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18 Most Famous Festivals of India With Dates (2019 to 2021)

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India is a land of festivals. It is a country where people of different caste and communities coexist, and all their respective festivals are celebrated together with great flourish. Be it Diwali for Hindus, or Eid for Muslims or Buddha Jayanti or Guru Nanak Jayanti; together they form the festivals of India which are celebrated with equal enthusiasm and excitement. The list of festivals is so long that there is hardly any month that does not see any festival happening. The following festivals of India list is the one that contains the top 20 Indian festival name. Check them out right here.

Important Festivals of India List:

1. Diwali:

Diwali-Festivals of India

Diwali is one of the most important festivals of India. It is a day celebrated with a lot of grandness. Diwali is also called the festival of lights and people across the country light lamps and candles and decorate their houses with rangoli and Toran. People wear new clothes and perform Puja and also greet friends and neighbors with sweets. Diwali also marks the New Year for Hindus.

Significance: As per the Hindu mythology, it is believed that on this day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana after completing the 14-year long exile in the forest.

Key Attractions:

  • People clean their homes and decorate them with lights, candles, diyas, rangoli, toran, etc.
  • There is a lot of bustle in the market
  • People burst fire crackers
  • They exchange sweets and greet friends and family.

When: Diwali falls on a no moon night of the Kartik Month of the Hindu calendar which generally varies from mid-October to mid-November.

Where: All across the country and even abroad where Indians reside.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 27th October
  • 2020 –14th November
  • 2021 –4th November

2. Holi:

Holi-Festivals of India

Also known as the festival of colors, Holi is a very colorful festival of India. People across the country celebrate this festival with a lot of fervor and joy. They also light huge bonfires (known as Holika) and do puja and sing and dance around it. The next day people gather and apply dry and wet colors on each other. Children play with water guns and water balloons. Holi is one of the major festivals of India.

Significance: Holi is celebrated as the victory of good over evil. As per the Hindu mythology, in order to kill Prahlad, the son of Hirnyakashyap, his sister and a demon Holika sat in the fire to burn him, but to everyone’s surprise Holika who has been blessed to never get burnt was burnt to ashes, and nothing happened to Prahlad. Since then the festival of Holi is celebrated. It also signifies the onset of the spring season.

Key Attractions:

  • People create bonfires called Holika and do puja and sing and walk around it.
  • People play with wet and dry colors as well as water gun and water balloons.
  • Drinking thandai is also very famous on the same day

When: On the full moon day of the Hindu calendar month Phagun.

Where: Almost everywhere in the country

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 21st March
  • 2020 –9th March
  • 2021 –28th March

[See More: Festivals of Kerala]

3. Dussehra (Including Navratri and Durga Puja):

Dussehra-Festivals of India

Dussehra or Vijayadashami as it is popularly known again symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country.

Dussehra in Western India (Including Navratri)

In the northern India Ramlila, a play on the story of Ram is played for 10 days. In Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated for 9 days as Garba and Dandiya. People dress up in traditional colorful Garba outfits and play dandiya race until wee hours. The whole environment is filled with enthusiasm and is extremely invigorating. On the 10th day, large effigies of demons such as Ravana, Kumbhkarna, Meghnath are burnt and is a spectacular sight to witness.

Dussehra in Eastern India (Including Durga Puja)

Just like Navratri is celebrated in the Western part of India, during the same period Durga Puja is celebrated in the Eastern part of India. It is a celebration that sees fast, feast, worship of Goddess Durga, dance, drama, cultural songs and much more. Huge artistic idols of Goddess Durga are made and decorated and kept in the pandals. People wear traditional wear and go to the pandals dancing, singing and praying.

Significance: As per the Hindu mythology, it was on this day that Lord Rama killed the demon Ravana. Lord Rama had gone for the battle after invocating Goddess Durga.

Key Attractions:

  • Ram Leela plays
  • Hustle and bustle in the market
  • The 9-day dance festival in Gujarat wearing the traditional chaniya choli for girls and kediyu for boys.
  • Farali saviors such as wafers, Sabudana Khichdi, Singoda ni Kheer and Mandvi Paak.
  • Burning of the huge effigies of Ravana
  • Large idols of Durga being worshipped with great pomp and glory throughout Eastern India

When: 1st 10 Days of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.

