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    India is a land of festivals, where people from different religions coexist harmoniously. The wide variety of festivals celebrated in India is a true manifestation of its rich culture and traditions. There are many Indian festivals and celebrations, the most exciting of which are mentioned below. While the celebrations happen all over the year, October till January is the time when the country can be seen at its vibrant best.

    India is one country where every religion and community celebrates their culture. There are festivals of India state wise, religion-based, and community-wise. So, every day is a new celebration in this country. You also enjoy lots of Gazetted holidays that gives you an opportunity to plan a trip across the country.

    To give you a fair idea about all the festivals of India in 2021 and their dates, before you begin, here is a piece of information that would prove essential for you! It will also tell you about the importance of the famous festivals of India!

    Indian Festivals Calendar 2021

    Here is a list of religious and national festivals of India that is celebrated in the country with much gusto and fervor. Plan your holidays around these festivals if you wish to explore the vibrant culture of India.

    Month Festival Date (2021) Day
    January Makar Sakranti 14th January Thursday
    January Pongal Begins on 17th January Sunday
    January Basant Panchami 16th February Tuesday
     February Maha Shivratri 11th March Thursday
    March Holi 29th March Monday
    March Mewar Begins from 27th March Friday
    April Baisakhi 14th April Wedneday
    April Bihu Begins on 13th April Tuesdsay
    May Thrissur Pooram 3rd May Sunday
    May Buddha Jayanti 7th May Thursday
    May Eid Ul Fitr 13th May Thursday
    June Ratha Yatra 23rd June Tuesday
    June Hemis 30th June Wednesday
    August Rakshabandhan 22nd August Sunday
    August Janmashtmi 12th August Wednesday
    August Independence Day 30th August Monday
    August Onam Begins on 23rd August Monday
    August Ganesh Chaturthi 10th September Friday
    October Navratri From 7th to 14th October Thursday
    October Durga Puja 15th October Friday
    October Dussehra 30th October Friday
    November Diwali 4th November Thursday
    November Gurupurab 19th November Friday
    December Christmas 25th December Saturday

    36 Popular Festivals Of India in 2021

    The greatness of India’s culture can be found in its festivals. The vivid and vivacious festivals of India depicts the greatness of our Indian culture. Indians celebrate festivals with sheer enthusiasm and devotion. India is a country that is appreciated and comprehended as a plethora of festivals are celebrated here.

    Here is a quick list of the most famous festivals of India state wise. The regional festivals of India too are celebrated with much pomp and show. Check out this list of religious festivals of India before you visit the best places of Indian cultural heritage to attend the grand celebrations of these festivals.

    • Diwali: The Grand Festival Of Lights (4 November, Thursday)
    • Holi: The Vibrant Festival Of Colours (29th March, Monday)
    • Dussehra: Witness The Triumph Of Good Over Evil (15th October, Friday)
    • Navratri: The Nine Days Of Fasting, Faith, & Devotion (7th Oct to 14th Oct)
    • Durga Puja: Of Prosperity, Goodness, And Devotion ( Begins On 15th October, Friday)
    • Krishna Janmashtami: The Birth Of The Mighty & Mischievous (30th August, Monday)
    • Ganesh Chaturthi: Eleven Days Of Pampering Lord Ganesha! (10th September, Friday)
    • Gurpurab: Religious Processions & Peaceful Hymns (19th November, Friday)
    • Raksha Bandhan: Strengthening The Bond Of Kinship (22nd August, Sunday)
    • Eid-Ul-Fitr: Sumptuous Buffets & Sweet Festivities (13th May, Thursday)
    • Bihu: Dance, Music, And Laughter (Begins on 13th April, Tuesday)
    • Hemis: Soothing Chants And Colourful Costumes (Begins on 30th June, Wednesday)
    • Onam: Welcoming The Mighty Mahabali (Begins on 23rd August, Monday)
    • Pongal: Rich Rangolis And Sweet Savories (Begins on 17th January, Sunday)

    1. Diwali: The Grand Festival Of Lights (4 November, Thursday)

    A collage of the festivities of Diwali

    Diwali, one of the most prominent Hindu festivals of India, is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. During this festival of lights, houses are decorated with clay lamps, candles, and Ashok leaves. People wear new clothes, participate in family puja, burst crackers, and share sweets with friends, families, and neighbors. It is the most popular festival in India.

    Significance: The festival marks the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, after a long exile of 14 years.
    Key attractions: Homes decorated with fancy lights, candles and clay lamps, bustling shops and markets, and fireworks and crackers
    When: The darkest new moon night of Kartik month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to mid-October – mid-November as per the Gregorian Calendar
    Where: All over the country
    Diwali 2021: 4th November (Thursday)
    Things To Do: Light diyas, decorate your home, share sweets and gifts with family and loved ones

    Must Read: Best Festivals In September In India: Save The 2021 Dates

    2. Holi: The Vibrant Festival Of Colours (29th March, Monday)

    A collage of Holika bonfire and holi celebrations

    Also known as the festival of colors, holi is one of the famous festivals of India, celebrated with a lot of fervor across the country. On the eve of Holi, people make huge Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it. On the day of Holi, the famous festival of Indian states, people gather in open areas and apply dry and wet colors of multiple hues to each other, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons. It tops the charts of 10 famous festivals in India as it is celebrated all across the world with happiness.

