October is a month of vibrant festivals and bountiful celebrations. Starting from Navratri puja, the festive mood lingers on till Diwali and Bhai Dooj. The huge number of festivals in October in India makes it a joyous month when spirits are high, lots of family time is on the cards, and meals are nothing short of a feast.
Have a look at this list of the festivals in October and plan a holiday in India accordingly. But before that, take a note of the dates of these festivals in 2020:
- Navratri – 17th October – 25th October
- Dussehra -25th October
- Durga Puja – 22nd to 26th October
- Mysore Dussehra – 17th October to 27th October
- Diwali – 14th November
- Mannarasala Ayilyam – 9th November
- India Art Festival – Unlike every year, this famous festival will take place in Delhi this year around 26th to 29th November
- Samsara Himalaya Yoga Festival – To be announced
- Rajasthan International Folk Festival – 29th October – 2nd November
- Marwar Festival – 12rd October – 13th October
Religious festivals in October
Here are some of the best and famous festivals celebrated in the month of October all over India with much grandeur and joy.
1. Navaratri – Nine nights of fasting and celebration
Where: North India and Gujarat
Navratri – a nine nights long celebration – is one of the most observed festivals in October, seen mainly in northern part of India and Gujarat. While the people of the northern states follow a religious fasting regime, those in Gujarat showcase a more vibrant fiesta. Every year people get engrossed in the highly enthralling Dandiya & Garba dances to honor and worship Goddess Amba in nine different avatars.
Key attractions: Women is dazzling traditional lehenga-choli are seen dancing to the beats of Garba and celebrating with authentic Gujarati cuisine like Mandavi Paak, Singoda ki Kheer, etc.
Dates for Navratri 2020: 17th October – 25th October
2. Dussehra – Victory of good over evil
Where: All over the country
Dussehra is celebrated pan India with utmost joy and delight. This is one of the most popular festivals in October in India and marks the demise of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhakarna. It is also popular as Vijaya Dashami. Along with Navratri, Ramlila is enacted for nine days and the 10th day – Dussehra – is celebrated with the enactment of Ravan Dahan.
Kullu Dussehra: Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) is also well known for Dussehra celebration with its international folk festival, phool yatra, Kullu fair, and Naina Devi fair. The 10 days’ affair is also regarded as one of the popular festivals in October in India and is celebrated with international folk festival, Naina Devi fair, Kullu fair, and phool yatra.
Key attractions: Burning of effigies of Demon king Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghnath
Dates for Dusshera 2020: 25th October
3. Durga Puja – Religious, cultural and gastronomic delight
Where: Kolkata and other metropolitan cities
Durga Puja is among the most important festivals in October in India, celebrated by the Bengalis all over India. The gala affair engrosses the people with grand celebrations. Pandals are set up in every locality and Durga idol is worshiped there. People in their best attires go for pandal hopping (even during midnight) and extravagant feasting.
Key attractions: 10 armed Durga idols, loud chants, and sumptuous food at the pandals
Dates for Durga Puja 2020: 22nd to 26th October
4. Mysore Dussehra – One of the popular festivals of South India
Mysore Dussehra, also known as Nada Habba, is an age-old festival celebrated in Mysore. Here, the gala victory of Chamundeshwari over Mahishasura is celebrated with grandeur. The last day is marked with a royal rally with a decorated elephant carrying the worshiped idol. Needless to say, this festival lights up the town of royalty and makes it look even more spellbinding. If you’re planning a trip to Mysore this year, make sure you visit it in October and attend this festival.
Key attractions: Elephant rally
Dates for Mysore Dussehra 2020: 17th October to 27th October
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5. Diwali – The festival of lights
Where: Pan India
Diwali – the Festival of Lights – is one of the most celebrated festivals in India in October and November. It’s one of the major events in October that are celebrated throughout the nation.
Celebrated by almost all communities throughout India, Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama, Lakshmana, and Devi Sita after 14 years of exile. The houses and streets are decorated with lights, diyas, and rangolis. People perform pujas, burst crackers, and distribute gifts on the occasion.
Key attractions: Bustling crackers and beautifully decorated homes with clay diyas, candles, & strings of colorful LED lights
Date for Diwali 2020: 14th November
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6. Mannarasala Ayilyam – Regional traditions of Alleppey
Where: Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja temple in Alappuzha District, Kerala
Mannarasala is a temple dedicated to the serpent Gods in the Alappuzha district of Kerala. Interestingly the temple has a woman priestess. Ayilyam festival is one of the less popular festivals in October in India. However, it is celebrated in the region with grandeur and delight. So, make sure your Kerala trip itinerary included a visit to this festival as while it may not be very famous, it is surely a celebration of its kind.
