List of National Festivals of India. How to celebrate Indian festivals in 2020? Why these festivals are called National festivals of India? How to plan trips and travel to attend these festivals in India? You should not miss these festivals in 2020 and must plan accordingly. Lets figure out everything in this comprehensive guide mentioning importance, origin, places and purpose of each Indian festival. We have prepared at longest list of 34 popular festivals of India for you.
34 National festivals of India | A complete list
Following are 34 Popular National festivals of India celebrated across the country.
- Independence Day
- Durga Pooja
- Shri Krishna Janmashtmi
- Govardhan Pooja
- Ganesh Chaturthi
- Basant Panchmi
- Mahavir Jayanti
- Eid Ul Fitr
- Raksha Bandhan
- Bhai Dooj
- Makar Sankranti
- Chhat Pooja – Bihar
- Bihu festival from North east India
- Lui-Ngai-Nui festival of Manipur
- Dree Festival of Arunachal Pradesh
- Moatsu Mong festival
- Horn Bill Festival of Nagaland
- Camel Festival
- Hanuman Jayanti
- Kumbh Mela
- Sikkim’s Saga Dawa
How to Plan and celebrate All Festivals in India?
Here is the list of all popular festivals of India. With our proper detailed list explaining the importance and purpose of Popular festivals in India, You can easily plan your travel to enjoy them. We will provide the list with proper images and videos and hotel guide so that you get to know easily about the geographies where these Indian festivals are celebrated. We will now start explaining the details of each above mentioned National festivals in India –
1) Independence Day - Indian festival to Celebrate Independence and Freedom.
India’s one of the biggest festival celebrated by everyone irrespective of religion or cast. Independence Day we celebrate on 15 August, also a national holiday in India celebrating India’s independence from the United Kingdom rule on 15 August 1947. India’s first PM was Pandir Jawahar Lal Nehru who raised the Indian national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi. Every Indian celebrate this festival by flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events and sweets distribution. Ref
2) Deepawali - Indian festival of Lights
Diwali or Deepavali – Festival of Lights, candles, crackers and sweets. Most popular Hindu festival celebrated in India and various other parts of the world. Infact, various other religion also shares the joy and happiness on this occasion. Deepawali is a festival of lights that is celebrated across the country. To celebrate this Indian festival, people decorate their homes, Repaint the walls, decorate with candles, lamps and lights. People exchange gifts, buy new clothes and burst crackers.
But why do we celebrate Deepawali or Diwali? – It is celebrated as Lord Rama’s returned back to Ayodhya with his wife (Sita) after 14 years of exile and his victory over Ravana. Holistically, Diwali is celebrated as ultimate victory of good over evil
Where is Diwali (Popular National Festival of India) celebrated? – Across India
When do we celebrate Diwali ? – October – November- The darkest new moon night of Kartik month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar.
How to celebrate this Indian Festival? : Homes decorated with flowers, colourful fancy lights, candles, lamps. Bursting fireworks and crackers.
Diwali 2020: 14th November (Saturday)
3) Dussehra - Indian festival of Victory of Good over evil
Soon after Navratri or Durga Pooja, the next day is celebrated Dussehra. Dussehra is again a popular Hindi Festival in India and also called as – Vijayadashami. Hindus celebrate festival of Dussehra to celebrate victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and also Goddess Durga’s triumph over Mahishasura (Rakshasa).
To celebrate this festival of India, Ramlila is organised across India and mammoth effigies of Ravana along with Kumbhkaran and Meghnad are burned every year. Wandering which is the best place to enjoy Dussehra? – Mysore in Karnataka is the best place to enjoy Dussehra in India as it is illuminated with around one lakh bulbs, a lovely picturesque view. You will also see decorated elephants on this occasion.
Significance of Dussehra – As mentioned above, celebrated as Lord Rama killed Ravana and Devi Durga’s victory over Mahisha sura Rakshasa.
Where is Dussehra (National Festival of India not to be missed) celebrated? – Dussehra is celebrated across India, but the celebrations in Mysore, Kullu and Delhi are not to be missed at all. Plan today. 🙂
When is Dussehra (National Festival of India) celebrated? – October – November every year.
