Indian Festivals List Calendar 2020
Here is a list of religious and national festivals of India that are celebrated in the country with much gusto and fervour. Plan your holidays around these festivals if you wish to explore the vibrant culture of India.
|January||Makar Sakranti||15th January||Wednesday|
|January||Pongal||Begins on 15th January||Wednesday|
|January||Basant Panchami||29th January||Wednesday|
|February||Maha Shivratri||21st February||Friday|
|March||Mewar||Begins from 27th March||Friday|
|April||Bihu||Begins on 14th April||Tuesday|
|May||Thrissur Pooram||3rd May||Sunday|
|May||Buddha Jayanti||7th May||Thursday|
|May||Eid Ul Fitr||23rd May||Saturday|
|June||Ratha Yatra||23rd June||Tuesday|
|August||Independence Day||15th August||Saturday|
|August||Onam||Begins on 22nd August||Saturday|
|August||Ganesh Chaturthi||22nd August||Saturday|
|October||Navratri||From 17th to 25th October||Monday|
|October||Durga Puja||26th October||Monday|
Popular Festivals Of India in 2020
Here is a quick list of the most famous festivals of India state wise. The regional festivals of India too are celebrated with much pomp and show. Check out this list of religious festivals of India before you visit the best places of Indian cultural heritage to attend the grand celebrations of these festivals.
1. Diwali: The Grand Festival Of Lights (14th November, Saturday)
Diwali, one of the most prominent Hindu festivals of India, is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. During this festival of lights, houses are decorated with clay lamps, candles, and Ashok leaves. People wear new clothes, participate in family puja, burst crackers, and share sweets with friends, families, and neighbors. It is the most popular festival in India.
Significance: The festival marks the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, after a long exile of 14 years.
Key attractions: Homes decorated with fancy lights, candles and clay lamps, bustling shops and markets, and fireworks and crackers
When: The darkest new moon night of Kartik month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to mid-October – mid-November as per the Gregorian Calendar
Where: All over the country
Diwali 2020: 14th November (Saturday)
2. Dussehra: Witness The Triumph Of Good Over Evil (25th October, Sunday)
Dussehra, also referred to as Vijayadashami, is also among the most famous festivals of India in Hindu religion. It is celebrated in different forms of countrywide. Ramlila (enactment of scenes from Ramayana) is held everywhere for 10 days. It’s culminated with “Ravan Dahan” – the burning of huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran which is a real spectacle to see. While in Mysore, a colorful procession is taken out, in Kullu it is celebrated for 10 days welcoming their mountain deities in the valley. The Mysore Palace is lit like a bride and the atmosphere is filed with the music of drums. It is a spectacle to not miss on your trip to the city of royals. It is one of the most religious festivals of India.
Significance: It celebrates the death of the demon king Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama.
Key attractions: Hustle bustle of the decorated markets, Ram-Leela acts, and the big event of the burning of effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran
When: 10th day of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Pan India
Dussehra 2020: 25th October (Sunday)
3. Holi: The Vibrant Festival Of Colours (10th March, Tuesday)
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, the famous festival of Indian states, 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. It tops the charts of 10 famous festivals in India as it is celebrated all across the world with happiness.
Significance: It signifies the victory of good (Prince Prahlad) over evil (Holika) and the arrival of spring.
Key attractions: Holika bonfire, playing with colors, and bhang thandai
When: Full moon (Purnima) of the Phalgun month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to the month of March of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Almost all over the country; most vibrant celebrations can be seen in North Indian states
Holi 2020: 10th March (Tuesday)
4. Raksha Bandhan: Strengthening The Bond Of Kinship (3rd August, Monday)
One of the famous festivals in the list of festivals of India, Rakhi is celebrated among Hindu. Signifying the brother-sister bonding, during Rakhi, the sister performs Aarti (prayer), applies tilak, and ties rakhi (a sacred thread) on the brother’s wrist wishing his well being. The brother, in return, vows to protect the sister. Another festival which has a strong similarity to Rakhi is Bhai Dooj which comes just after Diwali.
Significance: It symbolizes the strong bonding of a brother and sister.
Key attractions: The ritual of Rakhi and the brightly decked up markets showcasing a colourful variety of rakhis and sweets
When: The full moon day of Shravana month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Particularly in North, Central and West India
Raksha Bandhan 2020: 3rd August (Monday)
5. Durga Puja: Of Prosperity, Goodness, And Devotion ( Begins On 22nd October, Thursday)
One of the important Hindu festivals of India, Durga Puja is celebrated with grandeur by Bengalis, throughout the country and is ranked as one of the top in the list of religious festivals of India. The 10 days of fast, feast, and worship of Goddess Durga are accompanied by cultural songs, dances, and dramas. Huge and beautiful Durga idols are made and placed in specially made artistic Pandals(canopies). People dress in traditional wear and go around the pandal-hopping, praying, and feasting.
Significance: It commemorates Lord Rama’s invocation of Goddess Durga before going to war with the demon king Ravana.
Key attractions: Plush pandals, incredibly beautiful ten armed Durga idols, and the puja
When: 10th day of Ashwina Shukla paksha according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Kolkata and the metros are the best places to be in India during Durga Puja celebrations
Durga Puja 2020: 26th October (Monday)
6. Gurpurab: Religious Processions & Peaceful Hymns (30th November, Monday)
One of the most important Sikh festivals of India, special assemblies on the lives and teachings of the gurus, and langars (community meals) are organized in the gurudwaras. Karah Prasad is distributed among all, and hymn chanting processions are held in the city. People light up their homes with lamps and candles and burst crackers to celebrate Gurpurab.
