India is a country with rich cultures. Different holidays are celebrated throughout the year. We are going to list the Public Holidays in India, as well as the Popular Festivals in India. Traveling to India during these times guarantees you extra fun.
Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi’s birthday are the 3 official national public holidays in India. There are other holidays marking important days in different religions and are celebrated nationally or locally. However, below, we list the gazetted holidays that are only observed by the government. Most businesses will close on these days. However, transportation will be available. We recommend that you make all your hotel and transport reservations in advance if you plan to travel here on these days
- Republic Day 26 January
- Maha Shivaratri February/March
- Holi February/March
- Mahavir Jayanti March/April
- Good Friday, March/April
- Buddha Purnima April/May
- Eid al-Fitr May/June
- Independence Day 15 August
- Janmashtami August/September
- Eid al-Adha (Id ul-Zuha) July/August
- Muharram August/September
- Dussehra September/October
- Gandhi Jayanti 2 October
- Eid-Milad-un-Nabi October/November
- Guru Nanak Jayanti November
- Diwali October/November
- Christmas Day 25 December
- Major Religious Festivals
- Holi (Hindu) February/March
- Easter Sunday (Christian) 12 April 2020, 4 April 2021
- Mahavir Jayanti (Jain) March/April
- Buddha Purnima (Buddhist) April/May
- Eid al-Fitr (Muslim) May/June
- Dussehra (Hindu) September/October
- Nanak Jayanti (Sikh) November
- Diwali (Hindu) October/November
- Christmas Day (Christian) 25 December
Popular Festivals of India
There are many festivals in India that celebrate different customs and religions. Here, we focus on the 10 most popular festivals of India.
Diwali, the Festival of Lights
This 5-day festival takes place in October or November. People will be celebrating the victory of good over evil. However, in North India, it signifies the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after triumphing over Ravana.
Holi, the Festival of Colors
When people celebrate this festival, in March of each year, they burn figurines. Also, they will light some beacons, as well as pour water on each other.
Maha Shivratri (night of Lord Shiva)
There is a lot of singing and dancing as people go to Shiva temples where they offer Bilva leaves to Lord Shiva.
This is a widely celebrated festival all over the world by Muslims. During Ramadan, Muslims fast for a whole month, staying away from things such as eating, drinking and smoking. The intention of this fast is to teach Muslims about spirituality to God, humility, as well as patience.
Love, bond, as well as affection between siblings, is celebrated in this Hindu festival. Celebrated in August, sisters are required to tie Rakhi on their brothers’ wrists.
At this festival, which stretches for nine days, people celebrate three goddesses in total. Each goddess is celebrated for 3 days. The goddesses that are celebrated are:
- Ma Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge
- Ma Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth
- Ma Durga, the Goddess of Valor
Dussehra, a Hindu festival
On this festival, people celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. In addition, the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasur is also celebrated. Friends and family in India go to Mysore to celebrate this festival.
This is a Hindu festival. On the day, people celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesh or Lord Ganapati. It is only those who worship Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu who celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. On the other hand, Baisakhi will be celebrating the New Year for the Sikh community. Baisakhi is a harvest festival.