    Significance: It signifies the victory of good (Prince Prahlad) over evil (Holika) and the arrival of spring.
    Key attractions: Holika bonfire, playing with colors, and bhang thandai
    When: Full moon (Purnima) of the Phalgun month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to the month of March of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Almost all over the country; most vibrant celebrations can be seen in North Indian states
    Holi 2021: 29th March (Monday)
    Things To Do: Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it, play with colors, eat sweets esp. Gujiya

    Suggested Read: Best Holi Parties In Delhi To Celebrate The Vibrant Festival Of Colors!

    3. Dussehra: Witness The Triumph Of Good Over Evil (15th October, Friday)

    Celebrations of Dussehra in Delhi

    Image Source

    Dussehra, also referred to as Vijayadashami, is also among the most famous festivals of India in Hindu religion. It is celebrated in different forms of countrywide. Ramlila (enactment of scenes from Ramayana) is held everywhere for 10 days. It’s culminated with “Ravan Dahan” – the burning of huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran which is a real spectacle to see. While in Mysore, a colorful procession is taken out, in Kullu it is celebrated for 10 days welcoming their mountain deities in the valley. The Mysore Palace is lit like a bride and the atmosphere is filed with the music of drums. It is a spectacle to not miss on your trip to the city of royals. It is one of the most religious festivals of India. 

    Significance: It celebrates the death of the demon king Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama.
    Key attractions: Hustle bustle of the decorated markets, Ram-Leela acts, and the big event of the burning of effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran
    When: 10th day of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Pan India
    Dussehra 2021: 15th October (Friday)
    Things To Do: Visit Dussehra celebrations, attend ravan dahan, visit prominent temples to glance celebrations 

    Suggested Read: Kullu Dussehra To Dussehra In Mysore: The Best Dussehra Celebrations In India

    Navratri is one of famous festivals of India

    Image Source

    Navratri is one of the most important festivals of India. This festival is celebrated by all people throughout India in different ways. In Gujarat, it is a nine-day celebration of rejuvenating Garba nights and highly energetic Dandiya Raas dances. People are dressed in beautiful, colorful traditional clothes and the environment is very youthful and invigorating. Fasting is a famous tradition of Hindu religion and is associated with a scientific fact. Whenever there is a change in season, one should fast to give rest to their digestive system and boost their immunity for the next season. 

    Significance: It represents the celebration of the Goddess Amba (Power) in nine different forms.
    Key attractions: The 9 days of dance festivities in Gujarat, the exquisite Chaniya Choli’s (traditional skirt & blouse), and the Gujarati cuisine – Sabudana Khichdi, Mandvi Paak, Singoda ki Kheer, and Potato Wafers
    When: The first nine days of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Almost all over the country; most vibrant in Gujarat, Maharashtra and the metros
    Navratri 2021: From 7th October to 14th October (Thursday)
    Things To Do: 9-days fasting, visit temples and religious places, 8th and 9th day of Navratri are celebrated with Kanya Pujan, attend dandiya nights

    Suggested Read: 10 Famous Festivals In Gujarat Celebrated With Joyous Fervor

    5. Durga Puja: Of Prosperity, Goodness, And Devotion ( Begins On 15th October, Friday)

    A man offering aarti to maa during Kolkata Durga Puja celebrations

    Image Source

    One of the important Hindu festivals of India, Durga Puja is celebrated with grandeur by Bengalis, throughout the country and is ranked as one of the top in the list of religious festivals of India. The 10 days of fast, feast, and worship of Goddess Durga are accompanied by cultural songs, dances, and dramas. Huge and beautiful Durga idols are made and placed in specially made artistic Pandals(canopies). People dress in traditional wear and go around the pandal-hopping, praying, and feasting.

    Significance: It commemorates Lord Rama’s invocation of Goddess Durga before going to war with the demon king Ravana.
    Key attractions: Plush pandals, incredibly beautiful ten armed Durga idols, and the puja
    When: 10th day of Ashwina Shukla paksha according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Kolkata and the metros are the best places to be in India during Durga Puja celebrations
    Durga Puja 2021: 15th October (Friday)
    Things To Do: Visit Durga Puja pandals to catch the true vibe of this celebration

    Suggested Read: Durga Puja 2021: 5 Best Traditional Family Celebrations In Kolkata

    6. Krishna Janmashtami: The Birth Of The Mighty & Mischievous (30th August, Monday)

    A collage of the Janamashtmi festival

    Janmashtami is again a beautiful one among the most important religious festivals of India. Janmashtami celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular. People fast throughout the day and break it with a special meal after dusk which makes it one of the important in the list of festivals of India. Visiting temples, praying, dancing, and singing bhajans (hymns) at midnight is a part of the celebrations of the birth of Lord Krishna. Often, small children dress up like Lord Krishna on this day. Images and picturization of Krishna’s life story are depicted in the “jhankis” in temples. It is one of the popular festivals of India. 

