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Upcoming festivals of India in the year 2022

Upcoming festivals 2022: Every festival in India is welcomed with big celebrations and sometimes a unison of cultures.

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Upcoming big festivals of India in the year 2022

Upcoming festivals 2022: India is a country with a vast territory and diverse religions, which creates a diverse local festival culture. It is said that there are over a thousand festivals in India throughout the year. Every festival in India is welcomed with big celebrations and sometimes a unison of cultures.

The next festival celebrated nationally with much fervor is Holi on March 18th, 2022.

Upcoming festivals 2022: Indian festivals can be generally divided into five categories:

  • Festivals celebrating the triumph of good over evil, such as Diwali and Holi
  • Seasonal festivals that mark new beginnings and the harvest seasons like Onam in Kerala, Makar Sankranti in the north, and Pongal in south
  • Birthdays or anniversaries of gods and great people, such as the Krishna Janmashtami, Mahashivratri, and Ganesh Chaturthi.
  • Celebrating the relationship between couples or between siblings: Raksha Bandhan and Karwa Chauth
  • National days that are celebrated with great patriotic fervor like Republic Day on 26 January and Independence Day on 15 August every year.

Upcoming festivals 2022: What is the Most Celebrated Festival in India?

Diwali is the biggest and most important festival in India. It is a national festival, like Christmas in Western countries, but it is also celebrated by some non-Hindu communities. Diwali falls in October or November, the celebrations last for 5 days, and they celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

Upcoming festivals 2022: India’s top 10 festivals are celebrated with much pomp and fervor:

  1. Diwali- Festival of Lights (October 24th, 2022)
  2. Holi- Festival of Colors (March 18th, 2022)
  3. Navaratri- the 9-Nights Festival for Goddesses (September 26th to October 4th, 2022)
  4. Navaratri- Victory of Rama on the tenth day (October 5th, 2022)
  5. Durga Puja- Victory of Durga (September 26th to October 5th, 2022)
  6. Onam- New Year in Kerala (September 8th, 2022)
  7. Pongal- a Harvest Festival (January 14th, 2022)
  8. Makar Sankranti- the Kite Festival (January 14th, 2022)
  9. Eid-ul-Fitr- Marks the end of Ramadan (May 3rd, 2022)
  10. Ganesh Chaturthi- Birthday of the Elephant-Headed God (August 31st, 2022)

What is the Upcoming festivals 2022: in India?

The next hugely popular Indian festival that is celebrated by most communities is Holi (day of the color fights). It falls on March 18th, 2022, and the celebrations start from March 17th. During the Holi festival, people burn bonfires and throw colorful powders and water. Read more on Holi.

For the public holidays, there will be a day off (on the main day) for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. While for optional holidays, employers can choose to take a half or full day off of work. Schools, banks, government and private offices, and businesses remain open and functional.

1. Diwali- The Festival of Lights

Date: October 24th, 2022 (Monday)

Public holiday: October 24th, 2022 (many Indians have a week off work for this biggest of Indian festivals)

Celebrates: The triumph of light over darkness

Observed by: Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists

Best locations: Celebrated all over India, the best cities to experience Diwali include Delhi, Jaipur, and Kolkata

Celebration activities: Lighting diyas (little oil lamps) and candles, family gatherings, and worshiping Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth)

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is the most important national festival of the year in India, celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It tops all other festivals with its lengthy, large-scale, and multi-faith celebrations in India.

The importance of Diwali for Indians is like Christmas’s for Westerners. Many Indian companies take Diwali as the beginning of a new financial year. Each year, over 1 billion people- Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists, on the Indian mainland and in overseas communities- celebrate these spiritual and joyous days.

Diwali typically takes place in late October or early November, and the celebrations last for 5 days (October 22nd to 26th in 2022), with the third day being the main day (October 24th in 2022) of the festival.

5-Day Celebration Schedule for Diwali 2022:

Day 1: October 22th, 2022- Cleaning and Shopping

Day 2: October 23th, 2022- Home Decoration

Day 3: October 24th, 2022- Family Gatherings and Lakshmi Puja

Day 4: October 25th, 2022- Celebrating the love between husband and wife

Day 5: October 26th, 2022- Celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters

2. Holi- Festival of Colors

Date: March 18th, 2022 (Friday)

Public holiday: March 18th, 2022

Celebrates: The victory of good over evil

Observed by: Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists

Best locations: Celebrated all over India, top places for Holi celebrations include Udaipur, Pushkar, Hampi, Jaipur, and Goa

Celebration activities: Holika bonfires and colored-power fights

Like Diwali, Holi also celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Holi is the celebration of the defeat of the demoness Holika and the coming of spring. The holiday takes place over two days (March 17th–18th in 2022). On the night before Holi, under the full moon, effigies of the demoness are burned in large bonfires to celebrate her defeat.

