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Famous Festivals of India

Most Famous Festivals Of India You Must Experience

In a place like India where culture, language, lifestyle and many other features remain dynamic in every state, it is indeed right to say that this spectacular land is truly embracive as diversity is celebrated here in its true essence. Reckoned as one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse countries in the world, India is a place where witnessing this unique medley through festivals can actually be a high point for travellers. From catching a kaleidoscopic view of its cultural distinctiveness to having a most delightful culinary experience, the festivals of India are always a feast for all five senses. 

Have you already started dreaming about vibrant and colourful Indian Festivals? You are halfway to the most enriching experience of your life; we can actually bet on that. So here’s a list of all the famous festivals in India with dates, significance and places so that you can quickly prepare your new Wishlist. SCROLL DOWN!

List of Famous Festivals in India

  • New Year Day
  • Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
  • Lohri
  • Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, Uttarayan
  • Republic Day
  • Vasant Panchami
  • Losar
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Sant Ravidas Jayanti
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti
  • Mahashivratri
  • International Women’s Day
  • Hola Mohalla
  • Holi
  • Navroz
  • Gudi Padwa
  • Ramadan
  • Ramnavami
  • Baisakhi
  • Pohela Boishakh
  • Good Friday
  • Eid-ul-Fitr
  • Akshay Tritiya
  • Mother’s Day
  • Buddha Purnima
  • Ganga Dusshera
  • Father’s Day
  • International Yoga Day
  • Rath Yatra
  • Hemis Gompa
  • Eid ul-Adha
  • Guru Poornima
  • Muharram
  • Friendship Day
  • Hariyali Teej
  • Nag Panchami
  • Raksha Bandhan
  • Independence Day
  • Onam
  • Janmashtami
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Teachers Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Vishwakarma Puja
  • Navratri
  • Durga Puja
  • Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti
  • Dussehra
  • Karwa Chauth
  • Dhanteras
  • Diwali
  • Govardhan Puja
  • Bhai Dooj
  • Chhath
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti
  • Children’s Day
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • Christmas

Festivals in January 2023

1. New Year Day | Date: 1st January, Sunday

Significance: The first day of the year is celebrated all over the world as it marks the beginning of another year. People welcome the new year in a grand way and festive mood so that it brings positivity, prosperity and good health to everyone. People also believe that the first day of the year gives us all an opportunity to start life afresh with new perspectives and resolutions.

Where to celebrate New Year in India?

  • Goa, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore & other cities.

Also Read - What Are The Different Types Of New Year Celebrated In India?

2. Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti | Date: 14th January, Saturday

Significance: The great warrior, poet, philosopher, spiritual master and the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, was a man of great intellectual attainments and, therefore, his birth anniversary is celebrated every year to honour and remember his remarkable contributions to the Sikh community in India.

Where to celebrate Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti in India?

  • Punjab

3. Lohri | Date: 14th January, Saturday

Significance: Harbinger of new harvesting season and marking the ripening of the winter crops. Lohri is a traditional festival of India that is celebrated in great fervour, especially in the northern part. Lighting a bonfire and offering food are important rituals that signify burning negativity from life. People gather in large groups and also sing and dance.

Where to celebrate Lohri in India?

  • Punjab, Delhi and other northern states.

4. Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, Uttarayan | Date: 14th January, Friday

Significance: One of the most important festivals of India that is widely celebrated in almost every region with different names and rituals, Makar Sankranti is basically a harvest festival that is celebrated in honour of the Sun God. It is basically a celebration of the change of seasons that marks the last day of the solstice.

Where to celebrate this harvest festival in India?

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different parts of India in unique names and ways. Take a look!

  • Pongal. Tamil Nadu
  • Poush Sankranti. West Bengal
  • Makara Vilakku. Kerala
  • Bihu. Assam and Northeast India
  • Uttarayan. Gujarat, also famous for International Kite Festival
  • Maghi. Punjab

5. Republic Day | Date: 26th January, Thursday

Significance: Republic day is a national festival of India that commemorates the spirit of independence and individuality of the nation. 2 years after independence, it was on 26th January 1950 when the constitution of India came into force and the country was declared as the largest democracy in the world.

Where to celebrate Republic Day in India?

  • Various parades by different states of India are carried out at India Gate, Delhi which is indeed a sight to behold.

