India is a big country with many different races, religions, and classes. Because of this, there are a lot of events in India to honour their gods and goddesses. Since there are so many different kinds of people here, the way each state celebrates these holidays is also different.
Feasts have always been a part of celebrations, and people in the past loved them just as much as we do today. During holidays, the whole country wakes up from its dull and repetitive routine and becomes bright and colourful. India’s holidays are full of fun, people getting together, special food and sweets, colours, fireworks, loud music, dance, and plays.
Every group has its own holidays and holy days, but that doesn’t mean that other religious groups can’t also celebrate them. India is a secular country, which means that people from all religions and communities can celebrate their own holidays there.
Some holidays are on the “restricted list,” which means that the boss can choose whether or not to give the day off. Festivals are a great way to learn about Indian culture, and even tourists from other countries take part in them when they visit India.
Table of Contents
- 1 National Festivals
- 2 Religious Festivals
- 3 Hindu Festivals
- 4 Diwali or Deepawali
- 5 Dev Deepawali
- 6 Holi
- 7 Makara Sankranti
- 8 Janamasthami
- 9 Dussehra
- 10 Durga Puja
- 11 Ganesh Chaturthi:
- 12 Rath Yata (Chariot event)
- 13 Chhath Puja
- 14 Nabakalebar festival
- 15 Muslim Festivals
- 16 Eid-ul-Fitr
- 17 Eid-ul-Zuha or Eid-al-Adha
- 18 Milad-un-Nabi
- 19 Muharram
- 20 Shab-e-Barat
- 21 Shab-e-Miraj
- 22 Christian Festivals
- 23 Christmas
- 24 Good Friday and Easter
- 25 Sikhs Festivals
- 26 Gurpurab
- 27 Parkash Utsav Dasveh Patshah
- 28 Maghi
- 29 Hola Mohalla
- 30 Vaisakhi/Baisakhi
- 31 Lohri:
- 32 Sodal Mela
- 33 Jain Festivals
- 34 Mahavir Jayanti:
- 35 Paryushana
- 36 Mahamastakabhisheka
- 37 Gyana Panchami:
- 38 Varshi Tapa or Akshay Tritiya Tapa:
- 39 Maun-Agiyara:
- 40 Navapad Oli:
- 41 Buddhist Festivals
- 42 Buddha Purnima
- 43 Songkran
- 44 Ploughing Festival
- 45 Ulambana
- 46 Hemis Gompa
- 47 Sindhi Festivals
- 48 Chaliho Sahib:
- 49 Cheti Chand:
- 50 Festivals for Parsis or Zoroastrians
- 51 Jamshedi Navroz
- 52 Pateti Festival:
- 53 Gahambars
- 54 Zarthost No Deeso
- 55 Khordad Sal:
- 56 Secular Festivals
- 57 Khajuraho Dance Festival:
- 58 New Year
- 59 Sair-e-Gul Faroshan
- 60 Tyagaraja Aradhana
- 61 Onam
- 62 Pongal
- 63 Sarhul
- 64 North-East India has many festivals.
- 65 Saga Dawa (Triple Blessed Festival)
- 66 Losoong Festival
- 67 Bihu Festival:
- 68 Me-Dam-Me-Phi festival:
- 69 Hornbill Festival
- 70 Moatsu Mong festival:
- 71 Yemshe Festival:
- 72 Kharchi Puja:
- 73 Cheiraoba Festival:
- 74 Wangala Festival (The 100 Drums Festival):
- 75 Kang Chingba (Manipur’s Ratha Yatra)
- 76 Ambubachi Mela
- 77 Sekrenyi Festival:
- 78 Majuli Festival
- 79 Lui-Ngai-Ni Festival:
- 80 Dree Festival
- 81 Losar Festival:
- 82 Khan Festival:
- 83 Torgya Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
- 84 Murung Festival:
- 85 Indian fairs
- 86 Kumbh Mela:
- 87 Sonepur Mela:
- 88 Chitra Vichitra Fair:
- 89 Shamlaji Fair:
- 90 Pushkar Fair
- 91 Desert Festival:
- 92 Baneshwar Fair, Rajasthan:
- 93 Garib Nawaz Urs, Rajasthan
- 94 Kami Mata Fair, Bikaner, Rajasthan:
- 95 Kolayat Fair (Kapil Muni Fair)
- 96 Surajkund Crafts Fair
- 97 Gangasagar Mela:
- 98 Goa Carnival:
- 99 Lathmaar Holi of Barsana in Mathura:
- 100 Gujarat’s Tarnetar Fair
• National festivals are held when big historical events that are important to India happen.
• These festivals help Indians develop a strong sense of pride.
• India has three National Festivals: on January 26, they celebrate Republic Day, on August 15, they celebrate Independence Day, and on October 2, they celebrate Gandhi Jayanti.
• These are the festivals that are held by groups of people who follow a certain faith or set of beliefs. There are no rules against people of different religions enjoying a festival. For example, Holi is a religious holiday for Hindus, but in India, which is a free country, even people who are not Hindus enjoy it.
Here are some of the most important Hindu holidays:
Diwali or Deepawali
It is a festival of lights held on the day of the new moon (Amavasya) in the month of Kartik, which is usually in October or November. The day before the festival is called Naraka Chaturdashi.
It takes place 15 days after Diwali and is held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika (November-December).