Dussehra 2020 – Tentative date is 25th Oct 2020
4) Holi - Festival in India celebrated with colours
Celebrations, Happiness, Colours, Sweets, Water, Baloons and lots of fun every where! You see this – Its Holi for sure.. 🙂
Celebrated around March of every year – Holi is another top scorer in the list of festivals of India. Holi is famous across the world as a festival of love and the festival of colors. Holi (Another popular National festival in India) it signifies the arrival of spring. Celebrations of this festival in India start on the eve when Huge bonfires are lit to symbolize the burning of the mythical demoness – Holika. People of India celebrate this festival with lots of enthusiasm, they put dry and wet colors, throw water balloons on each other. Holi is celebrated by children also- they play with water guns and balloons filled with colored water. In some parts of India, Festival of Holi is celebrated by drinking bang thandai.
Where is Holi (National Festival of India No. 2) celebrated? – All over India, But holi celebration at Mathura and Vrindavan are not to be missed at all.
When is Holi (Popular National Festival of India) celebrated? – around February – March, Full moon (Purnima) of the Phalgun month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar
What is the Significance of Holi? It signifies the victory of good over evil when demoness- Holika burned herself and prince Prahlad remained untouched even in fire. Holi signifies arrival of spring.
How to celebrate Holi festival?: Holika or bonfire, playing with colors, water, waterfilled balloons etc and bhang thandai
When is Holi in 2020? : 10th March (Tuesday)
5) Durga Pooja
One of the important Hindu festivals of India, it is a symbol of cultural identity for the Bengalis in India. Bengalis celebrate Durga Pooja with much fanfare and gaiety, Fast, feast and worship of Goddess Durga. Durga Pooja indeed is one of the major festivals of India, but popular in West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Bihar.
Worship of Goddess Durga are accompanied by cultural songs, dances, and religious dramas. During Durga Puja, huge and beautiful clay idols of the ten-armed Goddess Durga and her four children are made. People dress in traditional wear and visit mandaps where Goddess Durga is worshipped.
Durga Pooja ends with the immersion of the idol in water.
Where is Durga Puja (Popular Festival of India) celebrated? – Durga Pooja is celebrated across India, but popular in West Bengal, Delhi, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Bihar
When is Durga Pooja (National Festival of India) celebrated? – October – November -10th day of Ashwina Shukla paksha, as perthe Hindu lunisolar calendar.
Significance: Lord Rama’s invocation of Maa Durga before he proceeded for the war against Ravana at Lanka.
Key attractions: incredibly beautiful ten armed Durga idols, Pandals and the puja
Where: West Bengal, Delhi, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Bihar
Durga Puja 2020: 26th October (Monday)
Navratri in a popular Indian festival celebrated by Hindus. All 9 forms for Goddess are worshiped. Navratri as per Sanskrit means nine nights. Hindus worship Goddess Shakti in different forms During Navratri,. In Gujarat and other parts of North India, Navratri celebrations involve Dandiya Raas and Garba dances. This lovely Indian festival witnesses huge participation by men, women, and children of all ages. They dress themselves in colorful traditional attire.
Where is Navratri (Popular and well known National Festival of India) celebrated? – All over India, specially in Gujarat and Maharashtra
When is Navratri (National Festival of India) celebrated? – every year around October – November
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
8) Shri Krishna Janmashtmi
Lord Krishna’s Birthday in India is celebrated as Shri Krishna Janmashtami. Krishna is the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu. Shri Krishna Janamashtmi is one of the major Hindu festivals. Lord Krishna is worshipped across the world by Hindus to celebrate his birthday. You will see huge ques to see the performances called as – Jhanki in and around temples. Devotees offer sweets and various delicacies to Lord Krishna. This festival in India is celebrated the most at Mathura and Vrindavan, as these locations are related to Krishna’s birth and childhood, witness lavish celebrations marked with hymns and dances. On this occasion, little children often dress up as Lord Krishna. Another important attraction of the festival is dioramas, narrating the story of the night of the virgin birth, complete with miniature mountains, a river signifying the Yamuna, and prison of Kansa where Devki was imprisoned. In Mumbai, people form gigantic human pyramids, several storeys high, and try to break an earthen pot filled with yogurt hanging above in an event known as Dahi Handi. Do you know that Mathura, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, is also a tourist place in the country?
When is Janmashtami celebrated? – August – September of every year
Which country celebrates Janmashtami (National Festival of India) ? – India and countries where Hindus lives
9) Govardhan Pooja
One of the major festival in India dedicated to Lord Krishna is -Govardhan Puja. A Hindu festival where devotees offer a large variety of vegetarian food (56 bhog) to Shri Krishna. As per Bhagavata Puran, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect villagers from Rain. Govardhan Hill provided shelter to all villagers and their lives were saved. All Devotees creates a mountain of food representing the Govardhan Hill. Govarddhan is Vaishnava’s popular festival in India.
