Festivals in India in May. Photo: Tripsavvy
Festivals in India in May. Photo: Tripsavvy

National Holidays in May in India can be listed as:

1 May: May Day

International Workers’ Day or May Day is celebrated in India, in keeping with global norms. The day is dedicated to the efforts of the labour class which forms the foundation of industrial growth and development in India.

1 May: Maharashtra Day

It is also known as Maharashtra Diwas in Marathi. It is a state holiday in Maharashtra. The state of Maharashtra was formed from the division of the Bombay State on 1 May, 1960.

3 May - Press Freedom Day

Every year Press freedom Day or World Press Freedom Day is observed on 3rd May to evaluate press freedom around the world and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

4 May – Coal Miners Day

Every year on 4 May, Coal Miners Day is observed to honour the coal miners. Let us tell you that Coal mining is done to extract coal from the ground. Coal Mining is one of India's most dangerous professions. Coal Miners are the men who know that they may not return home back after the work when the day is over. Then, also they walk in the coal mines and earn their daily wages.

7 May – Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti

The birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore is observed on 7 May according to Gregorian Calendar. He was born on 7 May, 1861 in Kolkata. He was one of India's top artists, novelist, author, Bengali poet, humanist, philosopher etc. In 1913, he was honoured with Nobel Prize in Literature.

7 May - Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima

It is believed that on the full moon of the month of Vaishakh, Gautama Buddha was born in Lumbini near Kapilavastu. He is also known as 'Jyoti Punj of Asia' or 'Light of Asia'. This year, Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is celebrated on 7 May.

9 May - Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a day for many people to show their appreciation towards mothers and mother figures worldwide. It is an annual event but is held at different dates in the calendar, depending on the country.

Mother's Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world.

Second Sunday of May

Mother's Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May to honour motherhood and is observed in different forms throughout the world. Mother's Day was founded by the Anna Jarvis who had given the idea of celebrating Mother's Day in honour of mothers and motherhood in 1907. Nationally this day was recognised in 1914.

11 May - National Technology Day

Every year National Technology Day is observed on 11 May to highlight the important role of Science in our daily lives and encourage students to opt science as an option for a career. On this day Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test was held on 11 May, 1998.

13-14 May - Id-ul-Fitr

The Islamic holiday of Id-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. It is regarded as a time with Muslims gathering their friends and family to show gratitude toward Allah following the previous month of reflection. The holiday serves as a great reminder for Muslims to be grateful for what they have and to share with those who may be less fortunate.

Third Friday in May

Every year on the third Friday in May National Endangered Species Day is celebrated annually to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and restoration efforts for all imperilled species. Endangered Species Act 1973, focuses on the protection of wildlife and threatened species.

Third Saturday of the May

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of every May. This day is celebrated to pay tribute to the men and women who served the United States Armed Forces.

21 May – National Anti-Terrorism Day

National Anti-Terrorism Day is observed every year on 21 May to spread awareness about the violence caused by the terrorists and also in the memory of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi who passed on this day.

25 May - National Memorial Day (last Monday of May)

National Memorial Day is observed on last Monday of May. This year it will be observed on 25 May, 2020,

26 May - Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak, is a Buddhist holiday celebrating Gautama Buddha’s life. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in May. This day is spent in the Buddhist temples where monks speak and cite verses. The custom is to place a Buddha baby statue in a basin of water with flowers. Pouring water over the figure symbolizes a new and pure beginning. Some Buddhists go to the pagodas to pour water at the bottom of the sacred tree in remembrance of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.

31 May – Anti-Tobacco Day

Anti-Tobacco Day or World No Tobacco Day is observed on 31 May every year across the globe to make people aware and educate them about the harmful effects of tobacco on health which causes cardiovascular diseases, cancer, tooth decay, staining of teeth etc.

Photo: Mokokchung Travel Guide
Photo: Mokokchung Travel Guide

Major festivals in May in India can be listed as:

The first week of May each year - Moatsu Festival

Celebrated by the Ao tribe of Nagaland, the Moatsu Festival is a time of great rejoicing as the planting season comes to an end. All activities are associated with the harvest. You can expect a lot of singing, dancing, and merry-making at this festival. The main event is Sangpangtu. Men and women dress up in their best attire and sit around a fire, eating meat and wine.

April 12 to May 12, 2021- Ramadan

The holy Muslim month of Ramadan is a fantastic opportunity to feast on fresh street food. During Ramadan, Muslims traditionally fast daily from sunrise until sunset. In the evenings, the streets in traditional Muslim areas are flooded with people and the tantalizing aroma of meat being freshly roasted to feed the famished. The revelry continues all night. Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, with more feasting and shopping.