There, it is a custom for people to light lamps on the ghats of the River Ganga.
• Tripura Purnima Snan is another name for this day.
Holi is the festival of colours, and people of all religions take part in it.
• It happens in the month of Phalguna, which is from February to March.
It means that good won over evil, like when Holika was burned and Bhakt Prahlad was saved.
It is called Dol Jatra in West Bengal and parts of Assam.
Makara Sankranti is a festival that honours the Sun God and marks the time when the Sun moves from the Northern to the Southern hemisphere. In the month of January, the event is held. People travel to Gangasagar (in West Bengal) and Prayagraj (in Uttar Pradesh) to take a holy dip. It is also known as the Kite Flying Festival in some parts of India.
Janamasthami is a Hindu holiday that marks the day Lord Krishna was born. It usually takes place in August.
Dussehra is also called Bijaya Dashmi, and it is celebrated all over India to honour the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. In North India, Ravana Dahan is a popular thing to do on this day.
• It is mostly observed in the eastern part of India, especially in the state of West Bengal.
• It’s a way to honour how Goddess Durga beat the monster Mahisasura.
This festival is held all over India to honour the birthday of Lord Ganesha. However, since it is the main holiday in Maharashtra, it is done with a lot of pomp and show.
Rath Yata (Chariot event)
• It is Odisha’s biggest event and is for three gods: Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and his sister Subhadra.
• In this way, the Ratha Yatra festival in Puri is the biggest and most well-known.
Chhath Puja is the most important holiday in Bihar and Jharkhand. It is held to honour the Sun Goddess and takes place after days of strict fasting, a holy bath, and making gifts to the Sun Goddess. Thekua, a sweet dish, is one of the most popular gifts to the Goddess.
The Hindu calendar says that the Nabakalebar festival takes place every 8 to 19 years at the Shri Jagannath temple in Puri, Odisha. The word “Nabakalebar” means “new body,” which means that the idols of Lord Jaganath, Balabhadra, Subhadra, and Sudarshan are replaced with new ones. The new gods are made from the logs (daru) of four different neem trees that are chosen based on a set of rules and a thorough search. During the Adhik Masa (intercalary month), the old idols are taken down and replaced with new ones.
• There are a lot of pilgrims there to worship the chosen neem tree and watch the rite where the idols are replaced.
• In March 2018, the President of India gave out commemorative coins worth Rs 1000 and Rs 10 for the Nabakalebar event.
• This is one of the holidays that Muslims all over the world enjoy. The holiday happens after the last day of the holy month of Ramadan (Ramzan), which is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar.
• During the month of Ramadan, people fast all day, from the time the sun comes up until it goes down. The Sharia, which is the rule for Muslims, says that this is how to fast.
• After a complicated process, the date of Eid-ul-Fitr is set to be on the first day of the month of Shawwal and after the moon appears at the end of the month of Ramadan.
• According to Muslim traditions, the Holy Quran was revealed on an odd night in the last few days of the holy month of Ramadan.
• Most of the time, it is the 27th day of the month of Ramadan. This month is also important in the Muslim calendar because Prophet Muhammad won the Battle of Badr, which led to the city of Mecca being taken over.
Also, the prophet’s son-in-law Ali was killed on the 21st day of Ramadan, which is known as Eid-ul-Zuha or Eid-al-Adha.
Eid-ul-Zuha or Eid-al-Adha
• This holiday is also called Bakr-Eid or the Id where a goat, or Bakra, is killed as an offering. This is observed on the 10th day of the Islamic calendar’s 12th month, Dhu-al-Hijjah.
It is a holiday to remember how loyal the Prophet Ibrahim was to Allah, which was put to the test when God asked him to kill his son. It is said that Ibrahim was willing to cut off the head of his son, but God was kind and accepted the sacrifice of a goat’s head instead. So, on the day of Id-ul-Azha, a goat’s head is sacrificed and the meat is given to family members and neighbours as a religious gift.
The poor also get a third of the meat from sacrifices.
This Eid also marks the start of Hajj, which is the holy time when a lot of people go on pilgrimages to Mecca.
• This celebration is also called the Barah-wafat, and it is held on the day that the Prophet Muhammad was born. The Quran says that the Prophet was born on the 12th day of the Muslim calendar’s third month, Rabi-al-Awwal. The day is called Milad-un-Nabi or Mawlid-un-Nabi. It is also thought to be the day the Prophet left this world, so events on this day are quiet.
This day is one of our official holidays. It is done with a lot of respect and seriousness. People meet at mosques to hear the Holy Quran being read. At some special events, religious scholars read the Qasida al-Burda Sharif, a very holy poem written by the Arabic Sufi Busiri in the 1300s. They also sing Nats, which are traditional songs about the Prophet that praise him and talk about the good things he did.
• The holiday is called Barah (12) wafat (death) because it remembers the 12 days the Prophet Muhammad was sick before he died.
• It is especially important in places like Kashmir, where the Prophet’s remains are kept in the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar. Thousands of people attend the parade and gather in the area.
• Muharram is a sad holiday because it marks the death of Hussain, who was Ali’s son. The holiday takes place in Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The first day of Muharram is also the first day of the Islamic New Year.