The next day, the entire country heads to the streets for a giant colored-powder-and-water “fight”. The color fight is meant to represent the pure joy of victory and the coming together of people of all classes.

You should visit India during Holi if you are interested in a fun and lively atmosphere complete with dancing, laughter, and colorful photos.

3. Navaratri- Dedicated to Divine Feminine Principle in Nine Nights

Date: September 26th to October 4th, 2022

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The end of evils and the beginning of new, good, and pure life

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: All states in India; no outstanding recommendations

Celebration activities: Visit temples, 9 days of fasting, meditation, prayers, and dandiya dances

Navratri is a 9-night festival in honor of three goddesses. Nava means ‘nine’, ra means ‘night’, and tri refers to the ‘three’ levels of ourselves- body, mind, and soul. So, Navratri is a time of prayer and rejuvenation.

The first 3 nights focus on the goddess Durga to remove the barriers and evils on our body, the second 3 nights focus on the goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and good fortune) and the last 3 nights on goddess Sarasvati (goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning).

Navaratri is celebrated across India. During this festival, people worship different forms of maternal divinity by fasting, meditation, and prayers and with traditional dance forms like dandiya.

People also dress in different colored dresses each day of the celebrations:

First day- yellow

Second day- green

Third day- gray

Fourth day- orange

Fifth day- white

Sixth day- red

Seventh day- royal blue

Eighth day- pink

Ninth day- purple

4. Dussehra- Victory of the Tenth Day

Date: October 5th, 2022 (Wednesday)

Public holiday: October 5th, 2022

Celebrates: Another victory of good over evil- Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Mainly in Northern India; Mysore has special celebrations (see below)

Celebration activities: Processions and performances of the Ramlila (the Ramayana epic) with night show and torchlight parades.

Dussehra is an important festival in India that comes after Navratri. The ‘tenth-day victory’ marks Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana (the 10-headed demon) after 10 days of battles.

In India’s northern, central and western states, many performances of the Ramlila story and the burning of large statues of Ravana occur everywhere for 10 days.

During the festival, shows and plays based on the Ramlila are performed at outdoor fairs, along with songs and narrations. During Dussehra in Mysore, you should have a chance to see Mysore Palace with its almost 100,000 lights dazzling at the night show and a torch-light parade at the Bannimantap Parade Grounds.

5. Durga Puja- Victory of Durga over the Demon Mahishasura

Date: September 26 to October 5th, 2022

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday

Celebrates: The victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: In Kolkata and West Bengal

Celebration activities: Visit Durga Puja pandals (temporary shrines for worshiping Goddess Durga)

Durga Puja is the largest festival to take place in Kolkata and West Bengal. It commemorates the victory of the goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. It is a ten-day event, and the last five days involve certain rituals and practices.

During the festival, large statues of the goddess Durga with her ten arms are created and placed in temples or pandals throughout the city.

The creation of the pandals and statues of the goddess begins months in advance.

During the last day of the festival, statues of Durga are paraded through the city then submerged into the Hugli River. This ceremony marks the end of the goddess’s annual sojourn to her paternal home and return to her husband Lord Shiva.

6. Onam- New Year for Malayali People in Kerala

Date: September 8th, 2022 (Thursday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The beginning of the harvest season and the return of King Mahabali

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: It mainly takes place in Kerala.

Celebration activities: Traditional dances, sports competitions, boat races, Kathakali (a form of dance-drama of South India using mime) performances, and enjoying the festival feast

Onam is a 10-day harvest festival (August 30th – September 9th in 2022) that takes place in Kerala. It is the most revered and celebrated festival in Kerala. Onam is celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvest season and commemorate the return of the mythical King Mahabali.

Onam in Kerala is full of cultural events including traditional dances, sports competitions, boat races, and Kathakali performances. Every household also creates a pookalam, which is a decoration made from flower petals and rice that is placed on the floor at the entrance of homes and buildings.