    Significance: It is the annual celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna.
    Key attractions: The Janmashtami puja and festivities in the temples and the jhaankis of Lord Krishna
    When: The 8th day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Celebrated by the Hindu community all over, but the festivities at Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular
    Janmashtami 2021: 30th August (Monday)
    Things To Do: Visit Krishna temples and attend special puja that includes bhajans and jhankis

    Suggested Read: Holi In Mumbai 2021: Know How Mumbaikars Reveal Their Happy Colours

    7. Ganesh Chaturthi: Eleven Days Of Pampering Lord Ganesha! (10th September, Friday)

    A collage of the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi

    Ganesh Chaturthi, another one of the important Hindu religious festivals of India , is a 10-day affair of colorful festivities. Huge handcrafted Ganesh idols are installed in homes or outdoors, in public pandals. Pujas are performed in the morning and the evening. The last day is the day of Visarjan – immersion of an idol in a water body. Cultural activities of singing, dancing, and theater, and free medical and blood donation camps are held.

    Significance: It’s the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God.
    Key attractions: The beautifully crafted life size idols of Ganesha, and the immersion ceremony
    When: The 4th day of the first fortnight (Shukla Chaturthi) in the month of Bhadrapada of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Celebrated in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh with fervor and gaiety
    Ganesh Chaturthi 2021: 10th September (Friday)
    Things To Do: Indulge in cultural activities, be a part of visarjan ceremony

    Suggested Read: Rang Barse!- 6 Awesome Places to Celebrate Holi this Year

    8. Gurpurab: Religious Processions & Peaceful Hymns (19th November, Friday)

    A collage of the festivities of Gurupurab

    One of the most important Sikh festivals of India, special assemblies on the lives and teachings of the gurus, and langars (community meals) are organized in the gurudwaras. Karah Prasad is distributed among all, and hymn chanting processions are held in the city. People light up their homes with lamps and candles and burst crackers to celebrate Gurpurab.

    Significance: It is the celebration of the anniversary of the ten Sikh Gurus
    Key attractions: The soulful Bhajan-Kirtan (hymns), Gurbani in the Gurdwaras, the Langar and the Karah Prasad
    When: The full moon day in the month of Kartik of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds
    to November of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world, especially in Punjab
    Gurupurab 2021: 19th November (Friday)
    Things To Do: Visit gurudwara, indulge in sewa and langar, help needy, do charity 

    Suggested Read: 15 Festivals In January In India That Put A Celebratory Start To The New Year


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    9. Raksha Bandhan: Strengthening The Bond Of Kinship (22nd August, Sunday)

    The thali of rakhi on Raksha Bandhan

    Image Source

    One of the famous festivals in the list of festivals of India, Rakhi is celebrated among Hindu. Signifying the brother-sister bonding, during Rakhi, the sister performs Aarti (prayer), applies tilak, and ties rakhi (a sacred thread) on the brother’s wrist wishing his well being. The brother, in return, vows to protect the sister. Another festival which has a strong similarity to Rakhi is Bhai Dooj which comes just after Diwali.

    Significance: It symbolizes the strong bonding of a brother and sister.
    Key attractions: The ritual of Rakhi and the brightly decked up markets showcasing a colourful variety of rakhis and sweets
    When: The full moon day of Shravana month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Particularly in North, Central and West India
    Raksha Bandhan 2021: 22nd August (Sunday)
    Things To Do: Celebrate the day with your siblings

    Suggested Read: 10 Vibrant Festivals In August in India: Save The Dates To Rejoice With Full Vigour

    10. Eid-Ul-Fitr: Sumptuous Buffets & Sweet Festivities (13th May, Thursday)

    A collage of the festivities of Eid

    Eid is one of the major festivals of India for the Muslim community. People dress up in fineries, attend a special community prayer in the morning, visit friends, and relatives and exchange sweets. Children are given idi (money or gift) by elders.

    Significance: It celebrates the conclusion of the holy month of fasting called Ramadan.
    Key attractions: The beautifully decked up markets and mosques, the morning Eid namaz at the mosques, and the sweet dishes.
    When: On the 1st day of the month of Shawwal of the lunar Hijri calendar, which corresponds to July of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Celebrated by Muslims all over the country
    Eid Ul Fitr 2021: 13th May (Thursday)
    Things To Do: Attend a special community prayer in the morning, visit friends, and relatives and exchange sweets

    Suggested Read: 7 Awesome Places To Visit During Eid Holidays With Your Family This Year

    11. Bihu: Dance, Music, And Laughter (Begins on 13th April, Tuesday)

    Dancers dancing to celebrate the Bihu festival

    Image Source

    Popular among the festivals of India celebrated in the North East, Bihu is the harvest festival of Assam. During the month-long celebrations, young men and women wear their traditional clothes and perform the Bihu dance in the village fields and courtyards. During Bihu celebrations in India, a community feast is held with a lot of fanfare.