The 10th day of the month of Muharram is called Yaum-al-Ashura. Shia Muslims all over the world celebrate it as a day of mourning for Hussain Bin Ali, the Prophet’s grandson, who was killed in the battle of Karbala in 61 Hijri (680 AD).
• In India, people go on Tajia processions and beat themselves with chains to feel what Hussain felt. People wear black clothes and give out sweets or juice to everyone in most parts of India.
• It is also called the “Night of Emancipation,” and it is celebrated between the 14th and 15th days of the month of Shaban.
Muslim custom says that on this night, each person’s future is decided.
• Most Shia Muslims celebrate the birthday of Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi, who was the 12th imam, on the 15th of Shaban.
People say that he freed the world from oppression and unfairness.
Shab-e-Miraj means “Might of Ascent” in Persian. People thought that the Holy Prophet kept going on his trip and got close to God. This happened on the 27th day of the month of Rajab, two years before Hijra.
There was no real body on the trip. During this trip, Muslims were told that they had to pray five times a day.
Lights and candles are used to decorate and light up the churches, and all the Muslims sing hymns and praise the Prophet. There is a lot of information about the spiritual stories of the Holy Prophet. Muslims give money to charity and give food to people who are in need. The people who are dedicated think about God all night long.
• This day is marked everywhere as the day Jesus Christ was born. It happens every year on December 25.
• The events start with the midnight mass, which is held in all churches on the night of December 24 and 25 to mark the birth of Christ.
People go to church, where several events are planned to remind them of what Christ did for them. They also visit each other’s homes and give each other gifts. The two traditions that go along with the holiday are related to the Christmas tree, which is put up in everyone’s home. It has lamps and lights all over it. The other story is about Santa Claus, who is said to bring presents. On this day, people sing songs and give out sweets and cakes.
Good Friday and Easter
• This is the day when people remember that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. According to the Bible, Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was executed. Because of this, Easter is supposed to represent the victory of life over death.
• There are some things that both Christians and Jews do around Easter that are similar.
For example, in the early days of Christianity, Jewish Christians marked Easter on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan. Normal Christians, on the other hand, celebrated it on the Sunday closest to the 14th of Nisan.
In 325 AD, at the famous Council of Nice, the date of Easter was set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, which is usually around March 21.
Good Friday is a holiday to remember the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. It always happens in the month of April. People believe that Jesus’ death was important for his rebirth, so it is a good sign and gives people hope.
It also shows that Jesus cares about people.
In every church in the country, Masses are held.
• It is a holiday for Sikhs all over the world. Gurpurabs are marked on the birthdays of all 10 Sikh gurus, but Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh are the most important. Other important Gurpurabs are held to remember Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur, who died fighting against the Mughals.
• When Guru Nanak’s birthday comes around, the Sikh community celebrates with Guru Nanak Jayanti.
On this day, special services are held at all Gurudwaras, and people are given food.
All Gurpurabs are a reason to celebrate and think about the Lord.
So, Akhand Path is held, and people go out to sing shabds or songs that praise the Lord. This is called Prabhat Pheris.
At the end of the celebrations, the Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a procession on a floral float led by five-armed guards holding Sikh flags (Nishan Sahibs).
• These five guys represent the Panj Pyare, which Guru Gobind Singh called the “five beloved men.”
Parkash Utsav Dasveh Patshah
• This holiday is held on the birthday of leader Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh leader.
It is also the celebration of the birth of the 10th spiritual Light or spiritual knowledge.
On January 31, Sikhs all over the world gather to enjoy this event.
• It is the time of year when Sikhs get together, and it is marked every year. It is a holiday in Muktsar to honour the forty Sikhs who died fighting the Mughals.
• In 1705, the 10th Guru Govind Singh died while fighting the Mughal ruler Wazir Khan. The Sikhs go to the site of the Sikh-Muslim War in a parade and bathe in the holy water of Muktsar.
It is held every year on January 14.
• It’s a big celebration for Sikhs. It usually happens on the second day of the lunar month Chett in March, and it takes place in Anandpur Sahib.
Guru Govind Singh started it as a place for mock fights and military training. After that, kirtan and other poetry competitions were held.
• It is also called the “Sikh Olympics” because of the horseback riding, swordplay, and other events and sports.
Vaisakhi or Baisakhi is a Christian holiday that is always held on April 13 or 14. The Sikh new year and the birthday of Khalsa Panth are both celebrated at this event.
• This is the Sikhs’ spring harvest festival. Gurudwaras are decorated, and kirtans take place there. Sikhs bathe in the holy river, go to churches, meet up with friends, and have parties with special foods.
This event is held on January 13, which is the 13th day of the month of Magh and a day before Makar Sankranti.
Lohri is a festival that honours birth and the spark of life. People gather around the fires, throw sweets, puffed rice, and popcorn into the flames, sing famous songs, and say hello to each other. It’s also a way to show that light has won over darkness.
Sodal Mela is one of the most important fairs in Punjab. It is held to honour baba Sodal, a great soul, and takes place every year in Jalandhar in the month of Bhadon (September).
Followers of Sikhism think that today is a very lucky day. People bathe in the holy waters of the Sarovar (a holy tank called Sodal ka Sarovar) and bring gifts to the Samadhi.
• The event is celebrated by the Jain people. It is held to honour Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara and one of the leaders of Jainism, on the anniversary of his birth.