Significance: It is the celebration of the anniversary of the ten Sikh Gurus
Key attractions: The soulful Bhajan-Kirtan (hymns), Gurbani in the Gurdwaras, the Langar and the Karah Prasad
When: The full moon day in the month of Kartik of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds
to November of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world, especially in Punjab
Gurupurab 2020: 30th November (Monday)
7. Christmas: Celebrating The Birth Of Jesus Christ (25th December, Friday)
One of the most famous and awaited festivals in India and the world, Christmas happens to be of sheer significance for elders and children alike. Everyone regardless of their religion wait for this day, children specifically for the surprise gifts from Santa. All the churches are lit up and decorated to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus.
Significance: Birthday of Lord Jesus
Key attractions: Christmas tree decoration, prayers, birth of Lord Jesus and Santa Claus
When: 25th December
Where: The festival is celebrated across India. The best places to celebrate Christmas in India are Goa, Pondicherry and Kerala.
Christmas 2020: 25th December (Friday)
8. Republic Day – Anniversary Of The Constitution Of India
Republic Day is one of those festivals in India where patriotism amidst the citizens is at its peak. For this was the day when the constitution of India came into existence and the transition of the country from a British Dominion to a republic took place. This happened in the year 1950, three years after India got independence. Every year, this day is celebrated with great pride and excitement.
Significance: Celebrated as the day when the Constitution of India came into existence.
Key attractions: On this day, a grand parade is held every year that commences from Rashtrapati Bhavan and continues to Rajpath, India Gate, and then finally Red Fort.
When: 26th January
Where: All across India
9. Independence Day – Celebration of Freedom
One of the most crucial and celebrated national festivals, Independence Day is celebrated to feel the spirit of India’s freedom. The flag hoisting ceremony is also held during this day, carried out by the Prime Minister of India at Red Fort. This event is then followed by 21 gunshots that are fired as a way to give salutation.
Significance: Celebrated to commemorate the freedom attained on 15th August, 1947
Key attractions: the salutation given through 21 gunshots and the Prime Minister of India hoisting the flag
When: 15th August 2020
Where: All India
10. Maha Shivratri: Devotion To Lord Shiva (21st February, Friday)
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this Indian festival holds great reverence among the devotees of Lord Shiva. It has a huge significance in Hindu mythology celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun. It is believed that whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day attains salvation and redemption from their sins. It is also among the most crucial festivals of India for unmarried and married women to attain marital bliss.
Significance: Devotion to Lord Shiva
Key attractions: Fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva
When: 21st February (Friday)
Where: North India and Nepal
11. Eid-Ul-Fitr: Sumptuous Buffets & Sweet Festivities (23rd May, Saturday)
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.
Significance: It celebrates the conclusion of the holy month of fasting called Ramadan.
Key attractions: The beautifully decked up markets and mosques, the morning Eid namaz at the mosques, and the sweet dishes.
When: On the 1st day of the month of Shawwal of the lunar Hijri calendar, which corresponds to July of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated by Muslims all over the country
Eid Ul Fitr 2020: 23rd May (Saturday)
12.Krishna Janmashtami: The Birth Of The Mighty & Mischievous (12th August, Wednesday)
Janmashtami is again a beautiful one among the most important religious festivals of India. Janmashtami celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular. People fast throughout the day and break it with a special meal after dusk which makes it one of the important in the list of festivals of India. Visiting temples, praying, dancing, and singing bhajans (hymns) at midnight is a part of the celebrations of the birth of Lord Krishna. Often, small children dress up like Lord Krishna on this day. Images and picturization of Krishna’s life story are depicted in the “jhankis” in temples. It is one of the popular festivals of India.
Significance: It is the annual celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna.
Key attractions: The Janmashtami puja and festivities in the temples and the jhaankis of Lord Krishna
When: The 8th day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to August or September of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Celebrated by the Hindu community all over, but the festivities at Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular
Janmashtami 2020: 12th August (Wednesday)
13.Navratri: The Nine Days Of Fasting, Faith, & Devotion (17th Oct to 25th Oct)
Navratri is one of the most important festivals of India. This 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. Fasting is a famous tradition of Hindu religion and is associated with a scientific fact. Whenever there is a change in season, one should fast to give rest to their digestive system and boost their immunity for the next season.
Significance: It represents the celebration of the Goddess Amba (Power) in nine different forms.
Key attractions: The 9 days of dance festivities in Gujarat, the exquisite Chaniya Choli’s (traditional skirt & blouse), and the Gujarati cuisine – Sabudana Khichdi, Mandvi Paak, Singoda ki Kheer, and Potato Wafers
When: The first nine days of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar
Where: Almost all over the country; most vibrant in Gujarat, Maharashtra and the metros
Navratri 2020: From 17th October to 25th October (Sunday)
14.Baisakhi: The Rich Traditions And Cultural Prosperity (13th April, Monday)
Baisakhi, one of the famous festivals of India is celebrated by the Sikh community of Punjab and those around the world. It celebrates the welcoming of the harvest season for the rabi crops. The Sikhs celebrate this festival with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by performing local folk dances such as Giddha and Bhangra. The festival is of great religious significance in India as it marks the day when the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, laid out the foundation stone for the Panth Khalsa-the Order back in 1699.
Significance: Welcoming the harvest season
Key attractions: Folk dance like Bhangra and Giddha, Punjabi feasts, decorations in houses and Gurudwaras
When: 13th April (Monday)
Where: The festival is celebrated across Sikh communities in India. The best place to celebrate Baisakhi in India is Punjab.