promote intercultural harmony between various tribes.
Key attractions: On this day, there are various activities that take place throughout the week such as horse-riding, craft space, painting, flower show, herbal medicine sales, chilli eating challenge, performances, sports, games, and much more!
Things To Do: Horse-riding, craft space, painting, flower show, herbal medicine sales, chilli eating challenge, performances
This festival happens in the city of Rajasthan, Udaipur. The festival is celebrated to mark the arrival of the spring season. If you want to be a witness to the cultural and traditional aspects of Rajasthan at large, you shouldn’t forget to attend this festival. This festival has a vast history and has been celebrated since when the Sisodia Dynasty was ruling India.
Significance: Celebrated to welcome the season of Spring
Key attractions: the whole festival is quite colorful and women in Udaipur can be seen actively taking part in the various ceremonies
Things To Do: Attend celebrations
This is one of the holiest festivals celebrated in the country of India. It is also known by the name Buddha Purnima. The festival is celebrated as the birthday of Gautama Buddha who introduced the philosophy of Buddhism in the world. In order to make the most of this day, people indulge themselves in attending Buddhist teachings and wear white clothes to follow the tradition.
Significance: People celebrate this festival because on this day Gautama Buddha was born
Key attractions: on this day, people impart the teachings of Buddhism and everyone wears white clothes
Where: Darjeeling, Bodh Gaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Kurseong, Darjeeling, and Maharashtra
Things To Do: Visit Buddhist temples and monasteries, attend lectures and prayers
Considered amongst the most famous of all the festivals celebrated in Kerala, Thrissur Pooram will be a great event to attend. People from around the country gather to celebrate this festival. The celebrations for Thrissur Pooram do not end before 36 hours. Fireworks, as well as Parasol displays, form a crucial part of this festival.
Significance: The festival is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of 10 temples around Vadakkunnathan Temple
Key attractions: attend this festival to observe Parasol displays and fireworks
Things To Do: Attend the processions
This is a festival of chariots that is celebrated as an event dedicated to Lord Jagannath. People assemble at the famous Puri Jagannath Temple in the Indian state of Odisha. The idols of Goddess Subhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Lord Balabhadra are placed on a chariot and taken out for the procession.
Significance: It is celebrated to pay reverence to the Lord Jagannath
Key attractions: chariots with the idols of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra are taken out on a chariot
Things To Do: Attend Rath Yatra
Celebrated in the picturesque Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, this festival is the biggest harvest festival that happens here. This festival is celebrated to gather people together and pray for a successful harvest. Moreover, people are served with cucumber, symbolizing the richness of the harvest.
Significance: This is considered to be one of the major harvest festivals in India
Key attractions: people assemble and pray unanimously for the smooth harvest
Where: Ziro Valley
Things To Do: Attend ceremonies
One of the most crucial and celebrated national festivals, Independence Day is celebrated to feel the spirit of India’s freedom. The flag hoisting ceremony is also held during this day, carried out by the Prime Minister of India at Red Fort. This event is then followed by 21 gunshots that are fired as a way to give salutation.
Significance: Celebrated to commemorate the freedom attained on 15th August, 1947
Key attractions: the salutation given through 21 gunshots and the Prime Minister of India hoisting the flag
Where: All over the country
Things To Do: Celebrate your freedom with friends and loved ones, fly kites, attend ceremonies, feel patriotic
States & Festivals | Indian Culture
Every year, thousands of devotees travel from all parts of the country to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh for the Brahmotsavam festival. The “Brahma’s Utsavam” is a 9-day festival that usually happens in October. It is based on the legend that Lord Brahma worshiped Lord Vishnu for protecting mankind. The rituals that are conducted during these celebrations thank the Lord and pray for fertility, abundance, and prosperity.
The dree festival is celebrated by the Apatani tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. This harvest festival is celebrated on the 5th of July every year. During this festival, people pray to the five deities – Tamu, Metii, Medvr, Mepi, Danyi to ward off pests, epidemics, and other factors that could damage their agriculture and pray for healthy crops. The tribals perform their traditional dance and feast on tangy rice and millet bear.
Bohag Bihu is a 7-day festival that is usually celebrated in April. It marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and is associated with agricultural harvest. The festival is also called Rongali Bihu. During this week-long celebration, cattle are decorated, dance performances are held, deities are worshiped and feasts are held.