• It happens on the 13th day of Chaitra, the month of the rising moon. The festival is marked with a lot of pomp, and the saffron flag is flown from all of the Jain temples.
The statue of Mahavira is given a ritual bath (abhishek) and washed with milk. Then, it is taken in a parade.
• Paryushana is the name of the holiday that Jains have every year. The Svetambara group celebrates it for eight days in the month of Bhadrapada (August/September). The holiday is held for ten days by the Digambara sect.
• The holiday marks the time when the nomadic Jain monks move to their retreats because the monsoon rains make it impossible for them to live in forests and caves.As part of the celebrations, people go to the temples or Upashrayas as part of a rite and listen to talks about the Kalpa Sutra. Most devotees are asked to do Pratikraman or the meditation kriya. Kshamavani, or Forgiveness Day, is the last day of the holiday. “Micchami Dukkadam” is a way to ask for forgiveness. It means to ask for forgiveness from the person you hurt, whether you did it on purpose or not.
• It happens every 12 years in the Karnataka town of Shravanabelagola. This event is a holy bathing ceremony for a 57-foot-tall statue of Siddha Bahubali, the son of Rishabhdev. Devotees with specially made vessels sprinkle concentrated water on the statue. The statue is washed with milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste. Sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion powders are also put on it. People make gifts of petals, gold and silver coins, and valuable stones.
“Gyana Panchami” is the name for the fifth day of Kartika.
• It’s known as “Knowledge Day.” On this day, Jainism shows the Holy Scriptures and prays to them.
Varshi Tapa or Akshay Tritiya Tapa:
This holiday honours Rishabhdev, the first Jain Tirthankara, who fasted for 13 months and 13 days straight. On the third day of the bright fortnight of the Vaishakh month on the Jain calendar, his fast ended.
People who do this kind of fast are called Varshi tapa.
This event is held on the 11th day of the Jain month of Magshar, which is in October or November.
• On this day, there is full silence, and people also fast for the day. There is also meditation.
• The nine-day Oli is a semi-fasting time. During this time, Jains only eat one simple meal a day. It happens twice a year, in March/April and September/October.
• The Buddha Purnima, also called Buddha Jayanti, is the day when Lord Buddha was born. It happens in April or May and is a big holiday in many parts of North-East India.
• In Sikkim, it is called Saga Dawa (Dasa), and in the Theravada faith, it is called Vishakha Puja. In Northern India, the most important places to celebrate are Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh and Bodh Gaya in Bihar.
During the celebrations, people pray in a certain way and hear talks about the life of Gautam Buddha. During the day, people also chant Buddhist texts, worship Buddha’s image and the Bodhi tree, and meditate. Different groups have different rules. For example, Mahayana Buddhists put together a big parade with musical instruments like gyalings. The Kangyur book was also read.
Theravada Buddhists only care about saying formal prayers to Buddha statues.
Songkran is a Buddhist holiday that is celebrated like a spring cleaning. In the middle of April, it is enjoyed for several days.
• People clean their homes, wash their clothes, and like to sprinkle the monks with water that has been scented.
Ploughing Festival: This Festival is held to remember Buddha’s first moment of enlightenment, which happened when he was seven years old and went with his father to watch ploughing.
This is a May holiday. Two white horses pull a gold-painted plough, and four girls in white drees, throw rice seeds from baskets behind them.
Ulambana: This event is held from the first day of the eighth lunar month to the fifteenth day of that month.
People believe that on the first day, the gates of Hell open and ghosts can visit the world for 15 days. During this time, food offerings are made to help the ghosts feel better. On the 15th day, called Ulambana or Ancestor Day, people go to cemeteries to make food offerings to the souls of the dead.
• The event is held at the Hemis Gompa Monastery in Ladakh to honour Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), who was born on this day.
• Guru Padmanasambhava, who started Tibetan Buddhism, fought evil forces to protect his people. This festival hails the victory of good over evil.
The Lamas’ mask dance is the main thing people come to see at the event.
Many musicians play traditional music with four pairs of cymbals, big-pan drums, small trumpets, and large wind instruments.
The Sindhis fast for 40 days during the months of July and August. They pray to Lord Jhulelal for 40 days and then break their fast on Thanksgiving Day. Mirkshah Badshah, a Muslim who invaded Sindh, caused trouble for the people of Thatta because he wanted them to turn to Islam. People prayed to Varun Devta, also known as the God of Water, by doing penance for 40 days on the banks of a river. On the 40th day, Varun Devta heard their prayers and promised to save them from the cruel ruler. He was the answer to their prayers.
This is the time of the Sindhi New Year, which is marked everywhere. Cheti Chand is held on the first day of Chaitra to honour the birth of Jhulelal, the patron saint of the Sindhis.
The Sindhi people enjoy it with a lot of pomp and fun. Many people go to the local river on Baharana Sahib, which is made up of Jyot, Misiri, Phota, Fal, and Akha. Also brought along is an image of Jhulelal Devta.
Festivals for Parsis or Zoroastrians
• The Parsi Community celebrates the New Year with the holiday of Navroz.
It happens on the Roj Hormuzd, which is the first day of the first month (MahFrawardin) on the Shehanshahi calendar. Since it’s the end of winter and the start of a new year, it’s meant to be the beginning of the Universal Dawn.
Parsis traditionally show respect to Khorshed and MeherYazads, who are two gods who bring the Sun. People go to the Fire Temple and see each other.
