“30 Most Famous Festivals Of India ” India is a country of colorful festivals, apart from the land of diversity. What made these festivals more interesting and inspiring is the prosperity of Indian culture and heritage. As a nation of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, India is celebrating the true spirit of life through a variety of festivals throughout the year.
|S.No||Month||Festival||How is it celebrated?|
|1||January||Makar Sankranti||Celebrated with lights, fairs, bonfires, kite flying and feasts|
|2||January||Basant Panchami||Celebrated with garlands and meals|
|3||January||Camel Festival||Celebrated with camel dance, best race competition, camel races, acrobatics and tug-of-war|
|4||January / February||Kumbh Mela||Celebrated with special prayers|
|5||February||Maha Shivratri||Celebrated with fasting and pilgrimage|
|6||February||Losar||Celebrated with flaming torches and prayers|
|7||February||Khajuraho Festival||Celebrated with many forms of arts|
|8||February||Goa Carnival||Celebrated with huge parades, music and food|
|9||March||Holi||Celebrated with colors, music and bonfire|
|10||March||Ugadi||Celebrated with prayers and special dishes|
|11||April||Hemis||Celebrated with Cham dance to the traditional tune of cymbals, drums and trumpets|
|12||April||Easter||Celebrated with prayers, cakes flowers, music and candlelight|
|13||April||Mahavir Jayanti||Celebrated with charitable acts, prayers and pujas|
|14||April||Baisakhi||Celebrated with special prayer and special sweet|
|15||April||Bhogali Bihu||Celebrated with gifts and special dishes|
|16||April||Mewar Festival||Celebrated with grand processions, songs and dance|
|17||May||Eid ul-Fitr||Celebrated with fasting, prayer and a feast|
|18||May||Thrissur pooram||Celebrated with fireworks and a procession|
|19||August / September||Muharram||Celebrated with processions|
|20||August||Raksha Bandhan||Celebrated with tying Rakhi on the wrists of the brothers in a home|
|21||August||Janmashtami||Celebrated with traditional Krishna Drama and special dishes|
|22||August / September||Ganesh Chaturthi||Celebrated with dancing, singing and orchestral performances.|
|23||August||Boat Festival||Celebrated with a popular boat race|
|24||August||Onam||Celebrated with lighting of Nilavilakku, an Aarti that involves waving flowers over the Bible.|
|25||October||Navratri||Celebrated with a cultural dance performance, Garbha, followed by aartis|
|26||October||Dussehra||Celebrated with dance and theatre performances|
|27||October||Karwa Chauth||Celebrated with special prayers and dishes|
|28||October/ November||Diwali||Celebrated with lighting diyas, drawing rangolis, cooking dishes, exchanging gifts and sweets|
|29||December||Hornbill Festival||Celebrated with events that display ethnicity and the culture|
|30||December||Christmas||Celebrated with candles, Christmas trees covered in twinkly decorations, tinsel and lights|
What do the festivals signify?
These Indian festivals not only add flavor to the tiresome life but also demonstrate the county’s clear and lively culture. Celebrating them together makes it possible for people to re-energize the bond of joy and unity. Every Indian state represents a different culture and has its own ethnicity. As a result, the festivals are also different from one state to another. Each state has its own festival, therefore. And the way, people celebrate these festivals is also distinctive.
Diwali tops as India’s greatest festival. People clean and decorate their homes on this occasion. Whether it is lighting diyas, drawing rangolis, cooking dishes, exchanging gifts and sweets, the Diwali festival brings all together and brightens up life by overcoming the dark. It is Bandi Chor Diwas in Sikhism, in Odisha and West Bengal, is Kali Puja.
It is one of Christians ‘ most important festivals that most people love to celebrate regardless of their religions. This festival is particularly popular to celebrate Lord Jesus ‘ birth. Waiting for the gifts from Santa is an exciting part of Christmas celebrations. They decorate the Churches and homes with candles, Christmas trees have bright decorations, tinsel and lights in order to mark the happy occasion.