The most important day of Onam is called Thiru Onam (September 8th, 2022), which directly translates to ‘sacred Onam day’. Thiru Onam is when the competitions, boat races, feasts, and temple events all take place.

7. Pongal- a Harvest Festival in South India

Date: January 14th, 2022 (Friday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday

Celebrates: Thanksgiving to the Sun God for harvest

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: It is mainly celebrated in the south in Tamil Nadu.

Celebration activities: Cattle races, traditional dances, and enjoying a special holiday dish called Venpongal

Pongal is a festival in Tamil Nadu that celebrates thanksgiving to the Sun God for harvests with large feasts and family get-togethers. Pongal also marks the return of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere and the return of warmer weather.

Pongal takes place over 4 days (January 14th–17th in 2022) and the main day is the second day. During the festival, farmers harvest crops they have been growing all year such as rice, sugarcane, and turmeric. They also clean their homes and make offerings to the Sun God for luck and prosperity. During Pongal in Tamil Nadu, you can also enjoy cattle races, traditional dances, and a special holiday dish called Venpongal.

8. Makar Sankranti- Harvest Festival in North India

Date: January 14th, 2022 (Friday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The beginning of the harvest season and marks Hindu New Year for North Indians

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Celebrated mainly in North India, it’s especially festive in Jaipur

Celebration activities: Worshiping sun god (Surya) and flying kites

On Makar Sankranti, Indians celebrate the sun passing back into the Northern Hemisphere, signaling the return of warmth to the country and marking the beginning of the harvest season. So, people worship Surya, the Hindu sun god.

This festival is celebrated in many different forms across India. In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in North India with large kite festivals, the most famous of which is the Jaipur Kite Festival.

The Jaipur Kite Festival is one of the most attended festivals in Rajasthan. The festival includes kite competitions where competitors try to cut the kite strings of their opponents. The last kite flying gets a prize! The city of Jaipur also arranges a friendly kite-flying zone for anyone who doesn’t want their kite string cut.

9. Eid al-Fitr- The Festival of Breaking the Fast

Date: May 3rd, 2022 (Tuesday)

Public holiday: May 3rd, 2022

Celebrates: Marking the end of Ramadan

Observed by: Muslims

Best locations: All round India it is celebrated, but it is more ceremonious in North India

Celebration activities: Prayers in the morning, visiting friends and relatives, enjoying and exchanging sweet desserts

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated all over the world, but it is an important holiday in India because of the country’s large Muslim community. Islam has contributed a lot to Indian culture especially in North India, which has had a long history of Islamic rulers, including the Mughals who built incredible structures such as the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.

Eid is a day of celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Because Eid marks the breaking of the fast, this holiday is celebrated with large meals and incredible street food.

10. Ganesh Chaturthi- Birthday of Lord Ganesha (the Elephant-Headed God)

Date: August 31st, 2022 (Wednesday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The birthday of Lord Ganesha (god of wisdom, success, and good luck)

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: It is celebrated in Mumbai with particular fervor and gaiety, but also in the rest of India.

Celebration activities: Placing huge handcrafted statues of Ganesh in pandals (temporary shrines) and other Ganesh worship

Ganesh is an elephant-headed Hindu god that is the most well-known and most admired god of wisdom and wealth in Indian mythology and folklore. Although Ganesh is a beloved deity all across India, the city of Mumbai holds a particular love for him and throws a huge festival in his honor every year.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival that celebrates the birth of Ganesh. During the festival, huge handcrafted statues of Ganesh are displayed in pandals or temples throughout Mumbai. Every neighborhood in the city competes to make the best and most beautiful statue of Ganesh.

Throughout the festival, each statue is given offerings and is celebrated with religious rituals until the final day when all the statues are carried to the ocean and submerged. Placing the statues in the sea symbolizes Lord Ganesh leaving Earth and returning to the heavens.

11. Janmashtami- Birth of Krishna (Eighth Avatar of God Vishnu)

Date: August 18th, 2022 (Thursday)

Public holiday: August 18th, 2022

Celebrates: The birth of Krishna, eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Celebrated all over India, Mumbai’s celebrations are notably magnificent

Celebration activities: Visiting Krishna temples, prayers, fasting and enjoying performances of the life of Krishna, watching Dahi Handi (human pyramid) competitions.