• The Pateti festival is held on the last day of the Persian calendar year.
• This festival celebrates the start of a new year with a clean slate by burning the sins of the previous year in front of holy fire.
• After the procedure, everyone says “Pateti Mubarak” to each other.
• This is the day when Parsis get new clothes and go to the Fire Temple. The house is cleaned and Rangoli is drawn outside the front door. The main entrance is decorated with powdered chalk patterns and flower strings strung over the threshold. Agarbatis or incense sticks are lit, and a lovely smell fills the room along with the smells of cooking. Breakfast is traditional, and special sweets and dishes are made for lunch and dinner.
Gahambars are also called “seasonal festivals,” and they happen six times a year. Zoroastrians celebrate these days to honour God’s six creations around the world and to remind themselves that God’s creations are holy. Here is a list of the six Gahambars:
Maidyozarem Gahambar is an event that takes place in April or May every year.
Maid Yaoi-Shema Gahambar: The celebrations that happen every June or July to mark the middle of summer.
Paitishahema Gahambar is a celebration of the harvest that takes place every year in September.
Ayathrem Gahambar is an event that takes place in October and celebrates the time of year when sheep are being herded.
Maidyarem Gahambar is a winter festival that usually takes place in December or January in the middle of the year.
This event is called Hamaspathmaidyem Gahambar, and it takes place in March. It means either “Middle Path of All Seasons” or “Soul Festival.”
Zarthost No Deeso
• On June 11, the 11th day of the 10th month (Khorshedroz, Daemah), Zoroastrians pray at the Fire Temple and learn about the Prophet’s life and work.
• It is a day to remember the prophet Zoroaster, with talks and conversations about his life and work.
• There is a lot going on at the fire temple at this time. At the Atash Behrams and Atash Adarans, a lot more mobeds are brought to pray than at other places.
In the Zoroastrian faith, there is no sadness. Instead, the Farohars of the dead are remembered and worshipped. The Avesta, on the other hand, doesn’t say anything about Zoroaster’s death.
In the Shahnama, however, it says that the Turanians killed him at the altar when they took over Balkh.
The Prophet’s birthday is on the sixth day of the Parsi month of Farvardin, which is in August or September.
Zoroastrians have their own ways of worshipping and having big feasts.
During the day, special prayers and jashan are held. The rituals include clean, rangoli-covered homes, children with red marks on their foreheads, new clothes, sweet-smelling flowers, and delicious feasts.
Parsis can also use the event as a chance to think about their lives and actions and make plans for the future.
Khajuraho Dance Festival:
This festival began in 1975, when the government of India and the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad worked together to start it.
• This dance event was meant to bring more tourists to the state and show how beautiful and sensual the Khajuraho temples are.
The event is also meant to show the spirit of eternal glory and the strength of dance and architecture, which are important parts of our cultural heritage.
Local legends say that Lord Brahma started making the world on this day, so it is used to mark the beginning of a new Hindu cycle. In different parts of the country, it is known by different names, such as:
Gudi Padwa or Gudi Padvo – Maharashtra Samvatsar Padvo – Goa Naba Barsha (Poila Boisakh) – West Bengal Puthandu – Tamil Nadu
Vishu – Kerala
• The festival is also called “Phool Walon Ki Sair” and is a three-day flower festival held in Delhi every year.
• A procession of pankhas, which are fans made of palm leaves and are highly decorated with flowers, goes from the tomb of Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki in Mehrauli to the Yogmaya Temple. This is a sign of peace between different groups.
The 19th-century Mughal Emperor Akbar II was the first person to support the event. It was banned by the British, but J. L. Nehru brought it back in 1962.
• It is held every year to remember the “Samadhi” day of Tyagaraja, a well-known Telugu Saint and musician.
It takes place in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, but mostly in Thiruvaiyaru, which is where he died.
• People who are very good at Carnatic music come to the event to pay their respects to the saint.The Trinity of Carnatic music is made up of Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar, and Syama Sastri.
Onam is the State Festival of Kerala. It takes place at the beginning of Chigam, the first month of the Malayalam calendar. It is mostly a harvest festival, but it also marks the return of the powerful asura King Mahabali from Patala (the underworld). The colourful and lively Onam holiday has big meals, dances, flowers, boats, and even elephants.
The Vallam Kali, or Snake Boat Race, is a big part of Onam. The most famous Vallamkali takes place in Punnamada Lake, and the Nehru Boat Race Trophy is given to the winner. As part of the Onam celebrations, people also play traditional games called Onakanikal.
• Pongal is a harvest event that lasts for four days. Tamils all over the world celebrate it. It is observed in January and marks the start of Uttarayan, which is the Sun’s six-month trip northward.
• In Tamil, the word “Pongal” means “to boil,” and during the holiday, it is important to boil the first rice.
• The Pongal event takes place over four days. The first day is called the Bhogi fair, the second day is called Thai Pongal, the third day is called Mattu Pongal, and the fourth day is called Kaanum Pongal.
It is a time to thank the Sun God and celebrate the cycles of life that give us food.
The native people of Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal celebrate the New Year with Sarhul.
The Munda, Oraon, and Ho tribes are the ones who enjoy it the most.
