India's main festival season starts in August and extends until March, with most of the big festivals happening from August until late October or early November. Even though the weather may be wet, it won't dampen the festive spirit. The party goes on—rain, hail or shine!

TOP 15 Most Popular Holidays in India for 2021

1. Diwali - The festival of Lights

When: 2021: November 2. Like many Indian festivals, the dates of Diwali are based on the Hindu lunar calendar and change slightly every year.

This is one of the best well-known Indian festival, which is famous for lighting up our lives. According to the, Diwali is joyously celebrated globally now. Sending a powerful message of the triumph of good over evil, the festival is celebrated in every nook and corner of the country. People enjoy the festival of lights by beginning the day with an auspicious pooja, followed by welcoming the night with new traditional clothes, sweets and glowing deeyas. The houses are decorated with garlands of electric lights and colourful rangolis. Ignite the light of brotherhood and goodness in you being through the festival of Diwali.

Diwali: Some interesting things you should know about this festival! Diwali: Some interesting things you should know about this festival!

Diwali is known as the biggest of all Hindu festivals. If you want to know and explore more its origin, significance as well as some ...

2. Holi - The festival of colours

TOP 15 Most Popular Holidays in India!
Photo: National Geographic

Upcoming Holi Dates March 28, 2021

Holi is a Hindu festival that takes place in March every year and is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. Holi is often called the Festival of Colors due to the countrywide chaotic coloured-power fight that takes place on this day of boisterous celebrations.

Reviewed by the, this is one of the favourite Indian festivals among travellers who are often drawn to Holi by the contagious joy of the participants and the chance to capture incredible photographs.

3. Christmas

It is no surprise to say that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated with ecstatic merriment and wonderful joy, throughout India. The warm smell of walnut cakes can be inhaled in every household. As if captivated by a confetti of Santa caps, Christmas sees the prevalence of these caps and reindeer headgear decorating the heads of civilians. Many people decorate Christmas trees in their homes with colourful stars and hanging balls. People also visit the Church to seek the holy blessings of Christ on this auspicious festival.

4. Ganesh Chaturthi

TOP 15 Most Popular Holidays in India!
Photo: Tripsavvy.

Upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi Dates: 2021: August 22-September 1

Ganesh Chaturthi occurs in August or September every year. The biggest celebrations take place when the statues of Ganesh are paraded through the city towards the sea on the final day. Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival that celebrates the birth of Ganesh. During the festival, huge handcrafted statues of Ganesh are displayed in pandals or temples throughout Mumbai. Every neighbourhood in the city competes to make the best and most beautiful statue of Ganesh.

Throughout the festival, each statue is given offerings and is celebrated with religious rituals until the final day when all the statues are carried to the ocean and submerged. Placing the statues in the sea symbolizes Lord Ganesh leaving the Earth and returning to the heavens.

5.Durga Puja, Navaratri, Dussehra

Upcoming Durga Puja Dates:2021: October 11-15

Durga Puja is the largest festival to take place in Kolkata and West Bengal. This festival is a 5-day celebration that commemorates the victory of the goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. The best thing to do during this holiday is to travel around the city visiting each of the pandals. Every pandal is built with a different theme from "Egypt" to "The Environment".

Upcoming Navaratri Dates: 2021: October 6-14Navaratri occurs over nine days during the month of Ashvin in the Hindu calendar, which usually falls between September and October.

Upcoming Dussehra dates2021: October 15. Dussehra falls on the 10th day of Navatri in the month of Ashwin in the Hindu calendar which typically in October.

Dussehra is a festival that is celebrated on the last day of Navaratri and honours the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. In India northern, central and western states, many performances of the Ramlila story and the burning of large statues of Ravana occur.

6. Janmashtami- Birth of Lord Krishna

When: Monday, August 30th, 2021

The revered Hindu God, Lord Krishna’s birthday, is celebrated as Janmashtmi prominently in North India. However, the main festivities take place in Vrindavan and Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna. Here, the temples are filled with throngs of people, fasting on this auspicious day and waiting for the temple priest to reveal the Krishna idol at the exact time of his birth. Elsewhere, the festival is celebrated with much gusto, with programs in the local community dedicated to the life stories of Krishna, depicted in an artistic manner.

7.Ganesh Chaturthi- Vinayaka Chathurti

When Friday, September 10th 2021

Prominent in the state of Marahastra, Ganesh Chaturthi is an exemplar of a culturally charged environment. The festival spans over a period of 10 days, the last of which is marked with the maximum amount of revelry. Humungous idols of Lord Ganesha are carried to the seashore for the procession of Visarjan, immersing the idol inside the water body. The walk from one’s home to the seashore is filled with a rich amount of dancing and singing.