6. Vasant Panchami | Date: 26th January, Thursday

Significance: Also known as Basant Panchami, Saraswati Puja or Sri Panchami, the festival of Vasant Panchami is considered as the symbol of prosperity. This auspicious day is dedicated to goddess Saraswati who symbolises creativity, knowledge and power. This unique festival of India also marks the arrival of spring season when the mustard fields are covered in yellow flowers and that’s the reason why this color is used in celebrations and decorations on this particular day. It is also considered as the favorite color of the goddess Saraswati.

Where to celebrate Vasant Panchami in India?

  • Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab, South India

Festivals in February 2023

1. Losar | Date: 21st February, Tuesday

Significance: A traditional Tibetan festival celebrated to mark the beginning of the Tibetan New Year, Losar is a representation of local customs and traditions which is intriguing for the travellers. It's a 3-day festival observed by Tibetan Buddhists and various traditions are followed including massive processions, fire dance, drinking chhaang, tying of prayer flags and whatnot.

Where to celebrate Losar in India?

  • Ladakh, Dharamshala, McLeodganj

2. Valentine’s Day | Date: 14th February, Tuesday

Significance: This beautiful festival is of western origin, however, it is widely celebrated in India with great enthusiasm. Dedicated to love and eternal bonds, the festival is observed worldwide in the name of St. Valentine. He was a Christian priest who acted against the will of Roman Emperor Claudius and was eventually executed because he helped lovers in getting married. Later, the day of his execution became a day to celebrate love and marriages while lovers get a chance to exchange gifts and go out on a romantic date.

Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day in India?

  • Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities of India.

3. Sant Ravidas Jayanti | Date: 5th February, Sunday

Significance: Guru Ravidas was a renowned saint who is known for his relentless contributions to eradicate the caste system in India. He has also largely contributed to the Bhakti movement and which is why his birthday is celebrated every year with great fervour especially in the state of Punjab to commemorate his constructive efforts towards society.

Where to celebrate Guru Ravidas Jayanti in India?

  • Punjab

4. Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti | Date: 19th February, Sunday

Significance: The founder of the Maratha Kingdom Chhatrapati Shivaji was one of the fearless, prudent and progressive-minded emperors of India who is fondly remembered even today for his chivalry and benevolence. Every year on his birthday, massive parades are carried out by his fans and the day is observed as a public holiday in Maharashtra.

Where to celebrate Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti in India?

  • Mumbai, Pune and other cities of Maharashtra

5. Mahashivratri | Date: 18th February, Saturday

Significance: A significant and one of the important festivals of India celebrated by Hindus, Mahashivratri is also known as the Great night of Lord Shiva. On this auspicious day, devotees visit temples, offer milk at Shivalinga and observe fast in order to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. There is a belief that on this day, Lord Shiva saved the world by consuming all the poison from the pot in the sea. Rudra Abhishek is a common ritual that is followed on this day to eradicate past sins and to attain marital bliss, prosperity and moksha.

Where to celebrate Mahashivratri in India?

  • It is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm.

Festivals in March 2023

1. International Women's Day | Date: 8th March, Wednesday

Significance: Often referred to as Civil awareness day, Anti-sexism day and Anti-discrimination day, International Women’s day is celebrated worldwide to mark gender equality in society. On this special day, the achievements of women from different walks of life are acknowledged and their contribution to social, economic, cultural and political welfare are celebrated with an intention to break stereotypes.

Where to celebrate International Women's Day in India?

  • All over India.

3. Hola Mohalla | Date: 8th March, Wednesday to Friday

Significance: A grand Sikh festival that is observed for 3 days, Hola Mohalla is one of the unique festivals of India dedicated to Sikh Nihang warriors of Punjab. Etymologically Hola Mohalla means the charge of Sikh Nihang warriors. On this special festival, many Sikh Nihang warriors take part in various activities to display their valour and martial arts prowess. This vibrant festival of Punjab is just about celebrating brotherhood, fearlessness and chivalry.

Where to celebrate Hola Mohalla in India?

  • Hola Mohalla is celebrated at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. This beautiful city is close to Chandigarh.

4. Holi | Date: 8th March, Wednesday

Significance: A true personification of diversity, Holi, the most popular festival in India, is also called the festival of colours. It is one of the major festivals of India that signifies the triumph of good over evil. It is also a harvest festival that marks the arrival of the spring season. On this auspicious day, people gather in large groups and put colours on each other. It is a much-awaited festival for the kids as Holi brings them an opportunity to splash water and smear colours.

Where to celebrate Holi in India?

