India is popularly known as the land of festivals which is considered as a colorful nation where people celebrate with full vigor and joy. India has 29 states and every state celebrates harvest festivals at different times in the year. The first yield of the crop is a delight for the people and they celebrate it cheerfully as a festival.
Festivals have always been the most memorable and favorite part of a traveler’s journey through different countries and continents. Being the colorful nation that India is, the most vibrant harvest festivals of India involve interesting mythological legends and joyous celebrations. They are as incredible and diverse as its people and landscapes and let you experience the beauty of the Indian culture. However, dates for harvest festivals in different parts of the country vary due to diversity in climate. See the list of harvest festivals in India, may it be north, east, west, or south!
Harvest Festivals Of India Calendar
The list is vast as there are various cultures in India. With such an amazing set of variety, there are several ways to celebrate the harvest. Here is the list of harvest festivals of India with the dates on which they are celebrated. Take a look!
18 Harvest Festivals Of North India
Here is a list of the different harvest festivals in India that you might be interested to know about for having a vibrant experience when you are on a vacation in North India. Take a look!
1. Makar Sankranti – An Auspicious Day For Hindus
Celebrated all over the country, Makar Sankranti is the oldest and the most colorful harvest festival in India. It is also the most celebrated harvest festival of North India making it the top harvest festival of Uttar Pradesh. As per Hindu mythology, this festival marks the end of an unfavorable phase and the beginning of a holy phase. Particularly in villages of Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Himachal, West Bengal, and Punjab, people celebrate the harvest of new crops with a bonfire, carnivals, songs, dances, kite flying, and rallies. Kumbh Mela is one of the key attractions during this festival. There are three dates for this festival in which most pilgrims participate and this festival lasts for three months in a year.
Where is Makar Sankranti celebrated: Pan India in different ways but mainly in the north
Key attractions of Makar Sankranti festival: Kumbh Mela and various sumptuous sweet dishes made of sesame and jaggery
Date: 15th January 2023 (Sunday)
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2. Baisakhi – Celebrating With The Rhythms Of Dhol And Bhangra
People of Punjab and Haryana celebrate Baisakhi festival or Vaisakhi by thanking God for the good harvest. And the farmers of the country express their happiness and delight through this Indian harvest festival. People wear their best colorful dresses, sing the happiest songs, and dance to the melodious beats of Dhol. It is the most loved harvest festival of Punjab. Baisakhi fairs are also organized where acrobatics, wresting, algoza, and vanjli performances can be seen which makes it one of the most interesting harvest festivals celebrated in India.
Where is Baisakhi celebrated: Punjab and Haryana
Key attractions of Baisakhi festival: Bhangra by menfolk and Gidda by women
Date: 14th April 2023
3. Ladakh Harvest Festival – Buddhist Tradition At Its Best
Ladakh Harvest Festival has gained immense popularity and fame all over the world. Ladakh looks bright, beautiful, and absolutely stunning with the commencement of this harvest festival. Monasteries and stupas are decorated and pilgrimages to Thangka of Kyabje Gombo are mandatory things as a part of this celebration. Archery along with old social & cultural ceremonies and art & handicrafts are the other features of the event. The festivals of Ladakh attracts travelers from across the world with their exclusive experiences. While visiting this destination, you must enjoy this unique festival of harvest in India.
Where Ladakh Harvest Festival celebrated: Ladakh, Zanskar, Kargil
Key attractions of Ladakh Harvest Festival: Dramas or ‘Chhams’ are performed to display life and teachings of Buddha and different dance forms of Tibetan culture
Date: 1st September to 15th September 2023
4. Lohri – A Punjabi Folk Festival
Lohri is a renowned harvest festival in Punjab that showcases traditional dance and songs. To kill the chills of winter, the entire family and neighbors gather around the bonfire and sing together and offer grains, corns, and nuts to respect and appreciate the grand harvest of sugarcane crops.
