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Festivals of India

Festivals of India

Wiki project started by Mrs. V.Jalaja Kumari, PRT



Name of the Festival


History & Origin




India is a country of many diversities. We speak many languages, take different food, worship differently. India is the country that celebrates hundreds of festivals, small and big in a single year. Festivals make the culture of India rich and wonderful. The celebrations promote secularism in its most relevant form, festivals bind the country in one sacred thread of love.We should learn the vibrant culture and heritage of our country.

Many people celebrate festivals. But why? There is no simple or 1 sentence answer, however, there are answers. It could be just for enjoyment but there is also more to tell. Enjoyment plays one of the biggest parts because it also lets people have something to look forward to. If there weren’t any celebrations what would you be able to look forward to apart from your birthday? 

As well as for enjoyment, people celebrate to mark special dates in their religion, for example, Christmas marks the day Jesus was born so Christians celebrate the day the son of God came to Earth. That is just one of the many examples that can be said about religious reasons for festivals. Festivals like this also bring family and people closer together because all families like to be together for such important celebrations. In a way it could be helping relieve stress, create peace. It basically gives you time to talk and be with people. 

Many countries that were captured during wars and other times now have Independence Day and they celebrate that. In conclusion, I think we are all better off with festivals.

 A Tip to the reader: Jayanti = Birthday

Festivals of India – A Comprehensive List

  • Ekadashi
  • Lohri
  • Floating Festival
  • The Republic Day
  • Ganga Sagara
  • Pongal - Sankranti
  • Tyagaraja Festival
  • Bhogali Bihu
  • Ravi Das Jayanti
  • Vasanta Panchami
  • Magha Mela
  • Muthumariamman Temple Festival
  • Sakata Chutha
  • Tai Pusam
  • Sedal
  • Moharam
  • Chellum
  • The feast of Purim
  • Dol Purnima
  • Ramakrishna Utsava
  • Teppan
  • Shivarathri
  • Urs of Pir Gaikwad
  • Urs of Sharif Sailani Shah Miya
  • Kalahasti Temple Festival
  • Tijara Ratha Yatra
  • Holi
  • Lambaras Festival
  • Jamshed Navroz
  • Christian Fair
  • Palm Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Yugadi (Ugadi) and Panchanga Shravana
  • Shital Ashtami
  • Cheti Chand
  • Burwa Mangal
  • Bakr-Id
  • Chaitra Pratipada
  • Vaisali Mahotsava
  • Bramhotsavam
  • Goru and Rangoli Bihu Festival
  • Car Festivals
  • Vishu Festival
  • The Festival of Passover
  • Ramanavami
  • Vaigai River Festival
  • Hanuman Jayanti
  • Kaila Mata
  • Mahavir Jayanti
  • Nav Roz
  • Milad-un-Nabi
  • Ambedkar Jayanti
  • Jwalamukhi Festival
  • Baisakhi
  • Naba Varsha Festival
  • Pooram Festival
  • Naga Festivals
  • Jamshed Navroz
  • Pola and Hadaga
  • Krishna Janmashtami
  • Minger Mela
  • Independence Day
  • Kaveri River Festival
  • Sair-e-Gulforoshan
  • Parsi festivals
  • The Onam
  • Tirupathi Festival
  • Ramzan and Id-ul-Fitr
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Anantha Vrutha
  • Virgin Mary Festival
  • Harvest Festivals
  • Gandhi Jayanti
  • Guruvayur Temple Festival
  • Kans ka Mela
  • Rasa-Lila Festival
  • Kathikai Festival
  • Children's Day
  • Karwachoth
  • Deepavali
  • Jaina Kartika Mahotsava
  • Dhana Teras
  • Kartika Purnima
  • Shabarimalai Temple Festival
  • Vaikuntha Ekadashi
  • St. Francis Xavier's Day
  • Carnival and Shigmotsava
  • Christmas
  • Solar Eclipse
  • Kumbha Mela
  • Kandoori
  • Pandarpur Temple Festival
  • Fire-walking Festival
  • Mahamasthabhisheka of Shravanabelagola
  • Bhil Festivals
  • Rathasaptami (Seven Chariots)
  • Chaitra-Purnamasi
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
  • Buddha Jayanti
  • Dasara
  • Shivaji Jayanti
  • Vata Savitri
  • Chaliho
  • Guru Purnima
  • Teej
  • Naga Panchami (Snake Festival)
  • Coconut Day Festival
  • Thadari
  • Varalakshmi Festival
  • Raksha Bandhan
  • Bandi Festival
  • Thread Festival
  • Gond Festivals
  • Tulasi Vivah













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State Kerala
Type Popular

August-September (Chingam, Malayalam Calender)

Onam is the state festival of Kerala. Celebrated in the first month ‘chingam’ according to the Malayalee Calender, it is also the annual harvest festival of the state. The festival falls in the month of August to September according to the Gregoriancalendar. The celebrations of Onam go ten days long up to Tiruvonam and in some cases to twelve days long until chatayam (twelfth day). The celebrations of Onam include elaborate rituals, music, dances, sports, boat races and of course scrumptious foods. There are several legends and stories attached with the festival. Read on to explore more about the festival of Onam i.e. its history, its origin and its significance.