Janmashtami, popularly known as the Krishna Janmashtami festival, is celebrated across India to honor the birth of Krishna (eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu). Hindus believe that Lord Vishnu was reincarnated as Krishna to bring hope to the earth and free it from the despair caused by the tyranny of evil rulers.

It is celebrated on the eighth day of the Hindu month of Bhadra (the fifth month), and usually falls in August or September and it will last for 2 days. The celebration consists of keeping a vigil and fasting until midnight at Krishna temples, praying, and enjoying performances of the life of Krishna.

The highlight of the festival is Dahi Handi, which takes place on the second day. People form a human pyramid to reach the clay pots of yogurt strung up from tall buildings. If you wish to witness this fun activity then Mumbai is the place to go because Dahi Handi competitions take place at hundreds of locations across the city.

12. Mahashivratri- Worship Lord Shiva (the God of Destruction)

Date: March 1st, 2022 (Tuesday)

Public holiday: March 1st, 2022

Celebrates: Worship Lord Shiva

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Celebrated in both India and Nepal, Varanasi and Haridwar in India are the best places to celebrate
Celebration activities: Visiting Shiva temples, chanting, fasting, and meditating

Mahashivratri, ‘Great Night of Shiva’, is a festival dedicated to Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is worshiped as a supreme being who creates, protects, and transforms the universe. A Shivaratri is celebrated on the 13th night and 14th day of every lunar month, among the 12 Shivaratris, the Shivaratri occuring in February/March is the most spiritual one, so it is celebrated as Mahashivratri.

Mahashivratri is not a joyous festival. It is a time for self-reflection and introspection, celebrated at night and during the day after with chanting, fasting, and meditating. Some devotees stay awake all night, singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.

Varanasi is home to one of the most important Shiva temples in the country: the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This temple sees over a million Hindus from around the country who come to perform rituals.

Haridwar is famous for its temples and ghats, steps leading down to a river where pilgrims bathe to rid themselves of their sins. Devotees often first take a dip in the holy Ganges at Har Ki Pauri Ghat, then head to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple to make offerings. By watching the rituals, you will understand more about Hinduism and their belief of the soul’s journey to liberation.

Mahashivratri is also considered to be the day when Shiva and Parvati got married, so it is also an extremely significant festival for women to get marital bliss and prosperous marriages.

13. Pushkar Camel Fair- Decorated Camels Carnival

Date: November 1st–9th, 2022

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: A holy time for cattle and camel traders to do business

Observed by: Farmers, Hindu pilgrims, tourists (domestic and foreign)

Best locations: Pushkar, Rajasthan

Celebration activities: Street performances, folk dancers, camel races and camel beauty contests

The Pushkar Camel Fair takes place over a multi-day period in November every year. The Pushkar Fair began as an event to buy and sell livestock, but in recent years has been developed by the Rajasthan Tourism Board into a beautiful display of Rajasthani culture.

During the fair, thousands of colorfully decorated camels along with their owners arrive for a large carnival. The great array of activities include street performances by snake charmers, musicians, and folk dancers as well as camel races and camel beauty contests. You can also check out the Best Mustache and Turban Tying competitions.

The fair itself is often quite crowded and full of people trying to enjoy the carnival activities. If you’d like to avoid the crowds, consider getting a bird’s eye view of the festivities from a hot air balloon.

14. Hanuman Jayanti- Birth of the Monkey God

Date: April 16th, 2022 (Saturday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The birth of Lord Hanuman

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: It is celebrated throughout India and Nepal, without any outstanding locations.

Celebration activities: Visiting a local temple and performing puja (worship including offerings) and fasting

Hanuman Jayanti is a significant Hindu festival that marks the birth of Lord Hanuman. Hanuman is one of the biggest devotees of Lord Rama (the seventh avatar of Vishnu). He is described as someone who always successfully tackled odds and difficult circumstances.

During the festival, people fast from sunrise on the day of Hanuman’s birth, decorate Hanuman statues with flowers and garlands, visit local temples, and attend special religious discourses, read and recite poetic shlokas (Sanskrit couplets), and sing bhajans (devotional songs).

15. Buddha Jayanti- Gautama Buddha’s Birthday

Date: May 16th, 2022 (Monday)

Public holiday: May 16th, 2022

Celebrates: Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death

Observed by: Buddhists

Best locations: All round India, wherever there are Buddhist temples

Celebration activities: Visiting Buddhist temples and praying, listening to monks give talks and recite ancient verses, eating vegetarian food and making donations.