8. Eid al-Fitr

Upcoming Eid Dates 2021: May 13

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated all over the world but is an important holiday in India because of the country's large Muslim community. Eid is a day of celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Because Eid marks the breaking of the fast, this holiday is celebrated with large meals and incredible street food.

When walking through Chandni Chowk bazaar in Delhi during Eid, you'll find families leaving the Jama Masjid after their morning prayers and streets full of sizzling kebabs and sweet desserts.

9. Onam

Upcoming Onam Dates: Thiru Onam 2021: August 21. The most important day of Onam is called Thiru Onam which directly translates to 'sacred Onam day'. Thiru Onam is when the competitions, boat races, feasts, and temple events all take place.

Onam is a 4-day harvest festival that takes place in Kerala. This holiday is a stunning display of Kerala's culture and heritage and is celebrated to commemorate the return of the mythical King Mahabali.

Onam in Kerala is full of cultural events including traditional dances, sports competitions, boat races, and Kathakali performances. Every household also creates a pookalam which is a decoration made from flower petals and rice that is placed on the floor at the entrance of homes and buildings.

10.Raksha Bandhan- Rakhi or “Bond of Protection”

When Sunday, August 21st 2021

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrating the eternal bond of brothers and sisters. In this festival, sisters tie an auspicious thread to the brother’s wrist, as a symbol of protection, that the brother bestows on her. In return, the sister receives varieties of gifts and goodies from her brother. People dress up in fine clothes and eat traditional sweets during this festival.


Upcoming Pongal Dates: 2021: January 13-16. The second day of Pongal is celebrated when the sun crosses back into the northern hemisphere. This typically occurs on January 14th or 15th in the Tamil month of Thai.

Pongal is a festival in Tamil Nadu that takes place over 4 days and celebrates the end of the second harvest season with large feasts and family get-togethers. Pongal also marks the return of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere and the return of warmer weather.

The third and fourth days of the festival are dedicated to the celebration of cows and birds. On the fourth day, cows are decorated with garlands of marigolds and stalks of corn and paraded through the villages. On the fifth day, food is left out for the birds to thank them for their assistance with the harvest.

12. Pushkar Camel Fair

Upcoming Camel Fair Dates: 2021: November 11-19

The festival is full of great activities including street performances by snake charmers, musicians, and folk dancers as well as camel races and camel beauty contests. You can also check out the Best Mustache and Turban Tying competitions.

The fair itself is often quite crowded and full of people trying to enjoy carnival activities. If you'd like to avoid the crowds, consider getting a bird's eye view of the festivities from a hot air balloon.

13. Makar Sankranti

Upcoming Makar Sankranti Dates: 2021: January 14

Makar Sankranti is a very holy day in Hindusim and occurs when the sun passes back into the Northern Hemisphere signalling the return of warmth to the country. This festival is celebrated in many different forms across India. In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal.

The festival includes kite competitions where competitors try to cut the kite strings of their opponents. Last kite flying gets a prize! The city of Jaipur also arranges a friendly kite-flying zone for anyone who doesn't want their kite string cut.

14. Mahashivratri

On Mahashivratri, some devotees stay awake all night, singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. While others visit one of the Shiva temples that are beautifully decorated with lights and flowers for the occasion.

Varanasi and Haridwar are the two best places to see the Mahashivratri celebrations. Varanasi is home to one of the most important Shiva temples in the country, Kashi Vishwanath temple. This temple sees over a million Hindus from around the country who come to perform

Upcoming Mahashivratri Dates 2021: March 11

15. Janmashtami

TOP 15 Most Popular Holidays in India!
Photo: Deccan Chronicle.

Upcoming Janmashtami Dates 2021: August 30-31

The Krishna Janmashtami festival, popularly known as Janmashtami, is celebrated across India to honour the Birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

This two-day festival usually consists of prayers, fasts, devotional songs, and performances of the life of Krishna. On the first day, devotees keep a vigil and fast until midnight at Krishna or Vishnu temples, offering prayers and singing. Lord Krishna's idols are washed and adorned with news clothes and ornaments in the temples.

The highlight of the festival is Dahi Handi which takes place on the second day and is when people form a human pyramid to reach the clay pots of yoghurt strung up from tall buildings. If you wish to witness this fun activity then Mumbai is the place to go because Dahi Handi competitions take place at hundreds of locations across the city.

India's Top Festivals

Religion is at the heart of people's lives in India, and most of the country's festivals are tied to religious events—whether it be the birth of a god, or a god's victory over a demon. Each offers a different experience, and all are worth attending. However, depending on your interests and concerns about comfort, it's likely that some will appeal more than others.

In fact, you'll find festivals going on all year round in India!

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