Onam has been a part of Malayalee culture for centuries. The earliest record of the festival that has been found belongs to the reign of Kulasekhara Perumals around i.e. around 800 AD. However, there are great possibilities that the festival was celebrated before this period also. Any ways, due to lack of physical evidences, it has been assumed that the festival started somewhere around 800 A.D. as the harvest festival of the state. However, there are so many legends and stories attached with the day that it seems that the festival has been a part of the region ever since its origin.

Onam Celebrations has two most important significances in context of the Malayalee culture. First of all, it is celebrated as the harvest festival of the state. It reminds one of the golden age of prosperity when the entire month of Chingam (the month of Malayalee calendar that corresponds to the August- September time of Gregorian calendar) was celebrated as the Onam month. It was the time when the farms of the state produced excess of food grains and brought prosperity and riches to the state. Arriving after the rain-drenched month of Karkidakam (July-August), Chingam was welcomed with much enthusiasm by the people of Kerala. 

The second and the most popularly quoted legend with the festival is related to the demon king, Mahabali. It is said that Mahabali was a generous and kind hearted king of Kerala. He was powered by a boon granted to him by Lord Brahma, he was invincible and thus gradually won over the entire earth. Soon after he won the earth, he also won the territory of heaven and became its king. He gradually rose up to become the undisputed ruler of all the three worlds. It was the time he inflicted violence upon the gods. Lord Vishnu then decided to overthrow Bali from his powers. He went to Bali in the form of a Brahman as he knew that the king rejoiced in doing good deeds and giving alms to the poor. He asked for three feet of land from the Demon king to which the king readily agreed. 

Gradually, he Brahaman increased in size. In one step, he measured the entire earth and in the other he covered the entire heaven, he then asked Bali that where should he put the third step. Bali, a man of his words, then laid down his head and asked Brahman to step his foot on his head. Vishnu disguised in the form of Brahman, thus appeared in front of Bali and offered him the Kingdom of the nether world. However as Bali was very much in love with the people of his kingdom at earth, he asked Vishnu to give him a boon so that he can visit the earth once a year to which Vishu readily agreed. Bali, since then is believed to come to earth in the month of ‘chingam’ according to the Malayalee calendar and the entire festival is celebrated to welcome their dear king Mahabali to earth.

Rakhi or Raksha Bhandan is a festival, celebrated to honor the emotional bond between brother and sister. Sister ties a holy thread around her brother's wrist and takes a commitment from her brother that he will always be there beside her in hour of need. This thread, which vibrates with sisterly love and virtuous sentiments, is rightly called the 'Rakhi'. A "bond of protection".

Bhai Dooj
Bhai-Dooj festival symbolizes the brother and sister eternal love for each other. Whereas sister prays for the long and prosper life of her brother by applying tilak on his forehead and in return brother promises to provide a life long protection to her sister. The festival falls on the second day after Diwali and is celebrated all over the country.

This hugely popular festival falls on the 10th day of the waxing moon during the Hindu month of Ashvin (around September or October). There is a fascinating array of myths and legends associated with Dussehra. On this day, Rama (the god-king and the hero of the great Hindu epicRamayana) vanquished the evil Ravana – the 10-headed demon-king of Lanka who had abducted Rama’s wife Sita.
Bhai Dooj


Deepawali or the Festival of Lights is perhaps the most popular of all Hindu festivals. Religious fervour paralleled with ample fun and merry-making marks the festival. Deepawali is celebrated in most parts of the country with equal enthusiasm and fervour. Like most festivals, Diwali, as it is more popularly known, comes with its own bagful of mythological and historical references.

Holi is celebrated at a time of the year when everyone’s had enough of the chilly winter and looks forward to the warmth of the sun. Trees get fresh new leaves that are at their glossiest best, and flowers  begin to pop open and claim their share of fun in the sun. Even grandmothers abandon their knitting for the glorious sunny days. They know that it’s time to give in to good cheer, for the harsh Indian summers are just round the corner.
Holi Festival

Celebrating Eid at Jama Masjid - New Delhi

Eid Ul Fitar is the biggest Muslim festival. Eid is derived from the Arabic word ‘oud’ or ‘the coming back’ to signify the return of Eid each year. The festival is significant as much for its timing as for its religious implications. It is celebrated after the  month of Ramzan (the month of fasting and the ninth month of the Muslim year), on the first day of Shavval – a month in the Hijri year (Muslim year). It is believed that the Koran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed in the month of  Ramzan.

The people of Punjab, one of the richest states in India, are in their element during the festival of Baisakhi. Sikhism as a religion originated from this northern state and is home to some of the most sturdy and fun-loving people in this country. Hidden behind the celebration of Baisakhi are the months of hard labour that have gone into the production of the rabi crop, the first harvest of the  year
Baishakhi Festival

Durga Pooja

The azure sky with fluffy white clouds and a nip in the air marks the advent of autumn. It is time for Bengal’s most popular festival – Durga Puja or the worship of the Goddess Durga. Actually the festival is celebrated twice a year – once in the month of March or April (Basant), and again in the month of September or October (Ashwin), during the moonlit fortnight. On both occasions, the puja  is a nine-day affair with the last day coinciding with Rama Navmi and Dussehra respectively. The Mother Goddess is venerated in one form or the other all over India, though she is most popular among the  Bengalis.