Where: Nationwide

Festival Days:

  • 2019 –29th September to 8th October (Dussehra on 8th)
  • 2020 – 17th October to 26th October (Dussehra on 26th)
  • 2021 – 6th October to 15th October (Dussehra on 15th)

4. Janmashtami:

Janmashtami-Festivals of India

Janmashtami is a beautiful Hindu festival celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. People fast for the whole day and break their fast at midnight after the birth of Lord Krishna. Visiting the temples, praying to god, singing bhajans and hymns are a part of the celebration. Often small children are dressed as Lord Krishna, and jhankis are carried out in the temples depicting the birth story of Krishna.

Significance: It is the celebration marking the birth of Lord Krishna.

Key Attractions:

  • Jhankis of Lord Krishna showing the birth and life story of Krishna
  • Competitions of Dahi Handi at various places in the country.

When: On the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha of the Hindu month Bhadrapada.

Where: Throughout the nation, though more famous in Mathura and Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 24th August
  • 2020 – 11th August
  • 2021 –30th August

5. Ganesh Chaturthi:

Festivals of India

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated throughout the country. It is a 10-day festival in which handcrafted Ganesha idols are installed in homes and also in public pandals. Puja is performed every morning and evening, and many competitions are held as a part of the celebration. On the 10th day, God is bid farewell when the idol is immersed in the water.

Significance: Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha

Key Attractions:

  • Handcrafted and beautifully decorated Ganesh idols and pandals.
  • Various competitions held in different parts of the nation on small and large scale.
  • Immersion of idol in the water
  • The magnificence with which God is bid farewell

When: 4th day of the Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada

Where: Celebrated in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh with fervor and gaiety.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 2nd September
  • 2020 –22nd August
  • 2021 –10th September

[See More: Karnataka Festivals]

6. Rakshabandhan:

Rakshabandhan

One of the most important festivals celebrated across the nation. It signifies the bond of a brother and sister where the sister applies a tilak on brother’s forehead and ties a rakhi on his wrist performing his aarti and praying for his well-being. On the other hand, the brother vows to protect his sister.

Significance: This festival symbolizes a strong bond between the brother and the sister.

Key Attractions:

  • The market is full of colorful rakhis and variety of sweets

When: This festival comes on the full moon day of the Hindu month Shravana usually corresponding to August or sometimes September.

Where: Throughout the country, but more significantly in North, Central, and West India.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 15th August
  • 2020 –3rd August
  • 2021 –22nd August

7. Maha Shivratri:

Maha Shivratri

This is an important festival in India that holds a lot of reverence and respect amongst the people for Lord Shiva. It is an important day as it is believed that whosoever offers prayers to Lord Shiva on this day is freed from all his sins and is capable of attaining salvation. It particularly holds significance for both married, as well as unmarried women to attain marital bliss. People fast on this day.

Significance: Devotion for Lord Shiva.

Key Attractions:

  • A lot of people perform Shiv Abhishek in various temples
  • People fast and drink thandai

When: This day comes on the 14th day of the dark fortnight month of Phagun.

Where: Across the nation

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 5th March
  • 2020 –21st February
  • 2021 –11th March

8. Makar Sankranti:

Festivals of India

This is a real new year of Sikhs and North Indians and is celebrated just a day after Lohri. On this day God is worshipped to seek his blessings in the New Year. It also signifies the end of winter and onset of spring which means a new season for the farmers. Unlike other festivals where the dates of the festivals are decided by lunar cycles, the dates of this festival are decided by the solar cycle. In Gujarat and some parts of Rajasthan, people celebrate this day by flying kites and eating tilladoos and bajrikakhichda.

Significance: It signifies the movement of the sun towards the north after this day and also marks the new season for agriculture.