Sarhul means “worship of Sal” in English. It is held in the spring, in the Hindu month of Phalgun. Tribal people have a lot of respect for nature, and Mother Earth is worshipped during the celebration.
Sarhul is enjoyed for a few days, and the main traditional dance, Sarhul, is done during that time. It has to do with a faith known as “Sarnaism.”
North-East India has many festivals.
Saga Dawa (Triple Blessed Festival)
Saga Dawa is also called the “Triple-Blessed Festival.” It is mostly held by Buddhists in the State of Sikkim. It is marked on the middle full moon day of the Tibetan lunar month, which is called Saga Dawa.
The Tibetan society thinks that this day is a very lucky day. This month, which is between May and June, is called Saga Dawa, which means “Month of Merits.
“The holiday is held to remember Buddha’s birth, his awakening, and his death (parinirvana). Most people make a journey to the monasteries and give Dhog, water, and incense sticks. People also walk around the monastery’s Gompas and chant mantras, read religious books, and turn prayer wheels as they do so.
• The Buddhist society has to follow three Buddhist teachings during the month of Saga Dawa: generosity (dana), morality (sila), and meditation or good feelings (bhavana).
• Losoong is the first day of the Sikkimese New Year. Every year in the month of December, it is held all over Sikkim.
• As we’ve already said, farming is the main job in the state of Sikkim, and this festival is a celebration of the harvest season by farmers and other workers. Traditionally, it was only celebrated by the Bhutia tribe, but now the Lepchas do so with just as much enthusiasm and joy.
As part of the festival, people drink Chaang, a wine made in the area. This is what makes the event special. At the temples, they also get together to dance traditional dances like the Cham Dance and the Black Hat dance.
Through archery events and other things, the spirit also shows how the Sikkimese feel about being warriors.
It is a group of three important non-religious holidays in Assam: Rongali or Bohag Bihu in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu in October, and Bhogali Bihu in January.
• Of the three, Rongali Bihu is the most important, and it falls on the same day as Assamese New Year. During Bihu, the main things to see and do are songs and dances.
• Bohag Bihu is one of Assam’s most well-known holidays. Even though the Assamese enjoy Bihu three times a year, the most important one is the Bohag Bihu.
• Bihu is a festival that has always been linked to the change of the seasons and harvests. Every year, the Bohag Bihu is held for many days starting on April 14. Depending on the towns and tribes, the celebrations can last anywhere from a week to almost a month.
• On the first day of the holiday, the cows and bulls that keep the community going are fed and given a bath. The name of this event is “Gora Bihu.”
On the second day of Bihu, people greet each other and share Gamosa, a hand-woven cotton towel, with their relatives. On the third day, Pitha, a traditional dish made of rice powder, flour, sesame, coconut, and jaggery, is made in all the homes. They also set up stages where men and women from all different groups can dance the Bihu Dance together.
The Tai Ahom group celebrates the “Me-Dam-Me-Phi” festival all over Assam with religious fervour and traditional fun.
• On this day, the Tai-Ahoms offer gifts to their dead ancestors and sacrifices to their gods in the usual way. The Tai-Ahom people think that their good ancestors are still alive in Heaven.
The Ahom Kings, who ruled Assam for about 600 years until 1826, used to do this yearly “ancestor worship” at Charaideo, the old capital of the Ahom Kingdom, which is now where Sibsagar is in Upper Assam.
The Hornbill Festival is one of the most important festivals in Nagaland.
Every year, it starts on December 1 and lasts for 10 days. All the important Naga tribes gather at the Kisama Heritage Village for this event.
All of the groups show off their skills and rich cultures through their clothes, weapons, bows and arrows, and headgears. This is also a good chance for all the groups and the younger people to get together.
Moatsu Mong festival:
The Ao tribe of Nagaland celebrates it in the first week of May, after sowing. It gives them a chance to relax and have fun after the hard work of clearing fields, burning jungles, planting seeds, etc. It is marked by songs and dances. Sangpangtu is a part of the party. Women and men sit around a big fire and sing songs.
This is a harvest festival in Nagaland that is mostly held by the Pochuri tribe. During this festival, it is against the law to catch frogs. It’s a holiday in September.
This Hindu holiday is mostly celebrated in the State of Tripura. It started out as a holiday for the royal family of Tripura, but now everyone celebrates it. It takes place in July and lasts for a week. The event is held to honour and worship the Earth and 14 other gods.
• Every year, tens of thousands of people walk to this temple in Agartala to show respect to the gods.
This Festival is held all over the State of Manipur because it is the Manipuri tribes’ New Year.It is held in April (its name means “first day of the month Sajibu”). The Meitei tribe worships a home god named Sanamahi. The event is also connected to him.
Most of the time, the festival is held at the Sanamahi temple, but every home cleans, gets new dishes and clothes for everyone in the family.
Wangala Festival (The 100 Drums Festival):
It is mostly celebrated in Meghalaya, where the Garo Tribe is the most powerful. The event celebrates the end of the harvest season and marks the start of winter. Misi Saljong is a local god who is thought to be kind, and the event is held in his honour. He is meant to be the reason why good things happen in the neighbourhood. This festival is a way to say thanks to him. • Drums, flutes, and other orchestra instruments are played to make the atmosphere joyful. It is also called the “100 Drums Wangala Festival” because loud drum sounds mark the start of the event. The players also wear beautiful clothes on this day. Everyone at the event wears a feathered headdress that shows the colour of their clan. This is a very interesting part.