It is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm however, different states observe it in unique names and rituals mentioned below:

  • Lathmar Holi. Uttar Pradesh
  • Phoolon ki Holi. Vrindavan
  • Rangpanchmi. Maharashtra
  • Basant Utsav. West Bengal
  • Phalgun Purnima. Bihar
  • Manjul Kuli. Kerala
  • Shigmo. Goa

Also read: 12 Unique Types Of Holi Celebrations Across India

5. Navroz | Date: 21st March, Tuesday

Significance: Navroz is a significant festival that is majorly celebrated by the Persian and Iranian community living in India. This festival marks the first day of the spring season and is considered as a Persian New Year. This religious Parsi festival signifies rejuvenation and spiritual awakening. It is celebrated with a spirit of gratitude, hope and optimism in order to have a prosperous year.

Where to celebrate Navroz in India?

  • Maharashtra and Gujarat

6. Gudi Padwa, Ugadi, Telugu New Year | Date: 22nd March, Wednesday

Significance: Gudi Padwa is the cultural festival of Maharashtra while people of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh observe it as Ugadi and in Tamil Nadu it is known as Puthandu. All these colourful festivals of India mark the beginning of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar and mark the arrival of spring along with the reaping of Rabi crops.

Where to celebrate this Hindu New Year Festival in India?

  • Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh

7. Ramadan | Date: Begins from 22nd March, Wednesday

Significance: Considered as the most sacred month of the year in the Islamic religion, Ramadan is believed to be the time when Muhammad received the initial revelations of the holy book, Quran. In the Islamic culture, Ramadan is the month when people must indulge in good deeds, charity, fasting, spiritual awakening and increased worship, as all good acts done during this month get multiplied by 70 with the mercy of Allah.

Where to celebrate Ramadan in India?

  • Delhi, Srinagar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai,

8. Ram Navami | Date: 30th March, Thursday

Significance: An important Hindu festival celebrated on the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri, Ram Navami was the day when the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu descended on earth. He was incarnated as Ram with a motive to establish great moral values known as dharma and beat evils of society, known as adharm. Hence the birth anniversary of Lord Ram is a grand celebration in the country.

Where to celebrate Ram Navami in India?

  • Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand

Festivals in April 2023

1. Baisakhi | Date: 14th April, Friday

Significance: The harvest festival celebrated in northern states of India, Baisakhi is the day when farmers offer gratitude for a bountiful harvest of the Rabi crop. Also, this festival is celebrated with much merriment in Punjab as it marks the foundation day of the Khalsa Panth community by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh some 300 years ago.

Where to celebrate Baisakhi in India?

  • It is majorly celebrated in Punjab. You can also see celebrations in Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

2. Pohela Boishakh | Date: 15th April, Saturday

Significance: Known as the Bengali New Year, Pohela Boishakh is a grand celebration in West Bengal and neighbouring states. Owing to its importance in the states, this festival is observed as a public holiday. On this auspicious day, special prayers are offered to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, and also small processions as well as parades, are carried out at certain places.

Where to celebrate in India?

  • The major celebrations take place in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura.

3. Good Friday | Date: 7th April, Friday

Significance: One of the most important Christian festivals that is widely celebrated in India like other countries in the world, Good Friday is observed as a day of penance, grief and fasting. This festival also marks the end of Lent, which is basically a 40-day-long fasting that is observed as sacred in Christianity.

Where to celebrate in India?

  • It is observed as a national holiday in India and is celebrated in the churches of Goa including all other states.

4. Eid-Ul-Fitr (Ramadan Ends) | Date: 21st April, Friday

Significance: Commemorating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Eid-Ul-Fitr is an elaborate feast of breaking the fast. On this auspicious occasion, people of Islamic community offer prayers, do a lot of charity work, organize massive feasts, exchange gifts and indulge in a lot of merrymaking affairs.

Where to celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr in India?

  • To catch the best view of this amazing festival, you can visit places like Kashmir, Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala, Lucknow etc that are home to a large number of Islamic communities.

5. Akshaya Tritiya | Date: 22nd April, Saturday

Significance: This Indian festival which usually falls in the month of May holds special importance for Hindu and Jain communities. This day is considered to be auspicious for starting a new venture, getting married and making expensive investments such as gold or property. Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu is a common ritual that is followed on this day to seek blessings for prosperity and wealth.

Where to celebrate Akshaya Tritiya in India?

  • It is widely celebrated in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

Festivals in May 2023