Also, the Annakut festival occurs on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha, in month of Kartik (as per Hindu calender), which is the next day of Deepawali (Diwali). Ref
10) Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesha’s festivals of India- Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi holds a special significance for devotees of Lord Ganesha. Hindus celebrates the birth of Hindu God- Shiva’s son- “Ganesh”.
Maharashtra celebrates this festival with great zeal, Colorful celebration for around ten days which starts with the installation of Ganesha idols. Almost every Ganesh Bhakt celebrates this festival in homes and public mandaps. For all these 10 days -People worship the Ganesha and On the tenth day as per the rituals, the idol is immersed in water and this marks the end of the Ganesh chaturthi. Festival in India which is celebrated largely in states of Maharashtra and also in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, and Chhattisgarh.
Where is Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganesha’s Festival of India) celebrated? – India and specially in state of Maharashtra
In which month Ganesh Chaturthi (National Festival in India) is celebrated? – every year – August – September
11) Basant Panchmi
Basant or Vasant Panchami is an important festival in India when Goddess Saraswati is worshipped. Hindus celebrate Basant Panchmi festival every year in the month of Magh (As per Hindu calendar). Goddess Saraswati is deity of Wisdom, education and intelligence.
How do we celebrate this festival in India? So, People celebrate Vasant panchmi by wearing yellow, lime coloured or white clothes. They eat and distribute sweet dishes. Offer yellow flowers to Goddess and also decorate home with it..
You will see the traditional celebration In Rajasthan, where devotees love to wear jasmine garlands. Similarly in the state of Maharashtra, newly married couples also wear yellow dresses and visit a temple to offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati.
12) Mahavir Jayanti
Lord Mahavir Jayanti is another popular festival in India celebrated mostly by Jain community. Mahavir jayanti is an auspicious festivals to celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira – 24th Tirthankara of Jains. Mahavir Jayanti is being celebrated most in April to spread the teachings of Lord Mahavira.
13) Eid Ul Fitr
Eid is a popular and and widely celebrated festival in India byMuslim community. It is always celebrated at the end of Ramadan.
Muslims offers prayers or Namaz at Mosques. They buy new clothes, visit friends and relatives, eat and distribute sweet Seviyans to their near and dear ones.
You will see all Mosques and markets decorated beautifully to celebrate Eid-ul-fitr and special delicacies are sold.
Eid is celebrated as It is believed as per the religious books of Islam, that Prophet Muhammad got the first revelation of the Holy Quran during these days.
Where is Eid-ul-Fitr (Muslim’s Festival in India) celebrated? – Celebrated across India, but attending the celebrations at Old Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad etc shouldnt be missed.
When is Eid-ul-Fitr (National Festival of India) celebrated? – Eid ul fitr in 2020 will be around 23-24 May 2020, and every year around May– July
14) Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is a festival to celebrate the love affection and care between brothers and sisters. Rakshabandhan is indeed – the day of love and protection.
Rakshabandhan is celebrated as a festival of love in India when Sisters tie Rakhi to her brothers. Sisters then pray to god for brother’s long life, well being and overall happiness, while on other hand brother pledges to protect her from the evil. Sisters offers sweets to brothers and brothers in return offers lovely gifts.
Rakshabandhan is also called as Rakhi which celebrates the bond of love between siblings. It is a popular Hindu festival celebrated across India.
Where is Rakshabandhan (National Festival of India) celebrated? – India specially North and central, parts of west.
When is Rakshabandhan (National Festival of India) 2020? – 3rd August 2020
santa claus, Santa Claus! – You still need to know about Christmas?
Popular festival of India and infact all over the world marks the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas holds special significance for Christians and celebrated with full enthusiasm and zeal.
Christmas is amongst the few festivals where you will see participation of all most every religion in India.
Decorated Christmas trees, cakes, dryfruit cakes, cookies, chocolates are commonly found everywhere. You will find lovely decorations all over the markets and malls in India.
So, Christian starts the day with prayers at churches and then exchanging gifts, spending time with friends and family, enjoying cakes, chocolates etc.
Goa and various sea beach location attracts foreigners also to celebrate Christmas.
Where is Christmas (National Festival of India) celebrated? – All over world
When is Christmas (National Festival of India) celebrated? – 25th December every year.