During the Chhath Pooja, people worship the Sun God and his consort, Usha, who are the source of all powers. Prayers are made for prosperity and well being. This pooja usually falls in October – November. Devotees fast during this period and stand in water or sunlight for hours.
A festival unique to Chattisgarh, Bastar Dussehra is celebrated for 75 days. It begins on the no-moon day of the Indian month of Shravan (July-August) and ends on the full moon day of the Ashwin month (September – October). This 500-year old festival celebrates tribal gods and goddesses.
The Indian version of the famous “Mardi Gras” happens in Goa every February and is called Rio Carnival. Originally a Catholic festival, it has now turned into a huge event that brings in thousands of visitors from all over the world. The highlight of the carnival is the parade that has elaborate floats, bullock carts, horse-drawn carriages, dancing troupes and more.
Janmashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Though this festival is celebrated all over India, it has special significance in Dwarka in Gujarat. Dwarka is believed to be Krishna’s kingdom. During this festival, people visit temples, share sweets with friends and family, sing bhajans and perform folk dances.
In Himachal Pradesh, Mandi Shivaratri Fair starts on the day of Shivaratri. Mahashivaratri is a holy occasion for Saivaites all over the country. During this festival, 200 Gods and Goddesses from across Himachal Pradesh are brought to Mandi, which is known as the Varanasi of the Hills. This festival happens during February/March.
Hal Punhya is one of the tribal festivals celebrated in Jharkhand. It happens in January – February and marks the start of the harvest season. This agricultural festival signifies the start of ploughing to sow seeds
Ugadi is a festival that celebrates the beginning of a New Year. This festival is celebrated by the people in Karnataka, Andhra and Telengana and generally falls in March – April. The specialty of this festival is a dish made of jaggery and neem flower buds. It signifies that life is a mix of both sweetness and bitterness, and we should accept both ups and downs in life.
Onam is a 10-day harvest festival celebrated in Kerala. This festival is celebrated by Malayalis all over the world, irrespective of the faith they follow. During Onam, huge rangolis with flowers are created. Boat races, tug of war, music and dance performances, martial art performances and other events are conducted in more than 30 locations in different parts of the state. Onam sadhya (feast) is an important part of the celebrations. It is a 9-course meal that is prepared using local and seasonal vegetables.
Hemis is a Tibetan Buddhism festival that celebrates the birth of Guru Rimpoche (Lord Padmasambhava). This festival happens in Hemis Monastery, Ladakh. During the festival, dancers wearing masks dance to the music of the drums, cymbals and trumpets. The festival happens in July.
The festival of lights is celebrated all over India. Each state has different traditions and customs for this festival. In Maharashtra, it is a 5-day festival that begins with Dhanteras. People pray to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity. After the rituals, crackers are burst and a feast is served.
The Lui-Ngai-Ni festival signifies the start of a New Year for the Naga tribes in Manipur. This seed-sowing festival is celebrated in February. Dances, music performances and cultural programs are held during the celebrations.
This 5-day thanksgiving festival of the Khasi tribe is usually held in November. The highlight of this festival is the folk dance of the men and women in their traditional costumes. Sacrifices and offerings are made to God and ancestors during this festival.
The Hornbill festival held from the first to the tenth of December brings together the numerous Naga tribes in the state. The festivities include performances by all the tribes, flower shows, Naga wrestling, games and more. The festival was started to preserve the ethnicity and culture of the Naga tribes and promote tourism in Nagaland.
Also known as Mithuna Sankranti, it is a 3-day festival that celebrates womanhood and menstruation. It usually falls in June. As per legend, it is believed that Goddess Earth menstruates during these three days. So, no sowing or agricultural work is done. Women follow rituals that are done during the menstrual period on the first day and the remaining two days, celebrate with feasts and games.
Baisakhi is a Sikh festival celebrated in Punjab. It generally falls in April – May. It is a harvest festival of the farming community and also the day when the tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh created the Panth Khalsa-the Order of the Pure Ones. The festivities include cultural programs and feasts.
This Rajasthan festival celebrates womanhood and marriage. It is an 18-day festival that begins right after the festival of colours, Holi. During this festival, unmarried women pray for a good marriage and the married women pray for the well-being of their husbands. Processions and cultural programs are held during this period.