Buddha Jayanti is one of the holiest Buddhist festivals in India. Gautama Buddha was a spiritual teacher in India and introduced the philosophy of Buddhism to the world. He is considered to be the supreme Buddha by many Buddhists.

The Buddha’s birthday celebration is based on an Asian lunisolar calendar. So, the Gregorian date varies from year to year, falling in April or May, sometimes June. During the festival, people go to visit Buddhist temples or monasteries, listen to monks giving talks and reciting ancient verses, and follow Buddhist traditions like eating vegetarian food and making donations.

16. Guru Nanak Jayanti- Birth of Guru Nanak (Founder of Sikhism)

Date: November 8th, 2022 (Tuesday)

Public holiday: November 8th, 2022

Celebrates: The anniversary of the birth of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak

Observed by: Sikhs

Best locations: Sikh communities all over the world, especially in Punjab

Celebration activities: Akhand Path (reading the Guru Granth Sahib completely in 2 days), praying, and enjoying Langars (community meals)

Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurpurab) is one of the most auspicious and significant festivals in Sikhism, celebrating the birth of its founder, Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was born on Puranmashi of Khattak (the full moon in the eighth month of the Nanakshahi calendar, usually in November) in 1469.

Usually, the celebrations of Guru Nanak Jayanti begin a few days prior to the guru’s birthday. People start with continuous scripture reading (Akhand Path). Guru Granth Sahib reading at the Golden Temple in Amritsar starts 3 days in advance. Then on Gurpurab (the Guru’s birthday), people do their morning prayers and Langars (grand feasts) are organized for everyone.

17. Gandhi Jayanti- Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation)

Date: October 2nd, 2022 (Sunday)

Public holiday: October 2nd, 2022

Celebrates: The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

Observed by: All Indians

Best locations: Celebrated nationwide, Delhi celebrations are particularly reverent

Celebration activities: Prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies, and visiting Gandhi’s memorial at New Delhi’s Raj Ghat

Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three national holidays of India. It celebrates the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India’s freedom movement against British rule in India.

The day is celebrated with tributes, prayers, commemorative ceremonies, and visiting Gandhi’s memorial at New Delhi’s Raj Ghat. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi are decorated with garlands on the day.

18. Eid al-Adha Feast of Sacrifice

Date: July 9th-10th, 2022 (Sunday)

Public holiday: July 10th, 2022 (11th in Jammu and Kashmir)

Celebrates: The willingness of Ibrahim (father of the Arab people) to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God’s command.

Observed by: Muslims

Best locations: All in India

Celebration activities: Eid prayers, animal sacrifices, charity, social gatherings, and festive meals

Eid al-Adha, the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’, is known as Bakrid in India. It’s a Muslim festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (father of the Arab people) to sacrifice his son Ismael (according to the Qur’an) as an act of obedience to God’s command and God’s provision of a ram as a substitute sacrifice.

Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah (the 12th and final month in the Islamic lunar calendar) and lasts for 5 days (July 9th–13th in 2022). During the festival, Muslims will wear new clothes and attend Eid prayers, sacrifice a sheep or goat, and share the meat with family members, neighbors, and the poor.

19. Eid Milad Un Nabi- Birthday of Muhammad (Founder of Islam)

Date: October 9th, 2022 (Sunday)

Public holiday: October 9th, 2022

Celebrates: Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad

Observed by: Muslims

Best locations: Muslim areas all over India

Celebration activities: Prayers, parades, attending lectures about the Prophet’s life and teaching

Milad Un-Nabi, also known as Eid-e-Milad, is a big day for Muslims. It is a time to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and honor his life and teachings. Muhammad was the founder of Islam and was born on the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal (the 3rd month of the Islamic calendar).

During the festival, Muslims take part in night-long prayer and attend lectures about the Prophet’s life and teaching. On Milad Un-Nabi, people carry green flags or wear green ribbons or items of clothing, as green represents Islam and paradise for Muslims.

20. Good Friday- Celebrates the Atoning Death of Jesus Christ

Date: April 15th, 2022 (Friday)

Public holiday: April 15th, 2022

Celebrates: the final hours of Jesus’ life, his crucifixion, and death

Observed by: Christians

Best locations: Celebrated by churches all over India, the best city to spend it in is Goa

Celebration activities: Church services, prayer, parades, open-air plays

Good Friday celebrates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ and the victory of God over evil. It is observed by Christians around the world. In India, Christianity is the third largest religion, so Good Friday is also a public holiday in India.