Kang Chingba (Manipur’s Ratha Yatra)
• Kang Chingba is one of the most important Hindu events in the State of Manipur.
It is like the “Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra” and has many of the same roots.
• It is an event that lasts for 10 days and is held every year in July.
• The Yatra starts at the holy temple of Sri Govindajee in Imphal, which is very well-known. The statues, which are made of wood and are elaborately decorated, are moved around in huge carts called “Kang.”
• The gods are then taken to a different temple, and people dance all night to celebrate the trip.
• It takes place at the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, which is in the state of Assam. The event happens in June and is one of the most important ones in North-East India. It is so important that it has been called the “Mahakumbh of the East.”
• The event has been linked to fertility rituals, and many people come to ask the Goddess for her blessing on having a child. The temple has gotten into trouble because of rumours that magical rituals were done at this mela.
• During the holiday, it is said that the patron goddess Kamakhya is going through her annual period. So, for the next three days, the temple is closed.
The Angami tribe of Nagaland celebrates the Sekrenyi festival in February. It lasts for more than 10 days and is also called “Phousanyi” by the Angamis. It is an event for getting clean.
The goal of the event is to renew and make holy the village as a whole by cleansing its body and soul, and to bring unity to all of Nagaland’s communities. It is also a way for young people to become adults, and it is a way for the Angami to show who they are.
• This is one of the more modern events that takes place in Majuli, which is in the state of Assam. The event is held in November because, because of the changing weather in Assam, this is the best time.During the festival, the Department for Culture of Assam puts on events like seminars that talk about the traditional history and greatness of Assam and Majuli in particular. The festival is also held on a large scale in an open space called a Namghar. The tribal food of Majuli and Assam is put on show and sold.
There are a lot of arts and crafts for sale, like bamboo items, blankets, and jewellery made out of beads. Some well-known artists are also asked to show their work and do performances for the public. During both the opening and ending ceremonies, the local patron deity is also called upon. Several dance and singing contests are set up to keep people at the show entertained.
• This event is held by almost all of the Naga tribes. It is observed all over Nagaland and in some parts of Manipur State where Naga people live.
• People are happy because it means it’s time to plant seeds. The event brings the Nagas who work in agriculture closer to the Nagas who don’t work in agriculture.
The event is celebrated with a lot of pomp and circumstance.
• It is a celebration meant to bring people together and share the message of peace and unity.
• The event is mostly celebrated by the Apatani tribe, which lives in Arunachal Pradesh. Rituals of the Dree holiday are now being done by more and more tribes.
• It is one of the most important events in the Ziro valley.During the holiday, people pray to and give gifts to four main gods: Tamu, Metii, Medvr, Danyi, and Mepin. People give these gifts as a way to pray for a good crop.
Around the valley, people get together to dance in the usual ways. As a sign of a good harvest, cucumbers are given to everyone at this event. This is one of the most unique things about it.
• It happens on the first day of the lunar calendar and is very well-known in Arunachal Pradesh, where it is mostly observed by the Monpa tribe, who are farmers and animal keepers who also follow Buddhism.
• There are fifteen days of celebrations for Losar. People decorate their homes with different things and make gifts, which is called “Lama Losar.”
• It is a religious festival for the Miji tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
• It is important because it brings together people from every caste and creed to enjoy.
• During this, the priest ties a holy piece of wool around the necks of everyone who is there.
Torgya Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
• The Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district is where the Torgya event takes place. Every year, this event is held near the end of January.
• In Arunachal Pradesh, the Torgya festival is very important because it marks the end of bad things and the beginning of wealth, peace, and goodwill. People think that the rituals they do during this festival will help protect them from natural disasters and other bad things.
One of the best things about this event is how full of colour it is. Along with the joy that is everywhere, the event is marked by colourful dancing.
• It is a festival of the Apatani Tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. It is observed every year in January.
It is a social and religious holiday of the Apatani people. A family celebrates it when they have had bad luck.It is mostly done to ask for more money and wealth and to keep everyone in the family healthy.
• The Murung Festival is a celebration of the Apatani Tribe’s cultural values, way of life, and customs. During the festival, the people of the Apatani Tribe dress in their native clothes.
A fair is a temporary meeting of people who do different things, such as religious, entertaining, or business-related things. In India, different types of shows are held in different parts of the country. Some of them will be talked about below.
• The Kumbh Mela is the world’s biggest religious festival. Every day, a lot of people come to the holy river to swim. The mela (a Hindu festival) is held in four holy Hindu tourist sites: Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik-Trimbak, and Ujjain.
• Hindu legend says that during the “Samudra Manthan,” or churning of the ocean, “Amrit,” or the drink of immortality, was made and kept in a “Kumbh” (a pot). Lord Vishnu dropped drops of Amrit while carrying the Kumbh during the fight between the Devas and the Asuras. These are the four places where the Kumbh Mela is held. Every 12 years, the festival moves to a new location. The exact times are based on where the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Jupiter are in the zodiac. At Nashik and Ujjain, the mela is called Simhastha Kumbh if it happens when a planet is in Leo (called Simha in Hindu astronomy), and Ardh-Kumbh Mela happens every six years at Haridwar and Prayagraj. Where the Kumbh takes place:
In 2017, Kumbh Mela was named an intangible cultural property by UNESCO.