It is a Tibetan festival celebrated during the fourth month of the Tibetan year, which is May – June in the English calendar. During the month, people practice meritorious deeds, avoid killing animals and spread positive thoughts. The highlight of this festival is performing the holy Kora around the Kailash Mountain.
Pongal is a 4-day festival celebrated in January in Tamilnadu. This harvest festival begins with Bhogi, a day when all old things and agricultural waste are burnt and homes cleaned for the new beginning. The second day is Pongal, when people prepare the dish “Pongal” using newly-harvested rice in new pots. Prayers are given to the Sun God. The third day is the “Mattu Pongal” when cows and bulls are bathed and decorated. The famous “Jallikattu” or bull fight happens on this day. On the fourth day, people visit their relatives and share the sweets prepared for the festival.
People worship Goddess Mahakali during this annual festival that usually falls in July. The women prepare a traditional meal with rice, jaggery and milk and carry it to the temple in earthen pots and offer it to the Goddess. It’s celebrations galore in Golconda Fort during Bonalu.
This week-long festival happens during July at Old Agartala. During the festival, the 14 Gods of Tripura are worshipped with offerings and animal sacrifices. Cultural programs and fairs are held during the festival time.
Durga pooja or Navratri is celebrated all over the country but is of special significance in West Bengal. Huge statues of Goddess Durga slaying the demon Mahishasura are created from clay before the festival. The statues are placed in pandals where people visit and worship. On the last day of the celebration, the idols are immersed in the River Ganges.
While there are uncountable more festivals in different parts of India, these are the 24 most popular national festivals of India state-wise. Diversity of the country is reflected in the different ways in which these celebrations take place. Few Traditional Festivals are mentioned below in the list; Kindly inform us, if we have missed any important festival.
List of Traditional Festivals
Dasara, Ugadi, Deccan Festival, Brahmotsavam
Reh, Boori Boot, Myoko, Dree, Pongtu, Losar, Murung, Solang, Mopin, Monpa festival
Ambubachi, Bhogali Bihu, Baishagu, Dehing Patkai
Chhath Puja, Bihula
Maghi Purnima, Bastar Dussehra
Sunburn festival, Ladain, Mando
Navratri, Janmashtami, Kutch Utsav, Uttarayana
Rakhadumni, Gochi Festival
Jammu and Kashmir
Har Navami, Chhari, Bahu Mela, Dosmoche,
Karam Utsav, Holi, Rohini, Tusu
Mysore Dasara, Ugadi
Lok-rang Utsav, Tejaji, Khujaraho festival
Nongkrem festival, Khasis festival, Wangla, Sajibu Cheiraoba
Ganesh Utsav, Gudi Padva
Yaoshang, Porag, Chavang Kut
Hornbill festival, Moatsu Festival
Rath Yatra, Raja Parba, Nukahai
Gangaur, Teej, Bundi
Losar, Saga Dawa
Pongal, Thaipusam, Natyanjali Festival
Ganga Dussehra, Harela, Makar Sankranti, Ghee Tyaar, Phool Dei
Ram Navmi, Ganga Mahotsav, Navaratri, Khichdi
These festivals are recognized as most popular festivals of Indian States; hence the traditional values of these festivals are needed to be preserved for the next generations.
Hinduism Festivals | Amānta tradition
Major Hindu Festivals
Hindu Tithi of observance
On Bhogi, people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new things causing change or transformation. At dawn, people light a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid fuels, and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful. The disposal of derelict things is where all old habits, vices, attachment to relations, and material things are sacrificed in the sacrificial fire of the knowledge of Rudra, known as the “Rudra Gita Jnana Yajna”. It represents realization, transformation, and purification of the soul by imbibing and inculcating various divine virtues.
Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festivals of Tamil Nadu. Pongal occurs in mid January each year and marks the beginning of Uttarayana (sun’s journey northwards). The Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include a drawing of Kolam, swinging & the cooking of delicious Pongal.
The festival is celebrated mostly on January 14 of the Gregorian calendar as sun currently enters capricorn on this day.
The full moon day of the Tamil month of Thai
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community. The word Thaipusam is derived from the Tamil month name Thai and Pusam, which refers to a star near the location of the moon during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a spear so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.