    Significance: It’s the traditional new year celebration of Assamese.
    Key attractions: The Bihu dance and the local cuisine – coconut ladoo, til pitha, ghila pitha, and fish pitika
    When: 14th April
    Where: Celebrated by the Assamese diaspora around the world, especially in Assam
    Bihu 2021: Begins on 13th April (Tuesday)
    Things To Do: Wear traditional clothes and attend ceremonies, indulge in local rituals

    Suggested Read: 15 Popular Harvest Festivals Of India

    12. Hemis: Soothing Chants And Colourful Costumes (Begins on 30th June, Wednesday)

    Priests dressed up for the Hemis festival

    Image Source

    Hemis, the two-day religious festival from Ladakh, is one of the most important festivals of India. It attracts a lot of locals and foreign tourists each year. The festivities include the Cham dance done by the priests to the tune of the traditional music of cymbals, drums, trumpets played by the monks. It’s among the most unique types of festival where the dancing priests dress up in elaborate brocade outfits and masks.

    Significance: It’s the celebration of the birth anniversary of spiritual leader Padmasambhava, founder of Tibet Tantric Buddhism.
    Key attractions: The scenic Hemis monastery and the Cham dance
    When: 10th day (called Tse-Chu in the local language) of the Tibetan lunar month, which corresponds to June or July of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
    Hemis 2021: Begins on 30th June (Wednesday)
    Things To Do: Attend the ceremonies and processions by the priests

    Suggested Read: Top 10 Summer Festivals In India You Shouldn’t Miss In 2021

    13. Onam: Welcoming The Mighty Mahabali (Begins on 23rd August, Monday)

    Onam is one of the important festivals of India

    Onam is among the important national festivals of India, wherein people wear traditional wear, adorn houses with Pookalam (floral designs), and prepare Onasadya (elaborate meal of about 13 dishes). Events such as Vallamkali (snake boat race), Kaikottikali (clap dance), Kathakali dance, and Pulikali procession (artists dressed and painted like tigers and hunters) are held.

    Significance: It celebrates the homecoming of the legendary king Mahabali.
    Key attractions: The spectacular Snake Boat Race, the enigmatic Kaikottikali dance, and the Elephant procession
    When: In the month of Chingam of the Malayalam calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
    Where: Celebrated by people of all communities in the state of Kerala.
    Onam 2021: Begins on 23rd August (Monday)
    Things To Do: Attend boat races, and other ceremonies 

    Suggested Read: 10 Uncommon & Unusual Festivals In India

    14. Pongal: Rich Rangolis And Sweet Savories (Begins on 17th January, Sunday)

    A collage of scenes of Pongal - one of the religious festivals of India for the Tamils

    The four-day long harvest festival of South India is one of the most famous festivals of India. People prepare Pongal dish and wear their traditional attire. On this famous festival of South India, celebrities include bonfires, dancing, cattle races, sweets, and savories. The houses look resplendent with Kolam designs (traditional floral designs made with rice, colored powders, and flower petals)

    Significance: It’s a festival of thanksgiving to nature representing the first harvest of the year.
    Key attractions: The variety of Kolam designs and cattle races
    When: 15th January
    Where: Celebrated by Tamils all over India, primarily in Tamil Nadu
    Pongal 2021: Begins on 17th January (Sunday)
    Things To Do:  Bonfires, dancing, cattle races, sweets, and savories

    Suggested Read: 13 Popular Food Festivals Around The World For Your Unconditional Love For Food

    15. Christmas: Celebrating The Birth Of Jesus Christ (25th December, Saturday)

    A shot of a decorated Christmas tree by the side of a fireplace in a house

    Image Source

    One of the most famous and awaited festivals in India and the world, Christmas happens to be of sheer significance for elders and children alike. Everyone regardless of their religion wait for this day, children specifically for the surprise gifts from Santa. All the churches are lit up and decorated to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus.

    Significance: Birthday of Lord Jesus
    Key attractions: Christmas tree decoration, prayers, birth of Lord Jesus and Santa Claus
    When: 25th December
    Where: The festival is celebrated across India. The best places to celebrate Christmas in India are Goa, Pondicherry and Kerala.
    Christmas 2021: 25th December (Saturday)
    Things To Do: Visit church and attend prayers, attend carnivals and celebrations

    Suggested Read: 13 Must-Attend Events And Festivals In December In India: Block Your Dates & Head Out

    16. Easter: Celebrating The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ (4th April, Sunday)

    easter celebrations in india

    Just like other festivals in India and the world, Easter is also celebrated with much fervour and great religious solemnization in different parts of the country. Celebrated during Spring, Easter celebrations in India are distinguished by various colourful decorations, dance and plays, simmel and plum cakes, and bright lanterns adorning the streets.