Many Christians in India attend special church services or pray on Good Friday. They hold parades or open-air plays to portray the last days and hours of Jesus’ life in some areas of India.

The best city to spend Good Friday in is Goa, which has a very rich Christian culture with many churches.

21. Christmas- Jesus Christ’s Birth

Date: December 25th, 2022 (Friday)

Public holiday: December 25th, 2022

Celebrates: Jesus Christ’s birth

Observed by: Christians

Best locations: Christians throughout India celebrate it, but the best city to spend it in is Goa

Celebration activities: Church services, prayer, family reunions

Christianity is the third largest religion of India and there are 24 million Christians in India. Many Christians in India celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth on Christmas Day, and it is a public holiday.

During Christmas, Christians in India attend special church services, spend time with family members, wear new clothes, and eat a festive meal.

22. Republic Day- Constitution of India Day

Date: January 26th, 2022 (Wednesday)

Public holiday: January 26th, 2022

Celebrates: The date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26th, 1950

Observed by: All Indians

Best locations: Celebrations happen throughout India, but the ceremonial parades in New Delhi are particularly special

Celebration activities: Join and watch the Republic Day parades

Republic Day is a national public holiday with great honor and joy in India. It celebrates the Constitution of India coming into force and the spirit of an independent and individual India. The main Republic Day celebrations- ceremonial parades- are held in the national capital New Delhi on January 26th each year.

23. Independence Day- Marks Freedom from British Rule

Date: August 15th, 2022 (Monday)

Public holiday: August 15th, 2022

Celebrates: the nation’s independence from the United Kingdom

Observed by: All Indians

Best locations: All in India celebrate, and there are flag hoisting ceremonies in New Delhi

Celebration activities: Hoisting of the Indian tricolor, parades, and cultural events

Independence Day is celebrated on August 15th every year to commemorate India’s freedom from British rule in 1947. It is a national holiday celebrated across India in the spirit of India’s freedom, with a hoisting of India’s flag, parades, and cultural events.

24. Baisakhi- Spring Harvest Festival in Punjab

Date: April 14th, 2022 (Thursday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: the harvest season

Observed by: Sikhs

Best locations: Punjab

Celebration activities: Visiting local gurdwaras, processions, local folk dances, and enjoying festive foods

Baisakhi is New Year’s Day for the Sikh community. It commemorates the harvest season.

During the joyful festival, Sikhs bathe in lakes or rivers before visiting local gurdwaras. There are many community fairs, processions and local folk dances, such as Giddha and Bhangra. Then, people gather and share festive foods.

25. Lohri- a Winter Folk Festival

Date: January 13th, 2022 (Thursday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday generally, but a public holiday in Punjab.

Celebrates: The end of winter and harvesting of the crops

Observed by: People of Punjab region

Best locations: Punjab region

Celebration activities: Bonfires, enjoy food and dance

Lohri is celebrated in the Punjab region to mark the ending of mid-winter and a harvest of crops. It is also seen as New Year’s Day for Punjabi farmers. Lohri night falls in the month following the longest night of the year, usually on January 13th or January 14th.

People celebrate Lohri by lighting bonfires, eating festive food, dancing, and giving gifts.

26. Chaitra Sukhladi- Hindu New Year

Date: April 2nd, 2022 (Saturday)

Public holiday: April 2nd, 2022

Celebrates: The beginning of the harvest season and the first month of the year

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: All over India, it is celebrated with fervor

Celebration activities: Taking traditional oil baths, wearing fancy clothes, decorating homes with rangoli and performing puja (shrine worship)

The month of Chaitra is considered to be the first month of the year in the Hindu calendar. It is a harvest festival and an auspicious time to start new work. What’s more, it is believed that the supreme god Brahma created the universe on this day, according to Hindu mythology.

People celebrate this festival with joy and splendor by taking traditional oil baths, wearing fancy clothes, decorating homes with rangoli, and performing puja (obeisance rituals).

The festival is observed under different names in different states:

Chaitra Sukhladi is celebrated as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra (West of India). Padwa means crop and it marks the end of the rabi (‘winter’) crop and time for a new vasant (‘spring’) season.