Kavadi Attam (Tamil:காவடி ஆட்டம்) is a dance performed by the devotees during the ceremonial worship of Murugan, the Tamil God of War. It is often performed during the festival of Thaipusam and emphasises debt bondage. The Kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from the God Murugan.
Maha Shivaratri is the great night of Shiva, during which followers of Shiva observe religious fasting and the offering of Bael (Bilva) leaves to Shiva. Mahashivaratri Festival or ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in Phalgun (February – March). Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva. To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in the river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give a ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water, etc. On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sugar, and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Jagran (Nightlong vigil) is also observed in Shiva temples where a large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee breaks their fast by partaking in prasad offered to the deity.
Full moon of the Phalgun month (Hindu calendar)
Holi or Phagwah is a popular spring festival. Holi commemorates the slaying of the demoness Holika by Lord Vishnu‘s devotee Prahlad. Thus, the festival’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words “Holika Dahanam”, which literally means “Holika’s slaying”. The festival is called Shigmo and Shimga in Goa and rural Maharashtra, respectively. In Odisha and West Bengal, it is also celebrated as Dol Purnima.
In Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh, the festival of colors is celebrated five days after Holi on Rang Panchami.
“Gangaur” is the colorful and one of the most important festivals of the people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervor and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during March–April.
First nine days of the Chaitra month (Hindu calendar)
Navratri is the Hindu festival of worship and dance. In Sanskrit the term literally means “nine nights”. During this festival the forms of Shakti are worshipped, and effigies are burned. During these nine days, devotees fasts to devote their worship for shakti. On these nine days, nine incarnations of Shakti are worshipped.
Ninth of the Chaitra month (Hindu calendar)
Rama Navami or Sri Rama Navami is the celebration of the birth of Rama. Rama Navami is the day on which Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, incarnated in human form in Ayodhya. He is the ardha ansh of Vishnu or has half the definitive qualities of Lord Vishnu. The word “Rama” literally means one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others, and one in whom the sages rejoice. Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the bright fortnight in Chaitra (April/May) and coincides with Vasant Navratri or Chait Durga Puja. Therefore, in some regions, the festival is spread over nine days. This day, marking the birthday of Lord Rama is also observed as the marriage day of Rama and Sita and thus also referred to as Kalyanotsavam. In Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, a huge fair is held with thousands of devotees gathering to celebrate this festival. The fair continues for two days, and rath yatra, carrying the Deities of Ram, his brother Laxman, His wife Sita, and His greatest devotee Mahavir Hanuman, are taken out from almost all Ram Temples. Hanuman is known for is his devotion to Rama, and his tales form an important part of the celebration. In Andhra Pradesh, Ram Navami is celebrated for 10 days from the Chaitra Saptami to the Bahula Padyami in March/April. Temples re-enact the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita to commemorate this event since this day is also the day they got married.
First Day of waxing moon of Chaitra (Hindu calendar)
Gudhi Padwa / ChetiChand is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu Lunar month of Chaitra, and is celebrated as New Year’s Day by Marathis, Konkanis and Sindhis . According to the Brahma Purana, this is the day on which Brahma created the world.
First day of solar month of Vaisakha.
Mesha Sankranti (also called Vaisakha Sankranti) represents the transition of the sun into the Mesha (Aries) Zodiac. Marks the start of the solar new year in lunisolar calendars. Involves bathing in holy waters. Regional new year festivals are also observed on this day such as Vishu, Pohela Boishakh, Maha Vishubha Sankranti and Vaisakhi. Represents the vernal (Spring) equinox.
Vishu is a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala. It falls around 14 April of the Gregorian year. “Vishu” means equal in Sanskrit. Vishu is a symbol of the beginning of spring season. This festival is a phase that is devoted to the Lord Vishnu. Vishu is a festival for the family.
Puthandu (Tamil New Year)
The Tamil New Year follows the Nirayan vernal equinox. it falls around 14 April of the Gregorian year.
Vaisakha/Bohag (Assamese Calendar) – The first month of Hindu calendar
Rongali Bihu (mid-April, also called Bohag Bihu), the most popular Bihu celebrates the onset of the Assamese New Year (around 15 April) and the coming of Spring.
Hanuman Jayanti is the celebration of the birth of Hanuman, Rama‘s loyal devotee. Hanuman is known for his great strength, power and his immortal devotion towards Lord Rama. He is considered to be one of the most powerful Hindu gods in India. On auspicious day of Hanuman Jayanti, People apply red Sindoor from Lord’s feet on their foreheads. This is considering being a ritual for good health and good luck.