    Significance: Resurrection of Lord Jesus
    Key attractions: Folk songs and dance, Easter eggs, cakes, chocolates, street decorations
    Easter 2021: 4th April (Sunday)
    Where: The festival is celebrated across India. The best places to celebrate Easter in India are Goa, Pondicherry, and Kerala
    Easter 2021: 4th April 
    Things To Do: Attend prayers

    Suggested Read: Celebrate These 10 Festivals In April In India & Rejoice In The Good Vibes

    17. Baisakhi: The Rich Traditions And Cultural Prosperity (14th April, Wednesday)

    baisakhi festival of india

    Image Source

    Baisakhi, one of the famous festivals of India is celebrated by the Sikh community of Punjab and those around the world. It celebrates the welcoming of the harvest season for the rabi crops. The Sikhs celebrate this festival with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by performing local folk dances such as Giddha and Bhangra. The festival is of great religious significance in India as it marks the day when the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, laid out the foundation stone for the Panth Khalsa-the Order back in 1699.

    Significance: Welcoming the harvest season
    Key attractions: Folk dance like Bhangra and Giddha, Punjabi feasts, decorations in houses and Gurudwaras
    When: 14th April (Wednesday)
    Where: The festival is celebrated across Sikh communities in India. The best place to celebrate Baisakhi in India is Punjab
    Baisakhi 2021: 14th April
    Things To Do: Visit gurudwaras, enjoy scumptious food served at celebrations, be a part of local celebrations

    Suggested Read: 10 Global Festivals You’d Never Want To Attend

    18. Makar Sankranti: Hindu’s New Year (14th Jan, Thursday)

    kite flying on makar sakranti

    Image Source
    Makar Sankranti is the real new year of North Indians and Sikhs which is celebrated just one day after Lohri. On this day, worship to God is performed to seek his blessings for the new year. It is in a way the end of winter and the beginning of spring which means the agricultural cycle for farmers. The dates are set according to solar cycles, unlike other Hindu festivals where dates are decided by lunar cycles. People celebrate this day by flying kites and having savory ‘Bajre ki khichdi’ and sweet ’til ladoo’. Gujaratis celebrate this festival by the name of Uttarayan.

    Significance: Beginning of agricultural cycle
    Key attractions: Kite flying
    When: 14th January (Thursday)
    Where: The festival is celebrated across North Indian and Sikh communities in India. The best place to celebrate Makar Sankranti in India is North region
    Makar Sankranti 2021: 14th January
    Things To Do: Attend celebrations, visit temples and holy places

    Suggested Read: 42 Famous Historical Places In India To Visit In 2021

    19. Maha Shivratri: Devotion To Lord Shiva (11th March, Thursday)

    maha shivratri

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    Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this Indian festival holds great reverence among the devotees of Lord Shiva. It has a huge significance in Hindu mythology celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun. It is believed that whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day attains salvation and redemption from their sins. It is also among the most crucial festivals of India for unmarried and married women to attain marital bliss.

    Significance: Devotion to Lord Shiva
    Key attractions: Fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva
    When: 11th March (Thursday)
    Where: North India and Nepal
    Mahashiv Ratri 2021: 11th March
    Things To Do: Visit temples and witness celebrations and festivity

    Suggested Read: 10 Popular Manipur Festivals That Show The Cultural Diversity Of The Northeast

    20. Basant Panchami: Dedicated to Goddess Saraswati (16th February, Tuesday)

    Goddess_Saraswati_dressed_in_yellow_sari_for_Vasant_Panchami_Festival,_Kolkata

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    Celebrated in the months of January or February, Basant Panchmi is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and is one of the famous festivals of India. It is an important day for scholars and students when they worship the Goddess of Knowledge. It is widely celebrated in the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Punjab, and Haryana. People in Rajasthan offer jasmine garlands to the goddess and langars are held in the state of Punjab.

    Significance: It marks the beginning of spring
    Key attractions: On this day, people wear yellow colored clothes and make yellow dishes like sweet saffron rice and kadhi.
    When: It is celebrated on the fifth day of Magha month of Hindu calendar.
    Where: states of Bihar West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Punjab, and Haryana
    Basant Panchami 2021: 16th February ( Tuesday)
    Things To Do: Attend Saraswati Puja and celebrations 

    Suggested Read: 10 Yoga Retreats In Goa That Will Let You Be In Touch With The Spiritual Realm

    21. Mahavir Jayanti: Birth Of Lord Mahavir (25th April, Sunday)

    Photo_of_lord_adinath_bhagwan_at_kundalpur

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    Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is an important day for the people from Jain religion as it marks the birth of Lord Mahavir. If you have noticed, the statue of Lord Mahavir is given a Mahabhishek where it is bathed with milk and flowers. Even a grand procession of Lord Mahavira’s idol is carried out in the streets.

    Significance: It is the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir
    Key attractions: Prayers are offered and fasting is observed. Rath Yatra is also carried out.
    When: It is celebrated on the 13th day of Chaitra month of Hindu Calendar
    Where: It is widely celebrated in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan
    Mahavir Jayanti 2021: 25th April (Sunday)
    Things To Do: Attend grand processions, visit Jain temples

    Suggested Read: 30 Budget Trips In India For That Pocket-Friendly Escape In 2021!