Key Attractions:

  • Kite flying festival
  • The sky is full of colorful kites, and people enjoy loud music on the terrace. The whole atmosphere is very lively and enthusiastic.
  • In Maharashtra, it is celebrated by organizing haldi-kumkum
  • People eat Til sweets and say ‘Tilgulghya god god bola’ which means eat sweet and talk sweet

When: 14th or 15th of January every year

Where: West and North India.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 14th January
  • 2020 –14th January
  • 2021 –14th January

[See More: Festivals of Goa]

9. Basant Panchami:

Basant Panchami

Basant Panchmi is a festival dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. As the name itself depicts, this festival falls on the 5th day of the Magh month which signifies the onset of the spring season. This day holds a special significance for scholars and students as the goddess of knowledge is worshipped. It is one of the most religious festivals of India.

Significance: It marks the onset of the spring season.

Key Attractions:

  • People wear yellow-colored clothes and prepare yellow-colored dishes.
  • In Rajasthan, jasmine garlands are offered to the deity while in Punjab langars are held where free food is provided to everybody.

When: 5th day of the Magh month of the Hindu Calendar.

Where: This festival is widely celebrated in the states of Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, and Haryana.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 9th February
  • 2020 – 29th January
  • 2021 –16th February

10. Baisakhi:

Festivals of India

Baisakhi is an important festival for the Sikhs. It is celebrated to welcome the harvest season of the rabi crop. The Sikhs celebrate this festival with a lot of pomp and excitement. They perform their traditional dance such as giddha or bhangra. It also signifies the day when the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, laid the foundation stone of the Panth Khalsa back in 1699.

Significance: Welcoming the harvest season of the rabi crop.

Key Attractions:

  • Sikhs decorate their houses and Gurudwaras
  • Punjabi feasts and Punjabi folk dances such as Bhangra and Giddha are performed to show excitement and happiness

When: The date is decided according to the solar calendar

Where: Sikh community across the world, but more significantly in Punjab

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 14th April
  • 2020 –13th April
  • 2021 –14th April

11. Eid UlFitr:

Eid UlFitr

Eid is one of the major festivals of the Muslims. People dress up in their finest clothes, offer namaz, visit friends and relatives and exchange sweets. The Muslims keep fast for the whole month of Ramadan when they eat only in the night and fast for the whole day and the fast breaks after the moon is sighted which is celebrated as Eid-Ul-Fitr

Significance: Marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan

Key Attractions:

  • The beautifully decked up mosques and markets
  • Tasty Sweets
  • The morning Eid namaz at the mosques is a beautiful sight to witness

When: On the 1st day of the month of Shawwal of the Lunar calendar (usually falls in July)

Where: Muslim across the country celebrate this festival

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 4th June
  • 2020 – 23rd May
  • 2021 –12th May

[See More: Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir]

12. Eid ul Adha:

Eid ul Adha

This is the second of the Islamic holiday observed worldwide. Eid-ul-Adha is also called the festival of sacrifice. It is considered as holier than Eid-ul-Adha. It is also called the festival of Qurbani.

Significance: It honors the readiness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his own son to fulfill God’s command.

Key Attractions:

  • Muslims officially go on a break to celebrate the Eid-ll-Adha

When: The date is decided upon the spotting of the moon.

Where: Across all the Muslims families in the country

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 11th August
  • 2020 –30th July
  • 2021 –20th July

13. Islamic New Year:

Islamic New Year

The Islamic new year is also known as the Hijri new year or the Islamic new year. It is the day that marks the new beginning of the Hajiri calender and is the very day on which the year count is increased. It is also known as the first day of Muharram which is the 1st month of the Islamic calendar.

Significance: Marks the New Year

Key Attractions:

  • Muslims across the world celebrate the new year with enthusiasm
  • They wear new clothes and greet each other

When: 1st day of Muharram

Where: Across the globe

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 30th August
  • 2020 –19th August
  • 2021 –17th August

14. Christmas:

festivals of India

This is one of the most famous and awaited festivals throughout the world. Christmas has a great significance for both adults and kids. It marks the birth date of Jesus Christ. Everyone regardless of their religion waits eagerly for this festival to arrive and let their children get surprising gifts from Santa. All the churches are lit up to mark the birth of Lord Jesus.

