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    Locals gather in a pandal to celebrate the festival of Durga Pooja

    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 2018:

    • Navratri – 10th to 18th October
    • Dussehra – 19th October
    • Durga Puja – 15th to 19th October
    • Mysore Dussehra – 10th to 19th October
    • Diwali – Unlike previous years, this famous festival of October will be on 7th November this year
    • Mannarasala Ayilyam – 31st October to 1st November
    • India Art Festival – To be announced
    • Samsara Himalaya Yoga Festival – To be announced
    • Rajasthan International Folk Festival – 24th to 28th October
    • Marwar Festival – 23rd to 24th October

    Religious festivals in October

    1. Navaratri – Nine nights of fasting and celebration

    Navratri is one of famous festivals of India

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    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 2018: 10th October – 18th October (The first day on the Navratri will fall on 1oth and 11th October)

    2. Dussehra – Victory of good over evil

    Celebrations of Dussehra in Delhi

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    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 2018: 19th October – 25th October (Kullu Dussehra) | 19th October (Dussehra)

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

    3. Durga Puja – Religious, cultural and gastronomic delight

    Locals gather in a pandal to celebrate the festival of Durga Pooja

    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 2018: 15th October – 19th October

    4. Mysore Dussehra – One of the popular festivals of South India

    Locals gather for the elephant rally during the Mysore Dussehra festival

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    Where: Mysore

    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 2018: 10th October – 19th October

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    5. Diwali – The festival of lights

    A collage of the festivities of Diwali

    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 2018: Unlike every year, the festival of Diwali might fall on 7th November this year, and not in the month of October.

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    6. Mannarasala Ayilyam – Regional traditions of Alleppey

    Locals and priests walk during a procession during the Mannarasala Ayilyam festival

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    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 2018: 31st October or 1st November

    Suggested Read: 15 Famous Festivals Of India

    Folk & cultural festivals celebrated in India in October

    7. India Art Festival – The most contemporary art fest in India

    Art enthusiasts admiring the beautiful paintings and art pieces during the India Art Festival in Mumbai

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    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 2018: Unlike every year, this famous festival will take place in Delhi this year around 25th November and the Mumbai edition will take place in January 2019.

    8. Samsara Himalaya Yoga Festival – Melodies of peace & good heath

    A promotional poster of the Indian edition of the Samsara yoga and music festival

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    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 2018: The dates for this year are yet to be announced.

    9. Rajasthan International Folk Festival – Celebrate the art & culture

    Local artists performing during the Rajasthan International Folk Fest

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    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 2018: 24th October – 28th October

    Must Read: 15 Festivals In November In India

    10. Marwar Festival – Explore the colors of courage

    Artists performing dances during the Marwar Festival

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    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 2018: 23rd October – 24th October

    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.

    Further Read: 10 Thrilling Festivals In Australia In 2018-19 That Will Give You Major FOMO!

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    Category: India

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