Where is Lohri celebrated: Punjab
Key attractions of Lohri festival: The Punjabi folklore Sunder Mundriye sung by everyone
Date: 14th January 2023 (Saturday)
5. Basant Panchami – To Celebrate Birth Of Goddess Saraswati
One of the most popular harvesting festivals of India, Basant Panchami marks the onset of the spring season. Celebrated in different states of North India, it is considered an auspicious day. This festival is associated with yellow color, which is a color of spirituality. One can see the magnificent mustard crop fields in the countryside, especially rural areas of Haryana and Punjab.
Key attractions of Basant Panchami festival: Indian cuisines like Meethe Chawal, Maake ki Roti, and Sarso Ka Saag
Where is Basant Panchami celebrated: Eastern parts of India West Bengal & Bihar
Date: 26th Janurary 2023 (Thursday)
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Harvest Festivals Of North-East India
Here is a list of the harvest festivals of North East India that will give you a heart-warming experience while exploring India. Take a look!
6. Bhogali Bihu – Of Bliss And Cheerfulness
Every year in January, the entire state of Assam showcases enthusiasm and delight in celebrating Bhogali Bihu. The farmers of Assam celebrate and cherish the efforts of cultivation and reap the benefits. The celebration starts one night before with Uruka—the community feast. On the day of Bihu, the mejis or pavilion made of clay and hay are burnt. Local women wear stunning mukhlas and participate in group songs and dance. Also known as Magh Bihu, this is an exotic and most vibrant name on the list of harvest festivals of India.
Where is Bihu celebrated: Assam
Key attractions of Bihu festival: Bihu dance, bullfight, bird fight and Sunga Pitha, Til Pitha and Laru
Date: 15th January 2023 (Sunday)
7. Wangala – Echoes Of Drums And Songs Everywhere
Wangala is the merriment of 100 drums played by Garo tribes of northeast India. This is one of the popular harvest festivals of India marking the onset of winter. During this festival, Sun God is worshiped with immense devotion and zeal. Women wear their traditional colorful clothes and dance during this harvesting festival while men rhythmically drum their fingers on the traditional drum pads.
Where is Wangala celebrated: Meghalaya and Assam
Key attractions of the Wangala festival: Musical extravaganza with drums, flutes, and gongs
Date: 10th November 2023 (Friday)
8. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem – The Dance Festival Of Meghalaya
The inhabitants of Khasi hills worship Goddess Ka Blei Synshar and celebrate the plentiful harvest with vigour and excitement. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem brings ultimate joy and happiness to the community. The celebration comprises of animal sacrifice and Nongkrem dance with a sword in one hand and yak hair whisk in the other. Unlike different unusual festivals in India, this festival is quite popular among the people of Meghalaya and widely celebrated.
Where is Ka Pomblang Nongkrem celebrated: Meghalaya
Key attractions of Ka Pomblang Nongkrem festival: Pemblang ceremony and Ceremony of Tangmuri
Date: 2nd or 3rd week of November
Festivals In East And West India
Here is a list of the harvest festivals of East and West India that will let you absorb the culture of the country and give you a soul-stirring experience. Take a look!
9. Nuakhai – Worship Of Food Grains
Nuakhai is an age-old harvest celebration in Odisha. Locally ‘nua’ means new and ‘khai’ means food. This is not only a popular harvest festival in India but also celebrated to appreciate the passing away of the past and evil days while welcoming the new and beautiful with open arms. The festival is also known as Nuakhai Parab or Nuakhai Bhetghat.
Where is Nuakhai celebrated: Orissa
Key attractions of Nuakhai festival: The delicious Arsaa Pitha (sweet pancakes)
Date: 20th September 2023 (Wednesday)
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10. Gudi Padwa – A Springtime Ceremony
Gudi Padwa is a grand harvest festival of Maharashtra marking the beginning of an auspicious New Year. People make rangoli designs at the entrance of their homes and decorate them with flowers and a handmade doll. Folks meet friends and relatives, exchange wishes, and women cook sweets like Puran Poli, Shrikhand, and Sunth Paak.
Where is Gudi Padwa celebrated: Maharashtra
Key attractions of Gudi Padwa festival: Local people make Gudi (bamboo doll) using mango and neem leaves and hang them at the entrance.