Makar Sankranti is India’s popular festival referring to the sun’s god. It is an Annual festival depends on solar cycles and is celebrated by fine lights, fairs, bonfires, kite flying and feasts. People take a bath in holy rivers during this festival to give thanks to the Sun God. This festival is Uttarayan in Gujarat and Lohri in North India and Pongal in Southern part of India.
Hemis, Ladakh’s two-day religious festival, is one of India’s biggest festivals. Every year, it draws many local and foreign tourists. The festivities includes the priests ‘ Cham dance to the traditional tune of cymbals, drums, and trumpets. The dancing priests dress up in elaborate brocade dresses and masks which are the most unique types of this festival.
5. Eid ul-Fitr
This sacred festival contains month-long fasting. Fasting will cause a man to give up his evils and bringing him closer to Allah. Eid includes holy fast and prayer offerings. It ends with a happy feast.
6. Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela, one of India’s most famous festivals, begins in January and is one of the world’s largest gatherings of pilgrims. The four fairs traditionally recognized as Kumbh Melas are the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, Haridwar Kumbh Mela and Ujjain Simhastha. These fairs are regularly held in every three years in the states of Varanasi, Allahabad, Haridwar and Ujjain. Devotees from all over the world sink into the holy river during this period to purify all their sins and recharge their souls.
It’s the Islamic Calendar’s first month. The festival dates will continue to rotate in the Georgian calendar. Shia Muslims grieve over in memory of Hussein ibn Ali who was a martyr. They take it as a sad month while Sunni Muslims observe it on a more peaceful note. The mourning lasts until the next two months and eight days for the first day of the month. Shia Muslims take out processions in the streets on the 10th day with banners.
The Camel Festival, held annually in January, is one of the most fun-loving festivals held near the Junagarh Fort in Bikaner, Rajasthan State. Dedicated entirely to desert ships, the camels, it includes many entertaining activities such as camel dance, best race competition, camel races, acrobatics and tug-of-war. The festival is further charmed by traditional music shows and folk dance performances. Camels are dressed with beautiful pieces of chest, anklets and bright saddles on this day. As part of the festival’s festivities, sweets and tea made from camel milk.
9. Basant Panchami
Dedicated to Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess, Basant Panchami is held in either a January or February festival. This festival is celebrated at a grand scale with a Saraswati Puja in the Indian states of Odisha, Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. Many people wear yellow color attires this day, while people in Rajasthan wear jasmine garlands. Lord Shiva and Parvati are being deified on this day in Uttarakhand. Even Sikhs glorify this yellow festival by organizing Langars where all visitors can enjoy a free meal regardless of their status quo, caste and religion.
Losar, also known as Tibetan New Year, is a festival that is primarily held in Ladakh either at the end of January or early February. The main event organized by Ladakhi people to mark the festival is the “Metho” ceremony in which people carry flaming torches and prayers as they walk street to street in the belief that the evil spirits are being chased away. The festival’s celebration is a blend of ancient drama, dances and rituals.
Khajuraho Festival, which took place in Madhya Pradesh in February, is one of the famous cultural events in India. It is the festival that reflects India’s true dance styles. It involves a week-long celebration in which artists display many forms of art such as Bharathanatyam, Manipuri, Kathak, Kuchipudi, and Kathakali. In addition to representing India’s dancing spirit, the festival is renowned for its open-air market, home to toys, sculptures and crafts crafted by the craftsmen of the best city.
12. Goa Carnival
Goa Carnival is one such festival, celebrated in the month of February with great pomp and show. It lasts three to four days and has a lot of fun things to do. Several cultural groups come together during this festival to join a huge parade in Goa. It is also interesting to watch float parades in urban areas such as Panjim, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa and Margao. It’s the time when Goa soaks into the spirit of love, chills out on exciting music, and gorges on delightful delicacies.