Sixth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Jyestha (Hindu calendar)
The marriage of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated as Sitalsasthi. It is celebrated as a carnival, in which people and artists from different walks of life participate, making it more beautiful and bringing out the true colour of life.
Full moon of Jyeshta (Hindu calendar)
Bonalu is a festival celebrated for a Mother Goddess (such as the goddesses Pochamma, Yellamma, etc.) in the Telangana. It is celebrated in two cities which are Hyderabad and Secunderabad between the months of July and August. This festival is dated back to 1813 in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Goddess Mahakali is worshipped in this annual Hindu festival.
Bathukamma is a festival celebrated during the months of September and October in 10 districts of Telangana. Womenfolk with exotic flowers of regions come to celebrate a glowing floral festival of Telangana, Bathukamma. This festival is celebrated for nine days and is recognized as the identity of Telangana.
Second to tenth day of waxing moon phase of month Ashadha (Hindu Calendar)
The second day(Raja Shankranti) signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna
Raja Parba is a four-day-long festival. It inaugurates and welcomes the agricultural year all over Odisha.
Full moon of Ashadh (Hindu calendar)
‘Vara MahaLakshmi Vrata’ is celebrated on the Second Friday or the Friday before the day of the full moon – Poornima – in the month of Shravana, which corresponds to the Gregorian months of July–August.
It is celebrated as Varalakshmi Vratham in South Indian states. It is performed by married women (sumangalis) for the well-being of all their family members, especially the husband, to get progeny etc. It is believed that worshipping the Goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Wisdom, Love, Fame, Peace, Contentment, and Strength.
Onam Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala. Though Onam is traditionally festival celebrated in Kerala, contemporarily Onam is celebrated by the Kerala diaspora across the globe.
Onam honors Bhagwan Vamana, the fifth avatara of Bhagwan Vishnu, and marks the birthday of Bhagwan Vamana and annual visit of his benevolent devotee Bali (the grandson of Bhakta Prahlada). It falls during the month of Chingam (August–September) and lasts for ten days. The festival is marked by various festivities, including intricate flower carpets, Onam Sadya (elaborate banquet lunches), snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali etc.
Full moon of Shravana (Hindu calendar)
Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated mainly in northern Indian states. Rakhi is a special occasion to celebrate the chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister.
Third day after Raksha Bandhan
“Teejdi” is a festival of Sindhis. On this day Sindhi ladies observe a day long fasting for longer life of their husbands. They take dinner after “Chandra Darshan” i.e. seeing Moon.
Seventh Day after Raksha Bandhan
“Shitla Satam” is celebrated on the day after Raksha Bandhan. It is the day when a mother fasts for their children and eats food that is not warm. The ladies practice this fast by keeping the stove/gas turned off for a day. This day is generally observed by Gujarati Families.
Krishnashtami or Krishna Janmaashtami is the Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna. It is actually called as Krishna Jayanthi. The date falls not only on the eighth day of the waning moon of Bhadrapad, but always on Rohini Nakshatra. Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in July or August. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in Bhadon. Sri Krishna is considered as the one of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. He was born around 5,200 years ago in Mathura. The sole objective of Sri Krishna’s birth was to free the Earth from the evilness of demons. He played an important role in Mahabharata and propagated the theory of bhakti and good karma which are narrated deeply in the Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna was born in a prison in the custody of Kansa. Vasudev, His father immediately thought of his friend Nand and decided to hand over his child to him to save Krishna from the clutch of Kansa. Krishna grew up in Gokul and finally killed his uncle, King Kansa. The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Sri Krishna is believed to be born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and violence of his uncle, Kansa. All over India this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas, arti, blowing of the Conch and rocking the cradle of baby Sri Krishna. The Janmashtami celebration of Mathura and Vrindavan, the places where Sri Krishna had spent his life, are very special. On this day temples and homes are wonderfully decorated and illuminated. Night long prayers are offered and religious mantras are sung in the temples.
Eighth day of waxing moon of Bhadrapad (Hindu calendar)
Gowri Habba is celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Gowri is worshipped for her ability to bestow courage to her devotees. Newly wed couples are invited to the house of the groom’s parents and served with varieties of food.