Date: 22nd March 2023 (Wednesday)
11. Nabanna – The Festival Of The New Harvest
Nabana is amongst one of the crop festivals of India which is famous for the paddy plantation harvest. This is one of the most celebrated traditions of Bengal, where new rice is harvested with sheer joy and stocked in homes. Farmers from Bengal cheerfully participate in this harvest ritual in the Bengali month of Agrahayan and offer the first grains to Goddess Lakshmi while thanking her for all blessings. West Bengal Tourism has taken initiative to welcome tourists from around the country.
Where is Nabanna celebrated: West Bengal
Key attractions of Nabanna festival: Payesh (Kheer) made from the newly harvested rice and Nabanna fair.
Date: 15th April 2023 (Saturday)
Harvest Festivals Of South India
Here is a list of the harvest festivals that are celebrated in South India that will help you know the history and culture of south India. Take a look!
12. Onam – The Harvest Festival Of India
Onam festival is a legendary harvest festival of Kerala celebrated with great enthusiasm in different parts of Kerala. The festival is celebrated for 10 days with the arrival of Mahabali. To relish the successful harvest, Malayalee people decorate their house entrance with floral rangoli, wear new traditional clothes, women cook delicious food, and celebrate with traditional music and dance.
When and where is Onam celebrated: Some regions of Kerala
Key attractions of Onam festival: Traditional Kerala cuisine recipes like Rasam, Payasam, Avial, brown rice, and parippu curry are offered to guests in traditional green leaf, snake boat race, and tiger dance are also exciting to watch.
Date: 20th August 2023 (Sunday) to 31st August 2023 (Thursday)
13. Pongal – Displaying Gratitude To Mother Nature
Pongal is another name for Makar Sankranti, which is celebrated during the same time in various cities of Tamil Nadu. This is a thanksgiving celebration where people express their deep gratitude to mother nature for the produce of the year. This is one of the most colorful harvest festivals of India celebrated for 4 days. It is amongst the most popular festivals of Tamil Nadu.
The first day is the Bhogi Festival devoted to Lord Indra for an abundance of rain. On the second day, newly harvested rice and milk are cooked outdoor and offered to Sun God. The third day is for cattle worship and on the fourth day, Pongal or traditional colored rice is offered with turmeric, betel leaf, and betel nuts.
Where is Pongal celebrated: Tamil Nadu
Key attractions of Pongal festival: Decorated houses with Kolam, the bull-taming contests, a bonfire with agricultural wastes, and worship for the family’s prosperity
Date: 15th January 2023 (Sunday) to 18th January 2023 (Wednesday)
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14. Ugadi – A Festival To Thank The Deity
Ugadi is a regional New Year celebration for the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This harvest festival is considered auspicious to start new work and ventures. On the day, local people take an oil bath, wear traditional clothes, decorate homes with earthen lamps and rangoli, and perform Ugadi puja at home.
Where is Ugadi celebrated: Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
Key attractions of Ugadi festival: The Ugadi delicacies like Ugadi Pachadi, Pulihora, and Bobbatlu are prepared with raw mango, jaggery, neem, and tamarind.
Date: 22nd March 2023 (Wednesday)
15. Vishu – The Day Of Worshiping Lord Krishna
Grand worship of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna, elaborate family lunch, evening prayers, and fireworks sum up the complete picture of the Vishu festival. This is an interesting harvest festival celebrated on the first day of Malayalee New Year. Women of the house prepare Vishukkani—varieties of traditional cuisine to offer to Gods—, with rice, golden lemon, golden cucumber, jackfruit, yellow konna flowers, and betel leaves.