In February or March, a pious Hindu festival, Maha Shivratri, is held to worship Lord Shiva. This festival is believed to overshadow darkness and ignorance and is thus celebrated on Deity Shiva with profound faith. People keep a day-long fast and put on new clothes to mark this day. This day is seen as the birthday of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the Kashmiri and Himalayan regions and therefore the Mandi Fair is held to celebrate it. Large numbers of people visit the temples in Varanasi and Somnath to receive blessings on this day.
Mewar Festival is an integral part of Udaipur’s traditional and cultural heritage and marks the advent of spring. The town is dressed during this festival in a vibrant look that is a must-watch on a spring season visit to Udaipur. Mewar Festival celebration involves dressing up Gangaur and Isar pictures, grand processions, a variety of cultural events, and fascinating performances in song and dance. Enjoying the happy atmosphere that the town enjoys during this festival is an experience in itself.
Holi is said to be the most popular of all festivals celebrated in India, usually falling in the month of March. It comes with not only fun and friendliness, but also a lesson that is certain of the victory of good over evil. Holika Dahan takes place one night before this day, where all negative and bad is burned in a bonfire. Citizens color each other in fun on the main day, spreading joy, grooving on music tunes and enjoying Gujiya, Mathri, and Thandai. “Lath Maar Holi” of the Bhaj region of Mathura has a beauty of its own. The festival is marked through offerings to the Indian God of love, Kamadeva in South.
Easter is a festival that usually falls in either March or April. This commemorates Jesus ‘ resurrection as the New Testament describes this. The festival’s main attractions are Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. Easter eggs are associated with the resurrection of Christ as an ancient symbol of life and rebirth. The Easter Bunny is a legendary anthropomorphic gift-giving character like Santa Claus. Prayers at church, flowers, music, candlelight and ringing of church bells frame an ideal picturization of Easter’s celebrations.
Mahavir Jayanti is considered to be one of India’s most popular festivals in the month of March or April. On this day, Mahaveer statues are anointed and Jain community people participate in charitable acts, prayers and pujas. Devotees also visit Lord Mahavir’s temple for meditation.
The Ugadi festival falls in the month of either March or April, and people from all over Karnataka celebrate it with great joy. It is noted for those who are looking forward to starting new ventures as an auspicious time. It is said that on this day Lord Brahma started the creation of the vast universe and thus this festival marks the beginning of the new lunar Hindu calendar. The way people enjoy it with their loved ones is to decorate homes with flowers and mango leaves, offer prayers and prepare special dishes.
Raksha Bandhan, observed in the month of August, is a very popular traditional Hindu festival held almost everywhere in India. Sisters put Tilak on their brothers ‘ foreheads on this day, tie Rakhi on their wrists, and pray for their well-being. Brothers promise in exchange to shield them from all negative forces. As the festival’s name literally means, it is the loving festival that is celebrated to reinforce a brother’s beautiful love with his daughter.
Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna,worldwide, an annual Hindu holiday that occurs in August or September . This involves many festivals enjoyed in various ways throughout Manipur, Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Mathura regions. Rasa Lila (traditional Krishna Drama) will take place in Mathura to celebrate the festival, while Dahi Handi’s event will take place in Gujarat. People sing devotional songs in South India and North East, fast for a day, and prepare a variety of dishes to celebrate the festival.
21.Ganesh Chaturthi – major public festivals
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of India’s major public festivals celebrated specifically in either August or September in the states of Goa, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. Pandals are available with Ganesha idols on this day and several cultural activities are there, such as dancing, singing and other performances. Procession marches are there in Kerala to sink Lord Ganesha’s great idols in the sea. The festival’s primary sweet dish is Modak, a must-try if you happen to be visiting the country in September.