Key attractions: Rally with serpent idols, incense sticks, & prayer hymns
Date for Mannarasala Ayilyam 2020:9th November
Suggested Read: 15 Famous Festivals Of India
Folk & cultural festivals celebrated in India in October
These are some of the best art and cultural festivals which are celebrated with much vigour throughout the country.
7. India Art Festival – The most contemporary art fest in India
Where: New Delhi
One of the major events in October, India Art Festival is a contemporary art festival where art buffs, art buyers, connoisseurs, history freaks, publishers, and critics gather for seminars and exhibitions. The objective is to provide a platform for social and business networking in the field of art and culture. One of the most popular cultural festivals in October in India, the India Art Festival showcases excellent pieces of art.
Key attractions: Artworks of artists, painters, and sculptures
Dates for India Art Festival 2020: Unlike every year, this famous festival will take place in Delhi this year around 26th to 29th November
8. Samsara Himalaya Yoga Festival – Melodies of peace & good heath
Where: Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh
Conducted by Arya Marga Yoga, Samsara Himalaya Yoga festival is a grand annual event. It is one of the most stunning festivals in October and is meant for yoga enthusiasts and music admirers. People from all over the world with similar interests join in for the celebrations. Enthusiasts assemble at this festival to be a part of the therapeutic and evolutionary arts of sound and vision healing by skilled professionals.
Key attractions: Interaction with Yoga, Qigong & Tai Chi trainers, Reiki experts, professionals of Ayurveda, and acupuncture specialists
Dates for Samsara Himalaya Yoga festival 2020: The dates for this year are yet to be announced.
9. Rajasthan International Folk Festival – Celebrate the art & culture
Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Jodhpur RIFF or the Jodhpur International Folk Festival is one of the fascinating cultural festivals in October in India. It is celebrated in Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur and patronized by Gaj Singh of Marwar. It is an international cultural gig that showcases Rajasthani traditional folk dances, music, and artwork. The event has been declared as the People’s Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development by UNESCO.
Key attractions: Incredible concerts and folk events
Dates for Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2020: 29th October – 2nd November
Must Read: 15 Festivals In November In India
10. Marwar Festival – Explore the colors of courage
Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Maand is one of the most colorful Indian festivals in October. It is celebrated during Sharad Purnima for two days. Maand festival showcases traditional forms of dance and music that reflect passion and gallantry of the Rajasthani rulers. Music and dance performances are held in Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore, and Mehrangarh Fort. The festival enhances the beauty of these forts and it is definitely a sight worth witnessing!
Key attractions: Horse riding, magic shows, puppet shows, Camel Tattoo Shows, and Horse Polo
Dates for Maand festival 2020: 12rd October – 13th October
Are you excited to indulge into these festivals and enjoy a time like never before exploring the culture of the country? Then save the dates of these festivals in October in India and plan a family holiday in India. Do not forget to share your experiences with us.
Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In October In India
A. Some of the best festivals in October in India are Navratri, Mysore Dussehra, India Art Festival, Diwali, Samsara Himalaya Yoga Festival and Marwar Festival.
A. One of the most colourful festivals in India in October, Marwar festivals key attractions include horse riding, magic shows, camel tattoo shows, puppet shows, and horse polo. Happening in Jodhpur, Rajasthan this is one of the best places to visit in October in India.
A. The most awaited autumn festival in India falls in late October and early November. It is Diwali, the festival of lights which is widely celebrated by people all over India.
A. Gadbade festival is celebrated in Haryana on Sharad Purnima which falls in the month of October or November. On this particular day, the moon is brightest in the entire year.
A. The famous art and cultural festivals celebrated throughout the country in October are India Art Festival, Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Samsara Himalaya Yoga Festival, Marwar Festival.
A. Dussehra, Mysore Dussehra, Mannarasala Ayilyam, Diwali are some of the best and famous festivals celebrated in October in India.
A. 24th of October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that this day be observed by the Member States as a public holiday.
A. Vasant Panchami, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Goa Carnival, Gangaur, Holi, Vasant Navaratri are some of top celebrated spring festivals in India.
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