7-9 May 2021 - The Yoga Shala Expo

India's first international yoga, Ayurveda and wellness expo features a wide variety of practitioners and natural products such as organic food and clothing, and herbal cosmetics. There will be 150 exhibitors and speakers from 20 countries. Attractions include workshops, seminars, interactive activities, health consultations, and astrology consultations. The festival is back for the fourth year this year.

14-16 May - Dhungri Mela

The three-day Dhungri Mela takes place in honor of Goddess Hadimba's birthday in Manali. She was the wife of Bhima, one of the five Pandavas brothers from the great Hindu epic the Mahabharata. Her temple is one of the most important ones in the region, and gods and goddesses from surrounding villages are carried in procession to attend the celebrations. A fairground is set up with stalls and carnival rides as well. The festival involves much singing and dancing, including performances of the Kullu Natti folk dance. It provides an interesting glimpse of local culture.

Mid May - Ooty Summer Festival

Ooty is an important summer destination in the state of Tamil Nadu. May marks the end of tourism season in the region. Thus, the locals create extravaganza in every element to attract tourists or as a way of saying good-bye. Top events includes vegetable show in Nehru Park of Kotagiri, Rose show in the Government rose garden of Ooty, Fruit show in Sim’s Park of Coonoor, Flower show at Ooty Botanical Garden and the Commercial Road will be filled with bazaars for shopping. The actual date of the summer festival varies within the month of May, every year.

24 May - Kannambra Vela

This grand finale of summer temple festivals in Kerala's Palakkad-Thrissur region is a scaled down version of the famous Thrissur Pooram. Two local groups lead the celebrations and compete with each other to stage the most impressive procession towards the temple, accompanied by decorated elephants and traditional musicians. There are also fire works and cultural performances.

May 26 - Buddha Purnima and Buddha Jayanti

Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in honor of the founder Lord Buddha of Buddhism. It is an important festival in Buddhism and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. On the same day, Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment and attained nirvana or salvation. Some believe that “Yashodara” was born on the day of Gautama’s wife, his charioteer Channa and his horse Kantaka Buddha Purnima. On this day, pilgrims come from all over the world to Bodh Gaya to participate in the Buddha Purnima festival.

Gautama Buddha as Prince Siddhartha in 566 BC. I was born in Kapilavastu when the young prince felt the pain and weakness of others that meant seeing old age, disease, and death, he gave up his wealth and decided to demand the higher truth and create an ascetic meditation for many years. After a lot of study, and sacrifice, he found nirvana and became Siddhartha to Gautama Buddha.

May 26 - Saga Dawa

Saga Dawa is the fourth month of Tibetan lunar calendar and the holiest month for Tibetan Buddhists. The most important celebration falls on the full moon day of the month, when the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha is honored (Buddha Purnima). In Gangtok, a procession of monks carries the holy book from Tsuklakhang Palace Monastery around town. It's accompanied by the blowing of horns, beating of drums, and burning of incense. Colorful masked dances also take place at Rumtek Monastery.

May 29-30, 2021 - Mount Abu Summer Festival

Mount Abu hill station is quite famous in the state of desert. This festival marks the end of the tourism season in the mountain. The summer festival starts with ballad singing and folk dances. Other common events in the celebration are boat race, roller skating, firework display and the iconic Sham-e-Qawwali music show, Travelogyindia cited.

May 25 to June 20, 2021 - Kottiyoor Utsavam

The annual 28 day Kottiyoor festival takes place at two temples -- Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor -- on opposite sides of the Bavali River and surrounded by dense forest. The Akkare Kottiyoor temple is only open during the festival. There's no formal structure. Rather the idol of the deity, a swayambhoo lingam (self-created idol of Lord Shiva), is seated on the ground and formed by a small heap of stones called manithara. The Neyyattam ritual on the first day and the Thirukalasattu ritual on the last day attract the most spectators and devotees, as reported by Tripsavvy.

International Flower Festival

This festival puts together a number of fun-filled events, the beauty of flowers, and some good plantation awareness. During the display, several varieties of orchids, gladioli, cactus, roses, trees, ferns, alpine plants, creepers, climbers are shown. There is also a selection of ethnic delicacies for your taste buds. River rafting is for those who enjoy the adventure. A further interesting feature of Sikkim’s Flower festival is the Yak Safari. Besides this, there are also lectures and workshops on indigenous plants.

It is celebrated the whole month of May in Governor’s residence, Gangtok.

Above is a list of important holidays and festivals that are taken place in May in India. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add them to the comment section below, and don't forget to follow KnowInsiders for more interesting news. Thanks for tuning in!

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