Indian National Holidays with dates and descriptions

What are the festivals in India

The festivals and holidays in India are very diverse and amazing. Such a kaleidoscope of events is an expression of the essence of the Indian people.

As a rule, all events are held in honor of some historical event. They tell about the everyday life and life of Indians at different stages of existence. Here are the most important holidays in Indian life.

Dashahra, October 13.

Every year this celebration is held on a certain day. This year the festival fell on October 13. Dashahra is a well-known, national holiday overflowing with blooming plants and religious traditions. It is dedicated in honor of the god Rama, who defeated an evil demon. According to legend, Rama spent long eight days in prayer and on the ninth day he saved his wife from the clutches of the beast. Dashahra is celebrated in every region, but only among the common features stand out some features.

The entire ritual of the holiday consists of a nine-day religious service. And at the end of the festival, the inhabitants of all the settlements gather in the main square and bless the gods.

Diwali, November 3

The name Diwali translates as “bunch of fire.” Such a translation fully justifies the most dangerous holiday in India. Every year on November 3, thousands of lamps, torches, fireworks and bonfires light up the city, representing the victory of good over evil. Looking at all this action from space, it seems as if the whole country just burns. Diwali lasts exactly one day. And it celebrates it not only Hindus, but also representatives of other denominations.

Camel Fair, November 7-13

During this period is the most unusual holiday, or rather a beauty contest. But the main participants are not beautiful girls, painted camels. For many years, the most ordinary fair was a banal place of trade, but recently this event began to be held as a holiday with a whole program and prizes. Not only animals can take part, but also their owners, who are judged by an honest jury.

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In addition to the beauty contest, you can watch the flying balloons, air show, circus performers and more.

Republic Day, January 26

Republic Day has been held since the middle of the last century. The holiday takes place on 26 January, and its main characters are residents of all cities and towns. The most colorful parade is held, of course, in the capital Delhi, but other cities are not inferior to the beauty and strangeness. At the beginning of the festival, all residents and tourists watch the military parade, then the members of the administration speak, and at the very end there is a procession of townspeople.

In addition to people in the parade move platforms with large figures of animals and people, decorated with ribbons and flowers. In the evening the celebration does not end, but begins a new period: fireworks appear. In the morning after the main part is advised to go to the festival of folk art, which lasts for several days.

Carnival in Goa, 40 days before Easter

The Indians adopted the tradition of carnivals from the Portuguese, thinking they could do no worse. However, anyone who has ever been to such events will not be surprised or shocked, on the contrary. It looks like a crowd of people in homemade costumes moves through the city and enjoy like children. The carnival lasts for three days. During this time, all the participants are entertained like the last time, there are fire shows, and some just sing and dance.

Holi, March 27

This unusual holiday is held in early spring. It was originally dedicated to the celebration of the evil goddess Holika. Today, however, history has been forgotten, and the holiday has become the best excuse to have fun and relax.

From early morning, the residents go to the stores to stock up on paints and water machines. On this day you have to be careful, because they can spill paint from any nook, and sometimes even from the roof. By evening everyone is colored, and sometimes almost black, and go to wash. After a great buffet, where everyone eats and shares their impressions of Holi.

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Onam Festival, September 16

Every year for ten days, Kerala celebrates the harvest festival. Onam is dedicated not only to Indian fertility, but also to one of the kings, Mahabali. During the festival, every Indian promises to be good and prudent.

What makes Onam unique is that for ten days, large carpets of fresh flowers and plants lie at the entrance of each house.

Each person’s goal is to keep them fresh. How this is accomplished is up to the Indians to decide. In addition to the sea of flowers at the festival you can see numerous competitions, elephant races and try the national Indian cuisine.

All about the festivals of India

The holidays of India are a colorful kaleidoscope called India

India is a multicultural and multinational state, so it is common here to celebrate the holidays of different religions. India’s national holidays include: Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti’s birthday.

But in addition to the official national holidays of India, there are a huge number of religious holidays. Thus, the festivals that express the vibrant cultural religious flavor of India include the Musulman Eid-ul-Fitr, Hindu Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Dussehra.

Holidays of India

Most of the festivals have a movable date and are calculated according to the lunar calendar.

The festivals of India are a kind of repository of centuries-old culture, and preserve ancient songs, games, dances and rituals. They serve as a good example of hospitality, attracting people from all corners of the earth.

Holi in India – a celebration of spring and bright colors

One of the most colorful of Indian festivals is Lathmar Holi, which marks the arrival of spring. Otherwise, it is called the “Festival of Colors.”

Spring Festival in India is celebrated at the end of March – beginning of April, during 2 days, during the full moon. So, on the eve of the second day of Holi, at night the Hindus make a huge bonfire, on which the burning of an effigy of Holika takes place. And in the morning the fun begins. All the residents come out of their homes and begin to pour colored water on each other, or throw colored powders. The most common color used is red, less common are yellow and green.