Fourth day of the waxing moon of Bhadrapada (Hindu calendar)
Vinayaka Chavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebrated as the arrival of Ganesh on the earth. It is very important festival in Maharashta. Ganesh Festival celebrated in Pune in very traditional way.
Fifth day of the waxing moon of Bhadrapada (Hindu calendar)
First nine nights of the waxing moon of Ashvin
Navarathri is the Hindu festival of worship and dance. In Sanskrit the term literally means “nine nights”. During this festival the forms of Shakti are worshipped. Literally “nine nights”, this nine – day period from the new moon day to the ninth day of Ashvin is considered the most auspicious time of the Hindu calendar and is hence the most celebrated time of the year. Although it has different names in different parts of India, Hindus from all regions celebrate it. From Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South, and from Gujarat in the West to Sikkim in the East, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm as the conquest of good over evil. Every region has its own myths and reasons to explain this. The nine different aspects of Devi are worshipped over the nine days.
First ten nights of the waxing moon of Ashvin
These are the most popular forms under which she is worshipped: Durga, goddess beyond reach; Kali, the auspicious power of time; Amba or Jagdamba, mother of the world; Annapurna, giver of food and plenty; Sarvamangala, auspicious goddess; Bhairavi, terrible, fearful, power of death; Chandika or Chandi, violent, wrathful, furious; Lalita, playful; Bhavani, giver of existence; Tara, giver of success in work. It is the most important festival of Bengalis and Odias.
Tenth day of waxing moon of Ashvin (Hindu calendar)
Vijayadashami is the Hindu celebration of good over evil.
Govatsa Dwadashi is the worship of cows as chief source of livelihood and religious sanctity; being the first day of Diwali celebrations. Sripada Vallabha Aradhana Utsav of Sripada Sri Vallabha, at Pithapuram Datta Mahasamsthan in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Dhanteras – Dhanteras (Hindi: धनतेरस), also known as Dhanatrayodashi (Sanskrit: धनत्रयोदशी), is the first day that marks the festival of Diwali in India. It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindi calendar month of Ashvin. Dhanvantari, who is also worshipped on the occasion of Dhanteras, is considered the God of Ayurveda who imparted the wisdom of Ayurveda for the betterment of mankind, and to help rid it of the suffering of disease. The Indian ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, announced its decision to observe Dhanteras, as the “National Ayurveda Day”, which was first observed on 28 October 2016. Usually, Gujarati families will enjoy a meal of daal baath and malpura to ring in the new year.
Deepavali which means “row of lights/lamps” in Kannada and Telugu and Marathi and Sanskrit is called “Diwali” in North India, Deepa means lamp and in Hindi a lamp is mostly called a Diya or Di. The festival is celebrated on the occasion of Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama killing a demon Narakasura. Another story says the festival is celebrated for the return of Rama and Sita to the kingdom Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile.
Rama is exiled to the forest for 14 years, his devoted wife Sita and humble brother Laxman decide to join him, after 14 years the whole village know he is returning so light lamps or ‘divas’ to guide him, his wife and brother home. So every year lamps are lit to represent Rama finding his way back home after the harsh punishment of being sent to exile in the forest.
Bhai dooj(Bhratri Dvitiya)
Second day of the waxing moon of Kartik (Hindu calendar)
Bhai dooj, also referred to as Bhaubeej in Marathi or Bhaiphonta in Bengali, is the ceremony performed by Hindus, generally, on the second day of Deepavali. It is celebrated among brothers and sisters and is similar to Raksha Bandhan, except there is no tying of rakhi involved.
Four days after purnima (a full moon) in the month of Ashvin (amanta) Kartika (purnimanta). Like many Hindu festivals, Karva Chauth is based on the lunisolar calendar which accounts for all astronomical positions, especially positions of the moon which is used as a marker to calculate important dates. The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik
Karva Chauth is a one-day festival celebrated by Hindu women from some regions of India, especially northern India. On Karva Chauth, the married women, especially in Northern India, fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. The Karva Chauth fast is traditionally celebrated in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It is celebrated as Atla Tadde in Andhra Pradesh.
Chhath is mainly observed in Bihar and Terai, but is also celebrated elsewhere. It is a festival dedicated to the Sun God for bestowing the bounties of life and fulfilling wishes. During Chath, devotees worship God Surya early in the morning.