Where is Vishu celebrated: Kerala and Karnataka
Key attractions of Vishu festival: Kani Kanal—the first holy sight of Vishnu and the Sadya—the grand mid-day meal spread
Date: 15th April 2023 (Saturday)
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16. Agera – Famed As The Thanksgiving Sunday
Agera is one of the crop festivals of India celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people of Mumbai. Celebrated on the first Sunday of October in the regions of Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, and Vasai, it marks the harvest season of Maharashtra when Catholic locals thank “thank God for the abundance of blessings received”. It is also sometimes called the ‘Thanksgiving Sunday’ and is characterized by a lively procession to the nearest paddy field where a priest blesses the farm and plucks a few sheaves. The procession is accompanied by music and dance. Various food stalls are set up outside churches where the blessed paddy is finally brought before being distributed to the participants.
Where is Agera celebrated: Mumbai
Key Attractions of Agera festival: One of the priests showers the blessings on the field and harvest a few rice stalks. After then the rice stalks are taken to the church with sounds of the village band in a palki.
Date: 1st October 2023 (Sunday)
17. Dree Festival – An Eminent Festival Of Apatani Tribe
The Dree Festival is among the most famous festivals in Arunachal Pradesh as it marks an important time of the year for the Apatani tribe – the harvest season. Characterized by sacrificial offerings and prayers, Dree is celebrated on the 5th of July every year in the Ziro district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The festival is celebrated with utmost joy by people of all walks of life who dress up in traditional clothes. Locals perform traditional dance and music numbers while others enjoy a feast of tangy rice and millet beer. Other than this, the three-day festival is also marked by various games and sports that the locals and onlookers are entertained with. The entire ritual is carried out to pray before the four Gods – Tamu, Harniang, Metii, and Danyi – so that the Apatanis can be blessed with a bountiful harvest season.
Where is Dree festival celebrated: Arunachal Pradesh
Key Attractions of Dree festival: The festival is celebrated with traditional singing and dance during which five of the main deities are worshipped such as Tamu, Medvr, Metw, Mepin and Danyi.
Date: 5th July 2023 (Wednesday)
18. Holi: Festival Of Color And Water
Holi is one of the colorful harvest festivals of India is celebrated with great enthusiasm and in all good spirits. Holi represents the essence of India and vibrancy as the festival is celebrated with great grandeur and splendor. Holi is one of the renowned harvest festivals of India known for colors and water. The essence behind the festival is that it is celebrated for 2 days that is 1st day is for a bonfire to commemorate Holika’s sacrifice and the second day is when people play with colors and water and celebrate Holi with all vigor and joy. Holi in Mathura is one of the best places to witness the true essence of this festival.
Where is Holi celebrated: Barsana, Mathura & Vrindavan
Key Attractions of Holi festival: The festival is celebrated, playing with a lot of varied colors.
Date: 8th March 2023 (Wednesday)
Further Read: 36 Most Famous Festivals Of India You Must Experience
You must attend at least a few of the harvest festivals of India in different states. You’ll be amazed to witness the great diversity of this gorgeous land. Taking a trip to these Indian states during their harvest festivals will help you learn a great deal about their vivid culture, heritage, and traditions. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip now!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Harvest Festivals In India
Is Diwali a harvest festival?
No, Diwali is not a harvest festival.
Which is the harvest festival of Bihar?
Makar Sankranti is the harvest festival of Bihar.
Why do we celebrate harvest festivals?
A harvest festival is a celebration of the food that has been grown on the land. It marks that time of the year when all the crops that had been sowed in and cared for round the clock have been harvested.
What is harvest festival of Rajasthan?
Gangaur is the harvest festival of Rajasthan and one of the most colorful and important festivals. It is celebrated throughout the state with great enthusiasm and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri during the month of March/ April.
What is special about the Wangala dance?
The Wangala festival is a carnival to celebrate the harvest season. Prayer is offered to God and celebrated by singing and dancing.
Which are the famous harvest festivals of South India?
Pongal, Onam and Ugadi are the famous harvest festivals of South India. All these festivals help one knows about the culture of South India.
Which states in India celebrate Ugadi festival?
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states in India celebrates Ugadi festival with full zeal and enthusiasm.
What country celebrates the harvest festival?
Mostly regions that are involved in agricultural practices celebrate their respective harvest seasons. Some of the countries that celebrate harvest festivals include Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand, Israel, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
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