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The festival of colors in India is a very ancient festival. It used to be called Holika. It takes its name from the legendary sister of the demon king, Holika. The Demon King had a special gift – invulnerability, that is, he could not be killed, could not be human or animal. And his son Chilly worshipped Vishnu, which could not help but enrage his father. So he ordered Holika to kill Cool. It was believed that the demoness did not burn in the fire. So she persuaded Prohlad to climb the pyre in the name of God. And when they climbed the bonfire together, to everyone’s surprise it was Holika who burned, not Prohlad, for he had been saved by God Vishnu. And to commemorate these events, the evil effigy of Holika is burned on the eve of the holiday.

The festival of Diwali in India – the festival of lights

One of the most cheerful holidays in India is Diwali. The appearance of the holiday is associated with the appearance of Rama, the famous hero of Indian legends. The celebration of Diwali is carried out within five days. It is celebrated at the end of October in early November.

Fire Festival in India is usually associated with the symbol of the victory of good over evil and light over ignorance. Therefore, lanterns and lights are lit everywhere as a sign of this victory. The main decorations of the holiday are the holy lanterns taming statues of gods and animals. Small villages and large towns are lit with lights during Diwali celebrations. In the evening, Bengal lights are lit and fireworks are launched into the sky.

Diwali in India

Indians prepare in advance for this festival. The doors are decorated with flowers and mango leaves, and over the entrance are lit clay lamps, which are a symbol of the five elements: space, earth, water, fire and air.

Also on this holiday certain traditions are observed that carry a certain spiritual meaning. The house and the body are put in order. Through meditation, the body is purified. Light of the mind is marked by lighting the house with multicolored lights.

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The festival of Diwali is the wearing of new clothes, the use of new utensils, the cleansing of the home, the special veneration of the Deities.

Eid-ul-Fitr is a holiday of joy and gratitude.

The most joyous of the Muslim holidays is Eid-ul-Fitr, or the Feast of Unction. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Hindus are not even allowed to drink water or smoke. The holiday comes on the first and second of the month of Shawallah according to the Muslim lunar calendar. All day long, Muslims pray and read the holy book, the Koran, until the new moon appears in the sky. Eating is permitted only after sunset.


On this day, services are held in all churches. The common prayer is the main part of the holiday. On this occasion, Muslims of all walks of life put on new costumes. Special sweets and dishes are also prepared. The most popular treat is sweetened milk.

Eid in India is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Representatives of other religions can also take part in it.

The elephant festival in India is the most spectacular festival

The elephant festival in India is called Thrissur Piram, which is held annually in the city of Thrissur of the same name at the Vaddakkunntahan temple complex in the month of May. Spectators who come to the festival can watch a grand show with elephants.

It should be noted that the elephant in India is the personification of the God Ganesha, who bestows wealth and prosperity.

The performance itself lasts 36 hours. There is a procession of 15 elephants from the Tiruvambadi Temple to Vaddukkunntaan. The statue of God Krishna stands on the back of the main elephant. Another column of elephants begins its procession from the Paramekavu Bhagavati temple. The image of the Virgin Goddess is on the back of the leader of this group. On the back of each elephant sits an Indian man who rhythmically rotates a shimmering umbrella made of natural silk and inlaid with gold.

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Thrissur Piram

The entire procession is accompanied by the continuous sound of hypnotic music.

India’s National Holidays

India’s major national holidays include:

Indian Independence Day, a public holiday celebrated annually in India on August 15, the day the Republic of India was proclaimed from Great Britain in 1947. On this day, many towns and even villages hold ceremonies to raise the national flag. Also making speeches by local politicians is a traditional ritual. Celebratory receptions are held by state governors.

Gandhi Birthday – A public holiday celebrated annually on October 2 to commemorate the birthday of Mohandas Karamchan Gandhi, who was a prominent leader of the national liberation movement of the Indian people. Gandhi is the officially named Father of Nations in India. Celebrations take place throughout the country. Thus, with Gandhi’s commemoration in Delhi, his main site is his tomb, where some of his ashes are buried. On his birthday, religious leaders of various faiths, leaders of the Indian Republic and local residents gather here.

Republic Day is a public holiday celebrated annually on January 26, which was introduced in India in 1950. The widest sections of this country’s population celebrate this momentous day. The organization of celebratory processions in Delhi, as well as in the capitals of all the states, is a characteristic feature of this holiday.

In Delhi, the procession passes along the central avenue from the Presidential Palace to the Gateway of India. This procession is formed by colorfully decorated platforms on which numerous spectators from different states of the country stand.

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