16) Bhai dooj
Bhai Dooj – another hindu festival celebrated in India which is a celebration of love and bond between siblings. Hindus celebrates Bhai dooj after Deepawali on second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samvat.
Like Rakshabandhan, Bhai dooj also is a festival of brothers and sisters where sisters pray for long life and happiness for their brothers. Brothers and sisters exchanges gifts, sweets etc.
As per one story Bhai Dooj is celebrated when Lord Krishna defeated Narakasur, His sister Subhadra invited him celebrate the victory and applied tilak on his forehead, offered sweets and performed aarti. She got the blessings of Lord Krishna who was very happy with this gesture of her.
Another interesting story goes like – Yamraj, the God of Death, once met his sister Yamuna, who welcomed him with an aarti, tilak on his forehead, offered him is favorite sweets. In return, Lord Yama presented her with a gift.
When are we celebrating Bhai Dooj festival in India this year 2020 – 16 Nov 2020
Onam is popular festival celebrated mostly in Kerala on 22nd nakshatra Thiruvonam in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam.
Onam festival is celebrated to commemorate King Mahabali, whose spirit is believed to visit Kerala during this time. People gift and wear new clothes also called as ‘Onakkodi’. Onam is also associated with organisation of Vallamkali or boat race, Snake boats as grand event in Kerala.
This festival of Onam is a celebrated by Malayalis to celebrate the homecoming of the Great King Mahabali’s spirit. Onam also marks the harvest season for Kerala.
Onam lasts for about ten days and is celebrated with a great splendour by Malyalis across the nation. As per english calender Onam falls in late August or early September.
When is Onam 2020 – Onam 2020 will begin on Saturday, 22 August and ends on Wednesday, 2 September
Pongal is also referred to as Thai Pongal is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival celebrated mostly by Tamilians.
It is celebrated in January every year around 14th also being the start of the month Tai according to Tamil solar calendar. Pongal festival in India is dedicated to Sun- worshipped as God by Hindus. In northern India, another similar festival is celebrated-Makar Sankranti.
Pongal marks the end of winter solstice, and the start of the sun’s six-month journey northwards or Uttaraayanam). Three days of the Pongal festival are – Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Maattu Pongal.
During these days – traditional dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery. Pongal is also celebrated by decorating cows and their horns, ritual bathing and processions, also occasion for decorating rice-powder based kolam artworks. People offers prayers to Goddess Pongal.
India is a land of multiple religions where we all respect each other and celebrate the festivals of almost every religion.
Another sacred festival in India is Guru-purab which is celebrated by Sikhs. Gurupurab celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. Guru Purab, also known as Prakash Utsav is observed by reading the Guru Granth Sahib for two days prior to the festival. During these days special assemblies are organised to teach lessons of life shared by guru ji. Sikhs are famous for their celebrations as they enjoy there every festival with full enthusiasm. You will find Langars or community meals in the gurudwaras where people from all the religions can participate.
Karah Prasad is distributed to everyone.
Where is Gurpurab (National Festival of India) celebrated? – India, specially Punjab and northern part of India
When is Gurpurab (National Festival of India) celebrated? – every year -November
20) Makar Sankranti
Another Hindu festival of India – Makar Sankranti celebrated based on the solar calendar. Makar Sankranti marks the winter solstice and the arrival of longer days. Makar sankranti depicts the sun’s transit into the constellation of Capricorn. The festival celebrated across India but with different names. Like Pongal in south, Maghi in North India, Bihu in Assam etc.
People fly kites as a part of ritual to celebrate Makar sankranti. Hindus also take a dip in Ganga river which is a holy river and offer water to Sun.
Where is Makar Sankranti (Festival in India) celebrated? – All over India but with different names and forms.
When is Makar Sankranti (National Festival of India) celebrated in 2020 ? – 14th January every year
another major festivals of the Sikhs and Punjabi community celebrated around 13-14th April every Year. Baisakhi is widely celebrated festival in India as an onset of harvest season for the rabi crops. It is also an harvest festival. Baisakhi festival in India is celebrated by organising folk dances -Bhangra and Giddha where you will see participation of all age groups. People decorate Gurudwaras and offer prayers there. They prepare delicious sweets, dishes and also decorate the houses
On this day of Baisakhi, Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the tenth Guru of Sikhs), placed the foundation of the Khalsa order, in the year 1699.