Significance: It happens to be the birthday of Jesus Christ

Key Attractions:

  • Beautifully decorated Christmas trees can be spotted everywhere.
  • Santa distributes gifts to little children
  • Prayers are offered in the Church

When: 25th December every year

Where: Across the world

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 25th December
  • 2020 – 25th December
  • 2021 -25th December

15. Easter:

Easter

Just like Christmas, even the Easter is celebrated with a lot of joy and gaiety by the Christians. It is the day of resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. The day is celebrated in different parts of the world.

Significance: It is the day of resurrection of Jesus Christ

Key Attractions:

  • Colorful decorations
  • Dance and plays
  • Lanterns adorning the streets
  • Tasty Easter eggs.

When: 1st Sunday after the first full moon occurring after the vernal equinox

Where: Across the world

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 21st April (Sunday)
  • 2020 –12th April (Sunday)
  • 2021 –4th April (Sunday)

[See More: Festivals of Andhra Pradesh]

16. Mahavir Jayanti:

Mahavir Jayanti Festivals of India

Mahavir Jayanti is the most important day for the Jain Community. It marks the birth of their guru Lord Mahavir. To celebrate the festival, the statue of Lord Mahavir is given a maha abhishek where he is given a bath with milk and flowers. Later a grand procession of Mahavir’s idol is carried on the road.

Significance: Birth Anniversary of Lord Mahavir.

Key Attractions:

  • Fasting is observed, and prayers are offered
  • Grand procession of Lord Mahavir is carried out

When: 13th day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar

Where: Celebrated widely in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 17th April
  • 2020 –6th April
  • 2021 –25th April

17. Guru Nanak Jayanti:

Guru Nanak Jayanti

Guru Purab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. It is one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism.

Significance: Birth Anniversary celebration of the 1st Sikh Guru. Guru Nanak

Key Attractions:

  • Langar is organized in Gurudwara

When: Full moon of the Poornima of the Hindu calendar month

Where: All the Gurudwaras across the country especially Punjab

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 12th November
  • 2020 –30th November
  • 2021 –6th November

18. Vesak:

Vesak is also known as Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Poornima. It is a holiday observed by the Buddhists to celebrate the birthday of their God. It is believed that the birth of Buddha, his enlightenment and death all happened on the same day.

Significance: Birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautam Buddha. It is also believed that every year for a period of 8 minutes, Lord Buddha descends on earth for the betterment of mankind and he has to pay a heavy price for the same.

Key Attractions:

  • Meditation
  • Bathing of Lord Buddha.

When: Full moon day of the month of Vaisakh.

Where: In India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries of the world.

Festival Day:

  • 2019 – 18th May
  • 2020 –7th May
  • 2021 –8th April

India is a land which features unity in diversity. There are people of different religions, caste, a culture that lives harmoniously in the same nation. They can easily celebrate festivals of their own religion without any fear. On the contrary, these religious festivals of India provide an opportunity to come together and celebrate. People celebrate not only their own festivals but celebrate festivals of their friends and neighbours with the same fervour and joy.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

1. What is The Importance of Festivals in India?

Ans: India is a land where people with diverse religions, castes, regions coexist. Festivals play are important as they give an opportunity to the people to come together and celebrate the festival with great pomp and splendour and forget about their differences. This helps in building their interpersonal relationship which is healthy for any country.

2. Give a List of Religious Festivals of India.

Ans: The following is the list of some of the religious festivals in India:

  • Diwali
  • Holi
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Dusshera
  • Onam
  • Janmashtami
  • Maha Shivratri
  • Baisakhi

3. Which is The National Festival of India?

Ans: The following are the 3 national festivals of India:

  • Independence Day
  • Republic Day
  • Gandhi Jayanti

4. List Some Important South Indian Festivals.

Ans: The following are the South Indian festivals list:

  • Onam
  • Pongal
  • Thrissur Pooram
  • Mysore Dasara
  • Vishu, Kerala
  • Ugadi, Andhra Pradesh

5. List Some Winter Festivals in India:

Ans: The following is the list of winter festivals in India:

  • Uttarayan
  • Lohri
  • Magh Bihu
  • Diwali
  • Christmas