While, in southern parts like Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, this day is celebrated as Ugadi. Ugadi consists of the Sanskrit words yuga (‘age’) and adi (‘starting’), meaning ‘the beginning of a new age’.

27. Bihu- Assamese New year

Date: April 2nd, 2022 (Saturday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The beginning of the harvest season and the first month of the year

Observed by: Assamese people

Best locations: Assam (in northeast India)

Celebration activities: Community feasts, music, and dancing

Bihu is one of the biggest festivals in the northeastern state of Assam and is considered to be the start of the Assamese New Year.

Bihu is also a harvest festival, which the Assamese people celebrate with community feasts, music, and dancing.

28. Mewar Festival- Celebration of Spring’s Arrival

Date: April 4th, 2022 (Monday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The arrival of the spring season

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Rajasthan and Udaipur in particular

Celebration activities: Dressing well and attending celebrations

Mewar is celebrated to mark the arrival of the spring season, and the famous Mewar Festival of Rajasthan is the best way to experience Rajasthan’s culture and celebrations.

The festival will last for three days of celebrations (April 2nd-4th in 2022) by the locals with a large number of cultural events, such as dances and songs. The festival coincides with the famous Gangaur Festival of Udaipur (devoted to Goddess Gauri, wife of Lord Shiva), so it holds a special significance for womenfolk and offers them an opportunity to dress in their finest clothes and join in the celebrations.

29. Losar- Tibetan New Year

Date: March 3rd, 2022

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday

Celebrates: The start of the Tibetan year

Observed by: Buddhists

Best locations: Mainly Himachal Pradesh, Leh, and Ladakh

Celebration activities: Feasting, dance, and music, fire processions

Losar is the greatest Indian festival and celebration for its Tibetan people, especially in Himachal Pradesh, Leh, and Ladakh. The Ladakh region is also called ‘Little Tibet’. Losar means New Year (lo – ‘year’, sar – ‘new’) in Tibetan. It is celebrated by Tibetan Buddhists to mark the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year.

Losar falls on the first day of the 1st month of the Tibetan lunisolar calendar, usually in the period February 5th to March 5th. The celebrations in India will last for 3 days (3rd–5th March 2022). People celebrate this joyous festival with great feasts, dances, music, method (‘fire’) processions, and reenacted battles between the king and his ministers.

30. Hemis- Birth of Lord Padmasambhava

Date: 8th-9th July, 2022

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: The birthday of Lord Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism

Observed by: Buddhists

Best locations: Leh in Ladakh

Celebration activities: Vibrant costumes, masked dance

The Hemis festival is a celebration of the birthday of Lord Padmasambhava, who was the founder of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. It is one of the most tourist-friendly and famous religious festivals in India.

Hemis is celebrated on the 9th and 10th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan calendar (in June or July). The festival lasts 2 days (July 8th–9th, 2022). During the festival, monks wear colorful robes and perform frightful Cham dances (sacred mask dances) to honor the Padmasambhava at Hemis monastery.

31. Mahavir Jayanti- Birth of Lord Mahavir (Founder of Jainism)

Date: April 14th, 2022 (Monday)

Public holiday: April 14th, 2022

Celebrates: the birth of Lord Mahavira

Observed by: Jains

Best locations: Wherever there are Jains across India, but most widely celebrated in Gujarat and Bihar

Celebration activities: Visiting Jain temples, prayers, and fasting

Mahavir Jayanti is the most important religious holiday in Jainism, as it commemorates the birth of Lord Mahavira. Mahavir is a contemporary of the Buddha and the 24th and last Tirthankara (great sages) of Jainism.

During the festival, local people visit Jain temples, pray and fast, and a procession is carried out with an idol of Lord Mahavira.

32. Chhath Puja- Thanking the Sun God Surya

Date: October 30th, 2022 (Sunday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: the sun god’s provision of well-being, prosperity, and progress

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Mainly in North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Celebration activities: Bathing in the holy rivers, praying, and sun god puja (worship)

Chhath Puja is a popular Hindu festival to thank sun god Surya for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to extend good wishes for life. Chhath means ‘six’ in Hindi, and this festival is celebrated on the 6th day of the month of Karthika (the 8th month of the Hindu calendar).

The festival lasts for 4 days (28th–31st October in 2022) with different customs and activities on each day. Local people bathe in the holy rivers or lakes and perform prayer rituals to Surya (puja) around the holy rivers.

