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Festivals in May in India

Upcoming Festivals in May in India in 2024

As the sun shines brighter and the temperatures get warmer, India gears up to celebrate some of the most vibrant festivals in May, from Buddha Purnima to Ganga Dussehra, celebrated on the grand level this month. Additionally, Hindus keep monthly fasts as a ritual observance, and Sikhs pay homage to important events related to the legacy of their ten Sikh Gurus.

The joyous festival in May celebrates the unity of India's diverse culture and reminds us of our shared values. This month is a time of celebration and reconnecting with family, friends and community. So, whether you're a traveller seeking to explore India's cultural heritage or a local looking to participate in your community's festivities, May's festivals in India offer something for everyone.

Join me as we take a journey through the various festivals celebrated in May in India, exploring the customs, traditions, and beliefs that make them so unique. Let's get started and dive into the fascinating world of festivals in May 2024 in India!

List of Upcoming Festivals In May 2024 In India

May's festivals are not just about religious observances; they also serve as a way to bring people together, foster a sense of community, and celebrate life's joys. In a country as diverse as India, where every state has unique customs and traditions, May's festivals offer a glimpse into its vibrant cultural tapestry. So, broaden your cultural knowledge this May and uncover India's captivating festivals, holidays and events!

  • Narasimha Jayanti | May 21st 2024
  • Coal Miners Day India | May 04th 2024
  • Buddha Purnima | May 23rd 2024
  • Chithirai Festival | April 14th to May 13th 2024
  • Basava Jayanthi | May 10th 2024
  • Sankashti Chaturthi | May 26th 2024
  • Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti | May 08th 2024
  • Mother's Day | May 12th 2024
  • International Flower Festival | May 31st 2024
  • Summer Festival | May 10th -12th 2024
  • Moatsu Festival | May 1st - 7th 2024
  • Igitun Chalne | May 1st - 31st 2024
  • Saga Dawa | May 23rd 2024

1. Narasimha Jayanti | Celebrate the Appearance of Lord Vishnu's Avatar

Narasimha Jayanti is a Hindu festival that commemorates the manifestation of Lord Vishnu's fourth avatar, Narasimha. On this day, devotees offer prayers and perform rituals to invoke the blessings of Lord Narasimha.

The festivities begin with reciting the Narasimha prayers and readings from sacred Hindu texts. After this, devotees participate in yajnas (fire rituals) to receive divine blessings and grace. Special poojas are held at temples throughout the country on this day, and devotees adorn the image of Lord Narasimha with beautiful garlands and other decorations.

  • When: 21 May 2024
  • Where: India

Also Read - Best Places To Visit In India In May

2. Coal Miners Day India | Commemorate Coal Miners & Their Contributions

Coal Miners Day in India is celebrated on 04 may festivals every year to pay homage to coal miners and their contribution to society. It is a day dedicated to recognising the hard work, dedication, and bravery of coal miners all around the country.

On this day, various activities are organised throughout the country to honour coal miners and promote workplace safety. In addition, special programs are held to educate people on the hazards associated with working in coal mines. This day also serves as an opportunity for people to come together and recognise the contribution of coal miners in the development of India.

  • When: 04 May 2024
  • Where: India.

3. Buddha Purnima | Celebrate the Birth of Lord Buddha

Buddha Purnima, or Buddha Jayanti, is a Buddhist festival that celebrates the birth of Siddhartha Gautama—also known as Lord Buddha. This festival is celebrated in India and many other countries by Buddhists who commemorate this special day with prayers and offerings to the sacred image of Lord Buddha.

On this day, followers of Buddhism visit temples and monasteries to offer their prayers and meditate in the presence of a sacred image or statue of the Buddha. They also engage in charitable activities such as providing food and clothing to those who are less fortunate.