    22. Ugadi: A Festival To Thank The Deity (13th April, Tuesday)

    Ugadi In Karnataka

    Ugadi is a regional new year celebration for the people of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. This auspicious harvest festival is observed by making rangolis on floor, decorations on doors called torana, buying and giving gifts and sharing special food. It is one of the famous festivals of India. 

    Significance: IT is a harvest festival considered auspicious to start new work
    Key attractions: Famous Ugadi delicacies like Pulihora, Ugadi Pachadi and Bobbatlu, prepared with raw mango, neem, jaggery and tamarind
    When: On the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra
    Where: Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
    Ugadi 2021: 13th April (Tuesday)
    Things To Do: Attend local celebrations

    Suggested Read: Get The Rajasthani Bohemia On! 17 Amazing Shopping Places In Jaipur To Explore In 2021!

    23. Chhath Puja: A Festival Dedicated To The Sun God (10th November, Wednesday)

    A beautiful snap of the ghats at night on the occasion of Chhath Puja

    The Chhath Puja is a 4 day long festival, dedicated to the worship of the sun god. The devotees pray to them thanking for the life, wealth and health of themselves as well as their family. Many also bathe in the holy Ganges river. Many devotees also fast during the puja, following the legend of the fast of Rama and Sita to honour the sun god.

    Significance: The festival is dedicated to the worship of the sun god
    Key attractions: Some devotees fast from food and water as a ritual of the puja
    When: On the sixth day of the Hindu month of Kartika, which falls in October or November on the Gregorian Calendar
    Where: Bihar
    Chhath Puja 2021: 10th November(Wednesday)
    Things To Do: Attend festivals, take bath in holy rivers, indulge in celebrations

    Suggested Read: 79 Tourist Places In Delhi In To Witness The Capital City To The Fullest In 2021!

    24. Govardhan Puja: The Day Lord Krishna Defeated Indra Dev (5th November, Friday)

    worshiping

    Also known as Annakut Puja, Govardhan Puja is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated the god of thunder and rain, Indra. In Maharashtra, the same day is celebrated as Bali Pratipada while in Gujarat this day coincides with Gujarati New Year’s day.

    Significance: Celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra
    Key attractions: On this day, food made of cereals like wheat, rice and leafy vegetables are cooked and offered to Lord Krishna
    When: Most of the times it falls next day after Diwali
    Where: All across India
    Govardhan Puja 2021: 5th November (Friday)
    Things To Do: Go for Govardhan parikrama, visit temples and celebrations

    Suggested Read: 39 Super Fun Places In Delhi That Make It The Happiest City

    25. Gudi Padwa – Grand Harvest Festival Of Maharashtra (13th April, Tuesday)

    Gudi Padwa is a grand harvest festival mainly celebrated in the state of Maharashtra marking the beginning of an auspicious New Year. People make rangoli designs at the entrance of their homes and decorate it with flowers. Folks meet friends and relatives, and women cook sweets like Shrikhand, Puran Poli and Sunth Paak.

    Significance: On this festival, people pray to Lord Vishnu
    Key attractions: Local people make Gudi (bamboo doll) using mango and neem leaves and hang them at the entrance
    When: 25th March (Date may vary)
    Where: Maharashtra
    Gudi Padwa 2021: 13th April (Tuesday)
    Things To Do: Attend celebrations

    Suggested Read: 9 Fascinating Chinese Festivals That Are Worth Being A Part Of In 2021!

    26. Republic Day – Anniversary Of  The Constitution Of India (26th January, Tuesday)

    Republic Day

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    Republic Day is one of those festivals in India where patriotism amidst the citizens is at its peak. For this was the day when the constitution of India came into existence and the transition of the country from a British Dominion to a republic took place. This happened in the year 1950, three years after India got independence. Every year, this day is celebrated with great pride and excitement.

    Significance: Celebrated as the day when the Constitution of India came into existence.
    Key attractions: On this day, a grand parade is held every year that commences from Rashtrapati Bhavan and continues to Rajpath, India Gate, and then finally Red Fort.
    When: 26th January (Tuesday)
    Where: All across India
    Things To Do: Attend Republic Day parade, indulge in celebrations 

    Suggested Read: 13 Best Places To Visit In India With Family For A Unforgettable Vacation In 2021

    27. Camel Festival – The Cattle Trading Fest (13th January, Wednesday)

    Camel Fair

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    Taking place in Pushkar every year, this is one of the most interesting festivals in India. When the sandy floors of Pushkar are covered with camels, it is truly a sight to behold. This is that one festival that one should witness when looking for some ancient and old traditional-style Indian celebrations. Initially, the festival was celebrated to attract the local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival.

    Significance: Celebrated as the holy day for cattle and camel traders to do business.
    Key attractions: On this day, camel and cattle traders get together to do business on the holy Kartik Purnima festival.
    When: 13th January, Wednesday
    Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan

    Pushkar Festival 2021: 13th January
    Things To Do: Visit Pushkar and indulge in festivity

    28. Kumbh Mela – Major Pilgrimage Festival In Hinduism (14th January to 14th April)

    Kumbh Mela

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    One of the most religious festivals of India, Kumbh Mela is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years, approximately at four banks of rivers that are considered holy – namely Prayag, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. The pilgrims in this festival dip in the holy waters to get rid of all their sins in life. Along with this, the celebrations also include exorbitant fair, religious discourses by gurus and saints, mass feedings of the poor, and more!