• It is one of Asia’s biggest shows for cattle. The mela is held in Sonepur, Bihar, where the Ganga and the Gandak rivers meet. It usually happens on the Kartik Poornima, a day that Hindus believe to be lucky.
• It is the only fair where a lot of elephants are sold, and tradition has it that Chandragupta Maurya bought elephants and horses there.
Chitra Vichitra Fair:
• It is the biggest tribal fair in Gujarat and is mostly celebrated by the ‘Garasia’ and ‘Bhil’ tribes. The native people dress in their traditional clothes to show off their culture.
• After Holi, on “Amavasya,” the tribe women go to the river to mourn for their loved ones who have died. The party starts the day after tomorrow.
• Every year, thousands of tourists come to see lively dance shows, the best products from the countryside, and beautiful silver jewellery.
• It is celebrated by a tribal community in Gujarat to honour Lord Shamlaji, who is called “the Dark Divine.”
• Devotees come in large numbers to worship the deity and take a holy bath in the Meshwo River.
• The Bhils have a lot of faith in Shamlaji, who they call “Kaliyo Dev.” It lasts for about three weeks in November. The most important day of the fair is Kartik Poornima.
• Pushkar Mela is a fair that happens every year in Pushkar, Rajasthan. It starts on “Kartik Poornima” and lasts for about a week.
It is one of the biggest camel and cattle fairs in the world. It is a time when farmers in Rajasthan buy and sell their cattle, but most of the selling happens in the days before the fair. When the fair starts, things like camel races, moustache contests, turban-tying contests, dancing, riding camels, and other things take the spotlight.
• The fair has a lot of people, both from inside the country and from other countries.
This three-day party is usually held in Jaisalmer, India, in February. The event shows off the colourful culture of Rajasthan. It gives tourists a taste of the local way of life and shows off different parts of the culture of Rajasthan. Tourists can enjoy bright folk dances, trips to the sand dunes, tying competitions, camel rides, and more on the golden sands of Rajasthan. The festival ends with a performance by folk singers under the moonlight. So it makes sense that every foreigner wants to go to the desert event.
Baneshwar Fair, Rajasthan:
This festival is mostly celebrated by the Bhils, a tribal group from Rajasthan. During the festival, the Shiva linga is worshipped, and then there is a fair. Lord Shiva is also called Baneshwar.
Gangaur Festival, Rajasthan: This festival is held to celebrate the meeting of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri (Parvati). Both married and single girls attend. In total, the holiday lasts 18 days, and it ends with a big parade where Lord Shiva himself comes to take his bride home.
Garib Nawaz Urs, Rajasthan
It is held in the holy city of Ajmer and on the date of the death of the Sufi Saint Moin-ud-din Chishti. People come from all over the world to visit the Dargah and give chadars and other gifts.
Kami Mata Fair, Bikaner, Rajasthan:
The Kami Mata Fair is held twice a year to remember an ascetic named Kami Mata who was known for helping people.
• People think that the sacred rats that roam around the temple will bless the devotees who come to the fair. It is also called the “rat temple.”
Kolayat Fair (Kapil Muni Fair)
• Kolayat fair is held in Bikaner, Rajasthan. On Kartik Poornima, people come to the holy Kolayat Lake to wash away their sins by taking a dip.
• The fair is named after Kapil Muni, a great sage who did a lot of deep reflection for the good of all people. There is also a big cattle fair.
• Thousands of tourists flock to the place to see the colourful display of Rajasthani culture and custom.
Surajkund Crafts Fair
The Surajkund Crafts Fair is held every year for two weeks in February near Faridabad, Haryana. It is an international crafts fair that shows off crafts and cultural traditions from all over the world. People from all over India who make traditional crafts come to this event. Pottery, weaving, sculpture, needlework, Paper Mache, bamboo and cane crafts, as well as metal and wooden works, get a lot of attention. To give the fair a truly Indian feel, traditional cultural programmes are held and regional foods are served.
• It takes place from January to February at the mouth of the river Hooghly in West Bengal.
• Hindus believe it is very lucky to take a holy dip in the Ganges on Makar Sankranti.
• There are a lot of people at the spot. The Naga Sadhus make the fair stand out from other events.
• The Goa Carnival began in India when the Portuguese brought it there. It happens 40 days before Lent, a time when people fast and think about God.
• People eat and drink and have fun. People party in the streets while wearing masks. It shows off the rich history and culture of Goa and has a clear Portuguese impact. The streets of Goa are filled with colourful floats and parades, and the event is marked by live bands and dancing. Every year, thousands of tourists come to see the event.
Lathmaar Holi of Barsana in Mathura:
• It is a special kind of Holi event. Men use shields to protect themselves while women beat them with sticks.It happens at Barsana, which is close to Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It happens a long time before the real Holi festival.
The Radharani temple is the important thing to see.
Gujarat’s Tarnetar Fair
• One of the most important fairs in Gujarat is the Tarnetar Fair.Koli tribe, Rabari tribe, Bharward tribe, Khant tribe, Khanbi tribe, Charan tribe, and Kathi tribe all go to the fair. All of these groups get together to enjoy and celebrate the famous epic Mahabharata, which tells the story of Draupadi’s marriage to Arjuna.The English calendar says that the fair takes place between August and September.