Skanda Sashti is decided on lunar month during the sixth day of Karthika Masam (October–November). It is one of the most important festival dedicated to Lord Murugan the second son of Shiva. On this festival is celebrated the victory of Murugan against the Asuras.
Champa Sashti festival is a six-day festival observed from the first to the sixth of the Hindu month of Margashirsha (November – early December). It is one of the most important festivals dedicated to Lord Khandoba.This festival celebrates the victory of Khandoba against the demons Mani-Malla.
After 8 days of Kartik Purnima
Prathamastami is a festival that originated in Odia. It is held on the eighth day of the month of Agrahayana, when older female relatives pray for the prosperity of their eldest child. The festival is followed by rituals and recitations of the Glory of Mahalakshmi and Shashti Devi.
Yatra (also Zatra and jatra) refers to the pilgrimage festivals celebrated at Hindu temples. Idols and murtis are taken out on special procession in a palkhi (a palanquin) or a chariot called the rath. Every temple observes this festival once a year on the traditional day. Palkhi is main tradition of Maharashtra. Sant Dhnyaneshwar had started the palkhi from Alandi (Pune) to Pandharpur. Every year Marathi people celebrates Palkhi from Alandi and Dehu to Pandharpur.
Kartika Deepam or Karthikai Deepam is an ancient festival of lights celebrated by Tamil Hindus and Telugu Hindus on the full moon day of Karthikai/Kartika month (November/December). This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and purnima. It is the same as Kartik Poornima; however, since Tamils follow the Hindu Solar calendar with correction for precession of the equinoxes, the Tamil date matches the actual constellation.
A Winter Solstice celebration that lasts five days.
Pancha Ganapati is a modern Hindu festival celebrating Lord Ganesha, the Five-Faced Maha Ganapati—Lord of Categories.
A pilgrimage made every three years to the Ganges river
The Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years, and is an ordinary large Kumbh Mela. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela, a smaller Kumbh Mela, is celebrated every six years. The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 3 years. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela, a special large Kumbh Mela, occurs every 12 ‘Purna Kumbh Melas’, or 144 years.
Godavari Pushkaram or Godavari Pushkaralu is most commonly stated as it is the festival of the river Godavari. The main significance of this Godavari Pushkaralu is that It occurs once in every 12 years in other words called as Pushakara. The river Godavari took it birth at triambakeswar of Nasik which is located in Maharashtra state. It flow along the various regions of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka and finally flows into the Bay of Bengal. Maha Pushkaralu which comes once in 144 years.
“Sama Chakeva (Nepali or Hindi: सामाचकेवा) is an important festival observed by Mithila region that extends from Terai of Nepal to Bihar and Jharkhanda states of India. With great enthusiasm, young brothers and sisters celebrate this festival in Kartik as per Bikram Sambat Calendar, in November, when birds traditionally begin the migration of beautiful and colourful birds from the Himalayas to plain parts of Nepal (Terai) and India. This festival demonstrates love and affection between brothers and sisters.
This festival begins immediately after the conclusion of Chhath festival in Nepal and northern parts of India, and ends on the full moon day of Kartik, that coincides in the month of November.”
December 25 every year
Tulsi Pujan Diwas is celebrated on December’s 25 by Hindus in India. Tulsi in Hinduism is used for medicinal and spiritual use. It is considered sacred in Hinduism and it is believed that Tulsi brings prosperity.
Fifth day of Shravan month of the Lunar calendar
Naga Panchami is a traditional worship of snakes or serpents observed by Hindus throughout India, Nepal and other countries where Hindu adherents live.
List Credit : Wikipedia | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hindu_festivals
The need of the hour is to raise awareness amongst people regarding the real significance of India’s traditional festivals with regard to folk art conservation. Interestingly the general outlook of Indian people and their understanding of various issues is deeply embedded in the cultural and religious contexts; and such a disposition can be channeled to develop a strong connection with nature. Few Traditional Festivals are mentioned above; Kindly inform us, if we have missed any important festival. These festivals are recognized as most popular festivals of Indian Culture; hence the traditional values of these festivals are needed to be preserved for the next generations.
Alluring Melody of Cultures, Traditions, Rituals, Structures and Legislations.