    Significance: Celebrated based on the astrological positions of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter.
    Key attractions: Millions and millions of pilgrims visit the Kumbh Mela and dip in the holy rivers.
    When: 14th January to 27th April 2021
    Where: Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain, and Nasik (On rotation)
    Kumbh Mela 2021: 14th January to 27th April 2021
    Things To Do: Take bath in the holy river, attend ceremonies and pujas, attend lectures by spiritual gurus

    Suggested Read: 23 Spellbinding Places To Visit In July In India To Relish The 2021 Monsoon!

    29. Losar – The Tibetan New Year (14th February, Sunday)

    Losar

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    A famous Tibetan festival, Losar is one of the greatest Indian festivals and celebrations. Majorly celebrated in the neighbouring region, Tibet, Losar is a festival that is also celebrated in India by the Tibetans or the followers of Buddhism residing in this nation. Losar is the Tibetan New Year that is celebrated in a fun and frolic way. This also involves a way to show gratitude to God for the harvest.

    Significance: Celebrated as the day when the lunar pattern, according to the Tibetan calendar, begins.
    Key attractions: The celebrations are spread over three days, where different activities take place on each day.
    When: 14th February (Sunday)
    Where: Himachal Pradesh, Leh And Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh
    Losar 2021: 12th February to 14th February 
    Things To Do: Indulge in local celebrations

    30. Hornbill Festival – The Festival Of Festivals (5th December, Sunday)

    Hornbill Festival

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    One of the grand festivals falling in the list of Indian festivals that is celebrated in Nagaland is none other than the Hornbill. This week long festival is celebrated to show respect to their culture and folklore. Also famed as the ‘Festival of Festivals’, Hornbill is all about celebrating the ancient tribal traditions, lifestyles, and heritage.

    Significance: Celebrated as the day to promote intercultural harmony between various tribes.
    Key attractions: On this day, there are various activities that take place throughout the week such as horse-riding, craft space, painting, flower show, herbal medicine sales, chilli eating challenge, performances, sports, games, and much more!
    When: 5th December (Sunday)
    Where: Nagaland
    Hornbill Festival 2021: NA
    Things To Do: Horse-riding, craft space, painting, flower show, herbal medicine sales, chilli eating challenge, performances

    31. Mewar Festival – An Insight Into Rajasthani Culture (29th March, Monday)

    mewar

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    This festival happens in the city of Rajasthan, Udaipur. The festival is celebrated to mark the arrival of the spring season. If you want to be a witness to the cultural and traditional aspects of Rajasthan at large, you shouldn’t forget to attend this festival. This festival has a vast history and has been celebrated since when the Sisodia Dynasty was ruling India.

    Significance: Celebrated to welcome the season of Spring
    Key attractions: the whole festival is quite colorful and women in Udaipur can be seen actively taking part in the various ceremonies
    When: 29th March 2021
    Where: Udaipur
    Mewar Festival 2021: 27th March to 29th March
    Things To Do: Attend celebrations 

    Suggested Read: 15 Insane Destinations For Adventure Sports In India For A Mad Vacation With Friends In 2021

    32. Buddha Jayanti – Celebrating The Birth Of A Spiritual Being (26th May, Wednesday)

    Buddha idol

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    This is one of the holiest festivals celebrated in the country of India. It is also known by the name Buddha Purnima. The festival is celebrated as the birthday of Gautama Buddha who introduced the philosophy of Buddhism in the world. In order to make the most of this day, people indulge themselves in attending Buddhist teachings and wear white clothes to follow the tradition.

    Significance: People celebrate this festival because on this day Gautama Buddha was born
    Key attractions: on this day, people impart the teachings of Buddhism and everyone wears white clothes
    When: 26th May 2021 (Wednesday)
    Where: Darjeeling, Bodh Gaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Kurseong, Darjeeling, and Maharashtra
    Buddha Jayanti 2021: 26th May
    Things To Do: Visit Buddhist temples and monasteries, attend lectures and prayers

    Suggested Read: 25 Mesmerizing Hill Stations In South India That Are A Must Visit In 2021

    33. Thrissur Pooram – When Moon And Pooram Star Rise Together (23rd April, Friday)

    Thrissur Pooram

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    Considered amongst the most famous amongst all the festivals celebrated in Kerala, Thrissur Pooram will be a great event to attend. People from around the country gather to celebrate this festival. The celebrations for Thrissur Pooram do not end before 36  hours. Fireworks as well as Parasol displays form a crucial part of this festival.