22.Navratri – one of the favorite festivals
Celebrated in Goddess Durga’s veneration, Navratri is one of the favorites of all Hindus festivals. This festival is observed according to sun and moon movements and is therefore held either in September or October. To mark the festival, in North India, Ramlila will take place to offer insights into Lord Ram’s life and inspire people to inculcate moral values that are fundamental to Indian culture. Gujarati considers Navratri to be one of the most important festivals and celebrates all nine days with a cultural dance performance, Garbha, followed by aartis.
23. Dussehra – known as Vijayadashmi
Also known as Vijayadashmi, Dussehra is the end of Durga Puja’s festival. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm in northern parts of India as the idol of evil spirit Ravana is burned to restore good faith. Often, performances of dance and theater portraying the story of the triumph of Lord Ram are performed to inspire people to walk on the path of justice. To celebrate the festival, a large fair is organized in the Kully Valley region of Himachal. Maa Durga’s idols are immersed in the water in parts of Eastern India. In the months of September and October, it usually falls.
24. Boat Festival – Vallom Kallies
Boat Festival is known for reflecting the central Indian state of Kerala’s traditional heritage and cultural diversity. This festival is celebrated in the autumn season by everyone with great interest. The boat festivals held in Kerala are popularly referred to as Vallom Kallies and every year witnesses from different parts of the state. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is the biggest of all Kerala boat festivals. The Champakulam Moolam Boat Race on the Champakulam Lake is another popular boat race. Such boat races are held in Kerala to mark the great harvest of Onam.
25.Thrissur pooram – India’s Most Popular Festival
Thrissur Pooram is one of India’s most popular festivals. It’s because thousands of people from different parts take part in the celebration. Parasol displays and fireworks displays are the key highlights of this festival.
The festival takes place in April or May. On this day, hundreds of people are carrying out the procession that also includes about 15 elephants.
Also, men and women wear new clothes as part of the celebrations. In addition, artists from various parts of the country are enthusiastically participating in the festival events.
26.Onam – Huge festival of Kerala
Onam is one of Kerala State’s biggest festivals fall in August–September. It lasts for about ten days. This represents the’ Vamana’ commemoration, Vishnu’s avatar.
It is a festival of rice harvest. The festival’s important ritual is the lighting of Nilavilakku, an Aarti that involves waving flowers over the Bible.
27. Hornbill Festival – Festival of Festivals
The Hornbill Festival or the’ Festival of Festivals is a unique folk festival. It takes place in India-Nagaland’s northeastern state. Nagaland is a diverse state, home to several tribes.
The State Tourism and Nagaland Arts & Culture Departments are organizing the Hornbill Festival to showcase the culture and ethnicity of the land to promote communication between these tribal groups.
Every year in April, People celebrate the Baisakhi festival . They take bath for the Baisakhi festival early in the morning and enjoy the day with friends and families. This day also coincides with the many other festivals held in the month of April.
Bhogali Bihu is a popular Assam State harvesting festival. By wearing new clothes and cleaning and wiping their houses, people celebrate this day. On this very special day, people use multiple mouth-watering items and exchange gifts.
30.Karwa Chauth – India’s Major Festival Celebrated by Women
Karwa Chauth is one of North India’s major women’s festivals. Karva means a clay pot, as the name denotes,chauth means fourth.
Married Women undertake a fast. Then, they offer prayers to God with the prayers of their husbands ‘ well-being and survival. Women celebrate it on the fourth day of Karthik’s Hindu month nine days before Diwali.
Before the sunrise, the women start their fast and split only after the moon is spotted. But the way they celebrate Karva Chauth varies from region to region.
Not only is Karwa Chauth the day when women pray to the Almighty for their husbands ‘ long and prosperous lives. It also symbolizes the partners ‘ flawless fidelity.
1.What are the well-known festivals celebrated in Eastern India?
Magha Saptami in Odisha, Durga Puja in West Bengal, Chhath Puja in Bihar and Tashiding Bumchu in Sikkim.
2.Which festivals mark the advent of the New Year?
Bohag Bihu, Christmas and Poila Baisakh mark the celebrations of New Year.