India is truly the land of festivals and fairs.
Almost for every day of the year, there are many festivals and special days being celebrated in India. Some festivals might welcome different seasons of the year, some celebrate the harvest, or rains, or even the full moon.
Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings and saints, or the advent of the New Year. A number of these festivals are common to most parts of India.
In this post, let’s take only the top 10 festivals being celebrated in India. They are listed below in no order. Each festival is important for those who follow different beliefs. All are equally important.
Deepawali or Diwali, is a festival of lights symbolising the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word ‘Deepawali’ literally means rows of diyas (clay lamps). This is one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November). This festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile.
Diwali Date 2018 – 7th November 2018
The birth of the Great Lord Vishnu in his human incarnation as Krishna is celebrated as the festival of Janmashtami. The Hindus celebrate this festival with great devotion on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana (July-August) in India. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna was born to destroy Mathura’s demon King Kansa, brother of his virtuous mother, Devaki. That’s a symbolic lesson to understand evil can’t exist and the good will prevail to protect people all the time.
Janmashtami Date 2018 – 3rd September 2018
Christmas is not new to India too. There are a great number of people who follow Christianity in India. Christmas in India is celebrated on 25th December as like the most part of the world, to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is regarded as one of the most important of all Christian festivals. It is a public holiday in India and most of the other countries.
Christmas date 2018 – 25th December 2018
Celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Sravana (July/August), this festival celebrates the love of a brother for his sister. On this day, sisters tie rakhi on the wrists of their brothers to protect them against evil influences, and pray for their long life and happiness. They in turn, give a gift which is a promise that they will protect their sisters from any harm. Within these Rakhis reside sacred feelings and well wishes. This festival is mostly celebrated in North India.
Rakshabandhan Date 2018 – 26th August 2018
Also known as the festival of colors, holi is one of the famous festivals of India, celebrated with a lot of fervor across the country. On the eve of Holi, people make huge Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it. On the day of Holi, people gather in open areas and apply dry and wet colors of multiple hues to each other, with some carrying water guns and colored water filled balloons. Holi Festival signifies the victory of good (Prince Prahlad) over evil (Holika) and the arrival of spring.
Holi Date 2018 – 2nd March 2018
Navratri festival is celebrated by all people throughout India in different ways. In Gujarat, it is a nine day celebration of rejuvenating Garba nights and highly energetic Dandiya Raas dances. People are dressed in beautiful, colorful traditional clothes and the environment is very youthful and invigorating.
Navratri Festival Dates 2018 – 9th October 2018
- Id-ul-Zuha and Eid-Ul-Fitr
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id), is a festival of great rejoice, special prayers and exchange of greetings and gifts mark this festival of Muslims. Id-ul-zuha, the festival of sacrifice is celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in India and the world. It is called Id-ul-Adha in Arabic and Bakr-Id in the Indian subcontinent, because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat or ‘bakr’ in Urdu. The word ‘id’ derived from the Arabic ‘iwd’ means ‘festival’ and zuha comes from ‘uzhaiyya’ which translates to ‘sacrifice’.
Id-Ul-Zuha Dates 2018
Eid is one of the major festivals of India for the Muslim community. People dress up in fineries, attend a special community prayer in the morning, visit friends, and relatives and exchange sweets. Children are given idi(money or gift) by elders. It celebrates the conclusion of the holy month of fasting called Ramadan.
Eid-Ul-Fitr Dates 2018 – 15th June 2018
Ramnavami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Rama, the son of king Dashrath. He is known as ‘Maryada Purusottama’ and is the emblem of righteousness. The festival commemorates the birth of Rama on the ninth day after the new moon in Sukul Paksh (the waxing moon), which falls sometime in the month of April.
Lord Rama is remembered for his prosperous and righteous reign. He is considered to be an avatar or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who came down to earth to battle the invincible Ravana (demon king) in human form. Ramrajya (the reign of Rama) has become synonymous with a period of peace and prosperity.
Ram Navami 2018 – 25th March 2018
- Guru Nanak Jayanti
Guru Nanak Jayanti, the foremost of all the Gurupurabs or anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus, is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, who ushered in a new wave in religion. The first of the 10 Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak was born in 1469 at Talwandi, near Lahore. The disinclination to accept the practice of several religions in society, professing different deities drove the much-travelled leader to break free from the shackles of religious diversity, and establish a religion based on a single God who is the eternal truth. The festive event of Guru Nanak Jayanti includes the three-day Akhand Path, during which the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs is read out from the beginning to the end without a break. On the day of the main event, the Granth Sahib is ornamented with flowers, and carried on a float in a proper procession throughout a village or city.
Guru Nanak Jayanti 2018 – 23rd November 2018
10. Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi, another one of important Hindu religious festivals of India, is a 10-day affair of colourful festivities.It’s the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God. Huge handcrafted Ganesh idols are installed in homes or outdoors, in public pandals. Pujas are performed in the morning and the evening. The last day is the day of Visarjan – immersion of an idol in a water body. Cultural activities of singing, dancing, and theater, and free medical and blood donation camps are held.
Ganesh Chaturthi Dates 2018 – 13th September 2018