    Significance: The festival is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of 10 temples around Vadakkunnathan Temple
    Key attractions: attend this festival to observe Parasol displays and fireworks 
    When: 23rd April, Friday 2021
    Where: Thrissur
    Thrissur Pooram 2021: 23rd April
    Things To Do: Attend the processions

    34. Ratha Yatra – A Festival Celebrated For Lord Jagannath (12th July, Monday)

    ratha yatra

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    This is a festival of chariots that is celebrated as an event dedicated to the Lord Jagannath. People assemble at the famous Puri Jagannath Temple in the Indian state of Odisha. The idols of Goddess Subhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Lord Balabhadra are placed on a chariot and taken out for the procession.                                                                                                                     

    Significance: It is celebrated to pay reverence to the Lord Jagannath
    Key attractions: chariots with the idols of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra are taken out on a chariot
    When: 12th July, Monday 2021
    Where: Puri

    Jagannath Yatra 2021: 12th July
    Things To Do: Attend Rath Yatra

    35. Dree Festival – A Harvest Festival In Arunachal Pradesh

    Dree festival

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    Celebrated in the picturesque Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, this festival is the biggest harvest festival that happens here. This festival is celebrated to gather people together and pray for a successful harvest. Moreover, people are served with cucumber, symbolizing the richness of the harvest. 

    Significance: This is considered to be one of the major harvest festivals in India
    Key attractions: people assemble and pray unanimously for the smooth harvest
    When: NA
    Where: Ziro Valley
    Dree Festival 2021: NA
    Things To Do: Attend ceremonies

    36. Independence Day – Celebration Of Freedom (15th August, Sunday)

    Marvel At The Epitome Of Mughal Era

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    One of the most crucial and celebrated national festivals, Independence Day is celebrated to feel the spirit of India’s freedom. The flag hoisting ceremony is also held during this day, carried out by the Prime Minister of India at Red Fort. This event is then followed by 21 gunshots that are fired as a way to give salutation. 

    Significance: Celebrated to commemorate the freedom attained on 15th August, 1947
    Key attractions: the salutation given through 21 gunshots and the Prime Minister of India hoisting the flag
    When: 15th August 2021 (Sunday)
    Where: Delhi
    Independence Day: 15th August
    Things To Do: Celebrate your freedom with friends and loved ones, fly kites, attend ceremonies, feel patriotic

    Further Read: Skydiving In India: 7 Best Locations For Exploring The Skies In 2021

    The myriad of important festivals of India boasts of the nation’s rich and varied culture and the religious sentiments of the people. Hope this list of famous festivals of India sparked an urge to travel to different places and be a part of celebrations. If you want to know a little more about the Indian festive spirit, these commonly-asked questions will be helpful. And don’t hesitate to plan a trip to India !

    Frequently Asked Questions About Famous Festivals Of India

    Which is the most celebrated festival in India?

    The diverse cultural communities in India celebrate countless festivals, each one in its own way, and all of them bring together people from different walks of life. Some of the most celebrated festivals in India include 1. Diwali 2. Holi 3. Dussehra 4. Ramadan/ Eid –Ul-Fitr 5. Christmas 6. Ganesh Chaturthi 7. Durga Pooja

    Which are the festivals for which India is famous worldwide?

    Some of the most popular festivals in India which are also celebrated internationally are Diwali · Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Navaratri, Dussehra, Eid al-Fitr, Onam, Pongal, and Pushkar Camel Fair.

    Which famous festivals of India are celebrated by all communities?

    Some of the most popular festivals in India that are celebrated all across the country and most people participate in despite their religious beliefs are Diwali, Holi, Christmas, and Pushkar Camel Fair.

    Which are the famous festivals of South India?

    Onam and Pongal are the main harvest festivals in South India celebrated in August-September and January respectively. Offering prayers to Hindu deities and family feasts are the highlights of these festivals. Besides, Nehru Trophy Race in Kerala is a popular festival that sees a large audience flocking to see the competition. Another one of the famous festivals of South India is the Hampi Festival. These celebrations in India are held in Karnataka and exhibit the essence of culture and history through music, dance, drama, and art.

    Which are the different festivals related to farming celebrated in India?

    Onam, Makar Sankranti, Baisakhi, Lohri, Wangala, Nuakhai, and Ugadi are some famous harvest festivals in India. The celebrations include a community gala featuring prayers to God, family gatherings, new clothes, music, dance, and feasts.

    Which festival is celebrated in the spring season?

    Holi is the major festival celebrated in the Spring Season in India. The festival is also given names like Festival of Colors and Festival of Love. It is celebrated with organic colours and water while a number of delicacies such as Gujiya and Dahi Bhalle are prepared in different states of the country.

    How many festivals are celebrated in India?

    There are diverse religions in India and each of these religions has its own number of festivals. Every state in India has about 20 to 30 grand festivals that are celebrated at different times of the year. Ganesh Chaturthi, Independence Day, Holi, Deepavali, Navratri, Gudi Padwa, Eid, and Republic Day are some of the most important festivals of India.

    What are the national festivals of India?

    Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi Jayanti are the three national festivals of India since they are all centred around Indian Independence and hold a connection to India’s Freedom Struggle from British colonial rule. The Indian government makes grand preparations for these festivals each year on a massive scale and the country celebrates these in unison. Republic Day is celebrated each year on 26th January, while Independence Day is celebrated on 15th August and Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October.

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