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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Festivals and Events in India

Festivals and Events in India

India’s calendar is full of very special events: festivals of religion, harvests and culture are celebrated with aplomb. India has three national holidays when all establishments across the country are compulsorily closed: 15th August-Independence Day, 2nd October-Gandhi’s birthday and 26th January-Republic Day, which is an extravaganza of a parade.

Festivals and holidays differ in different regions and some are universally appreciated across the country. The winter festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated in cities, towns and dusty villages with twinkling lamps and fireworks and is one of the most celebrated and famous festivals in India. Spring brings myriad hues to the world around and also the festival of Holi - a happily messy rite of water and colour. The harvest brings joy and festivities of another order and is celebrated as Pongal in the south, and Bihu in the east and Baisakhi in the north. Christmas in Goa is still the most special but the cheer spreads everywhere. The month of Ramadan and feasting is important to Muslims. Other important religious events include Id-ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Zuha, the Prophet’s birthday, Good Friday, Dussehra, Buddha Purnima (Buddha’s birthday) and Guru Nanak’s birthday.

Besides these, dance festivals in southern temple towns in December and car festivals of Puri and Madurai when the temple chariots are wheeled around the city, and the Nehru Cup boat race in the Kerala's backwaters (second Saturday of August) bring more occasions to celebrate. Find out more on the Festivals in India 2013.


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