33. Basant Panchami- Festival of Goddess Saraswati

Date: February 5th, 2022(Saturday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: Goddess Saraswati in order to seek blessings and wisdom and marks the beginning of spring

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: All over India; no particular best location

Celebration activities: Worshiping Goddess Saraswati, wearing yellow attire

Basant Panchami, also called Saraswati Puja, is a festival dedicated to the goddess Saraswati. She is the wife of the creation god Brahma, and she is the goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning, according to Hindu scriptures. Saraswati Puja will be celebrated on the fifth day of Magha (11th month of the Hindu calendar) and occurring in January or February.

During the festival, students and artists visit her temples to pray for wisdom and academic growth. Newborns’ families also encourage their babies to write their first sentence with their fingers. On this day, all devotees wear yellow attire to do theiir puja (shrine rituals), as it is believed to be Saraswati’s favorite color, and yellow signifies knowledge, learning, and happiness for Hindus.

34. Ratha Yatra- Celebrated for Lord Jagannath (an avatar of Lord Vishnu)

Date: July 1st, 2022 (Friday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: Lord Jagannath

Observed by: Hindus

Best location: Puri in the state of Odisha

Celebration activities: A grand procession of idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings

Ratha Yatra is a festival devoted to Lord Jagannath at the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. Rath Yatra is observed on the 15th or 16th day of Ashadha (4th month of the Hindu calendar). On the Gregorian calendar, it falls in June or July.

On this day, idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings (Goddess Subhadra- half-sister of Krishna and Lord Balabhadra- elder brother of Krishna) are decorated and placed in chariots to cover a 3-km (2-mile) journey from Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple.

35. Raksha Bandhan- Celebrating the Bond between Siblings

Date: August 1st, 2022 (Thursday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday

Celebrates: A strengthening of the bond between siblings

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Mainly in north India, central India, and western India

Celebration activities: A ceremony in which a sister ties a bracelet on the wrist of her brother and her brother give her sweets and gifts in return

Raksha Bandhan, also called Rakhi, is a traditional festival that celebrates the bond between siblings. Raksha Bandhan means ‘to tie a knot of protection’ in Sanskrit and comes from the festival’s main ceremony in which a sister ties a bracelet on the wrist of her brother for his safety and prosperity.

The bracelets used during the festival are called rakhis and are made from colorful woven threads and decorated with beads and stones.

Once a sister has tied the rakhi around the wrist of the brother, he will give her sweets and gifts. The sister will also offer prayers for her brother and place a red mark on his forehead.

Today, Raksha Bandhan is not only practiced between brothers and sisters, but also between friends, cousins, and anyone else who has a sibling-like relationship.

36. Karwa Chauth- Hindu Women’s Festival

Date: October 13th, 2022 (Thursday)

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday.

Celebrates: Bonds of marriage

Observed by: Hindus

Best locations: Particularly in northern and western India

Celebration activities: Fasting and praying, exchanging gifts, singing songs, and performing pujas (shrine worship)

Karwa Chauth is a festival for Hindu women, especially married women, who observe a fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. During Karwa Chauth, Women wear new clothes and solah shringar (the 16 Bridal Adornments) and perform Karwa Chauth puja for a happy and blissful marriage.

The festival is mainly observed by married women, but unmarried girls and boys can also observe this festival while seeking a blessed life partner.

Like many other Hindu festivals, Karwa Chauth dates change every year as it is based on the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the month of Kartik (the 8th lunar month in the Hindu calendar), in October or November.

37. Bikaner Camel Festival- Celebrating Ships of the Desert

Date: January 12th-13th, 2022

Public holiday: It is an optional holiday

Celebrates: Decorated camels: Ships of the Desert

Observed by: Farmers, Hindu pilgrims, tourists (domestic and foreign)

Best locations: Bikaner, Rajasthan

Celebration activities: Processions of colorful camels, dances and competitions.

Bikaner Camel Festival is an annual cultural celebration in Bikaner. It is dedicated to camels. The festival lasts for 2 days and it is one of the best ways to witness the culture of Rajasthan. It is one of the most colorful and energetic festivals in Rajasthan and attracts thousands of locals and travelers.

During the festivals, local people decorate their camels and lead them through Bikaner. They celebrate this joyous festival with dances, music, parades of beautifully decorated camels, fun competitions, and camel racing.

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