Where is Baisakhi (National Festival of India) celebrated? – Punjab, Delhi
Baisakhi 2020 (National Festival of India)? – 13th or 14th April every year
23) Chhat Pooja - Bihar
25) Bihu festival from North east India
26) Lui-Ngai-Nui festival of Manipur
27) Dree Festival of Arunachal Pradesh
28) Moatsu Mong festival
29) Horn Bill Festival of Nagaland
30) Camel Festival
31) Hanuman Jayanti
32) Kumbh Mela
33) Sikkim's Saga Dawa
Q. Which are the biggest festivals of India?
A. the biggest festivals celebrated in the country of India are:
3. Maha Shivaratri
5. Navaratri/Durga Pooja
8. Ganesh Chaturthi
Q. Why is Diwali celebrated?
A. The festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated to pay respect to Lord Rama, who returned to his kingdom after 14 years in exile, where he fought the cruel king, Ravana.
Q. Which are the famous festivals of North India?
A. Lohri and Baisakhi in Punjab, Hemis Festival in Kashmir, and Bihu Festival in North East India are among the famous festivals of north India. They celebrate the harvest season with dance, music, and lip-smacking food.
Other famous festivals of North India, like Teej, Janmashtami, and Kumbha Mela are religious festivals and nationwide celebrations loaded with traditions and customs of Hindus.
Q. Which are the famous festivals of South India?
A. Onam and Pongal are the main harvest festivals in South India celebrated in August-September and January respectively. Offering prayers to Hindu deities and family feasts are the highlights of these festivals. Besides, Nehru Trophy Race in Kerala is a popular festival that sees large audience flocking to see the competition. Another one of the famous festivals of South India is the Hampi Festival. These celebrations in India are held in Karnataka and exhibits the essence of culture and history through music, dance, drama, and art.
Q. Which are the different festivals related to farming celebrated in India?
A. Onam, Makar Sankranti, Baisakhi, Lohri, Wangala, Nuakhai, and Ugadi are some famous harvest festivals in India. The celebrations include a community gala featuring prayers to God, family gatherings, new clothes, music, dance, and feasts.
Q. Which festival is celebrated in spring season?
A. Holi is the major festival celebrated in Spring Season in India. The festival is also given names like Festival of Colors and Festival of Love. It is celebrated with organic colors and water while a number of delicacies such as gujiya and dahi bhalle are prepared in different states of the country.
Q. How many festivals are celebrated in India?
A. There are diverse religions in India and each of these religions has their own number of festivals. Every state in India has about 20 to 30 grand festivals that is celebrated at different times of the year. Ganesh Chaturthi, Independence Day, Holi, Deepavali, Navratri, Gudi Padwa, Eid, and Republic Day are some of the most important festivals of India.
Q. What are the national festivals of India?
A. Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi Jayanti are the three national festivals of India since they are all centred around Indian Independence and hold a connection to India’s Freedom Struggle from the British colonial rule. The Indian government makes grand preparations for these festivals each year on a massive scale and the country celebrates these in unison. Republic Day is celebrated each year on 26th January, while Independence Day is celebrated on 15th August and Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October.
Q. What is the most important Hindu festival?
A. Diwali, also called Deepavali or Vijayadashami is the most important Hindu festival in India. It is essentially the Hindu celebration of good over evil and marks the day when Lord Ram returned home with Goddess Sita and Hanuman after defeating Raavan and competing their 14-year exile.
Q. Why India is called the land of festivals?
A. India is referred to as the land of festivals owing to its rich amalgamation of different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, languages, religious sentiments, diverse history, and different traditions in all the states. There are about 20-30 varied festivals celebrated in each state itself, and almost every week is marked by an important festival that the country celebrates in unison.
Q. Why do we celebrate Gurpurab?
A. Gurpurab, or Guru Nanak Gurpurab, is an important festival celebrated by Sikhs to commemorate the birthdays of all of their ten gurus. It is an essential religious festival in the northern region of India, especially in Punjab, Delhi, and parts of Haryana. The birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak, is known and celebrated as ‘Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav’ and it is believed to be one of the most sacred festivals for Sikhs. Gurpurab will be celebrated on 12th November this year.
Q. Why is Nagaland called the land of festivals?
A. Nagaland is often referred to as the land of festivals since it is a place where one festival follows another throughout the year. No matter which time of the year you travel to Nagaland, you will always be able to witness one or more ongoing festivals in Nagaland, and the experience will be awesome since festivals in Nagaland are typically accompanied by fol music, dance, laughter, and lots of good local food. In Nagaland, even the name of the festivals are symbolic and they hold a strong significance in the culture and folklore of various tribal communities living in the state.