  • When: 23 May 2024
  • Where: Sarnath, India

4. Chithirai Festival | The festival of Madurai honours

The renowned Chithirai Festival is a highly anticipated annual Tamil Hindu celebration in Madurai, also known as Chithirai Thiruvizha, Meenakshi Kalyanam or Meenakshi Thirukalyanam. During the Tamil month of Chithirai, an annual festival is held in honour of Meenakshi Temple and its deities: Parvati's incarnation as Meenakshi and Shiva's manifestation as Sundareshwar. This joyous event showcases the beauty and grandeur that these divine figures embody.

For a full 30 days, the festival of Madurai honours Meenakshi's coronation as a divine ruler, with 15 days devoted to her marriage to Sundareshwar. The remaining half marks Kallalagar (or Alagar -- an avatar of Vishnu) and his journey from Alagarkoyil to Madurai.

  • April 14th to May 13th 2024.
  • Where: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

5. Basava Jayanthi | Celebrate the birth of Saint Basava

Basava Jayanthi is a Hindu festival celebrating the birthday of Shri Basavanna, a 12th-century philosopher and social reformer. It is celebrated throughout Karnataka by devotees of Lingayatism—an Indian religious movement based on Shaivism.

On this day, devotees of Basavanna visit temples and monasteries to offer prayers in his honour. Devotees also participate in various spiritual activities, such as chanting hymns, singing devotional songs and exchanging garlands. Additionally, people engage in community service activities such as helping the needy, feeding the poor and protecting the environment.

  • When: 10 May 2024
  • Where: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

6. Sankashti Chaturthi | Celebrate Lord Ganesha

Sankashti Chaturthi is an auspicious day dedicated to the worship of Lord Ganesha—the Remover of Obstacles. The day is observed on the fourth day after each new moon or Krishna Paksha Chaturthi.

On this day, devotees of Lord Ganesha observe a fast throughout the day and recite special prayers dedicated to him. They also offer flowers, sweets and Modaks (a sweet dessert) to Lord Ganesha as a token of their devotion.

  • When: 26th May 2024
  • Where: India.

Read More : Best Countries to Visit in May

7. Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti | Celebrate the birthday of Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is a day that celebrates the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore—the Nobel Prize-winning poet, novelist, playwright and composer. This day is celebrated in India with great enthusiasm to commemorate the life and achievements of one of India's most significant literary figures.

It is also a time to remember Tagore's contribution to India and the world, as his works are still read and appreciated even today. The celebrations involve many cultural programs, lectures about Tagore's work, performances of his plays and songs, debates on various social issues associated with Rabindranath Tagore, and exhibitions highlighting his life. This festival is celebrated in May 2024 in India, and it is a great way to honour Tagore's legacy.

  • When: 08 May 2024
  • Where: India.

8. Mother's Day | A Special Day to Celebrate Mothers

Mother's Day is a special day celebrated worldwide, dedicated to honouring mothers and celebrating motherhood. It is a day to thank mothers for their love, care and sacrifices.

In India, this special day is celebrated with great enthusiasm. People send cards or gifts to their mothers on this day as an expression of gratitude. Families get together to show appreciation and love for their mothers, often organising dinner parties and other activities such as pampering sessions for their mothers.

  • When: 12 May 2024
  • Where: India.

9. International Flower Festival | An All-Encompassing Affair

The International Flower Festival in Gangtok is one of the most spectacular festivals celebrated in India. This event brings together folk dancers, artisans, and flower growers nationwide to showcase their exquisite talent.

During the show, not only are you presented with an incredible selection of orchids, gladioli, cacti, roses, trees, ferns and many other plant varieties - but your taste buds will also be delighted by a range of regional delicacies! For thrill-seekers, river rafting is an exciting activity to experience. Adding a touch of uniqueness to the Flower Festival in Sikkim is its Yak Safari - a must-try for those with adventurous spirits. Thousands of visitors flock to this celebration yearly to witness the interesting sights and sound that make up Goa's unique culture.

  • When: 31st May 2024
  • Where: Governor's residence, Gangtok

10. Summer Festival | Celebrating the season of renewal