Religious Festivals of India You Should Know About

Religious Festivals of India

Religion has historically influenced Indian society on a political, cultural, and economic level. There is a sense of pride associated with the country’s rich religious history as the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism all emerged out of India. We are here to know about the religious festivals of India in detail.

The 2011 Indian census indicated that 79.8% of Indians identified as Hindu, 14.2% identified as Muslim, and 2.3% identified as Christian. A further 1.7% of the population identified as Sikh, 0.7% identified as Buddhist, and 0.37% identified as Jain. Due to the massive population size of India, religious minorities still represent a significant number of people.

Here, we are going to talk about-

  • Hindu Festivals
  • Muslim Festivals
  • Sikh Festivals
  • Buddhist Festivals
  • Jain Festivals
  • Christian Festivals

Most religious festivals and dates of significance are based on the lunar, solar, or lunisolar calendar.

Hindu Festivals

In the Hindu religion, 3.6 million different gods including trees, dogs, and bulls because of Hindu religion respects all of them Every day a new festival for Hindus and it depends on where you are living.

India has Gods for everything, like the Goddess of knowledge, the God of machinery, the Goddess of Forests, etc., similarly, we call our country Mother India or Bharat Mata. We do puja of that deity.

There are also many festivals celebrated throughout the country dedicated to the many Hindu narratives and deities.

Hindu Festivals List

1Makar SankrantiBihar, Uttar PradeshJanuary
2Vasant PanchamiNorth IndiaJanuary or February
3Maha ShivaratriNorth IndiaFebruary
4HoliAll Over IndiaFebruary or March
5Ram NavamiNorth IndiaMarch or April
6Guru PurnimaNorth IndiaJuly-August
7Nag PanchamiNorth IndiaAugust
8Krishna JanmashtamiAll Over IndiaAugust-September
9Ganesh ChaturthiMaharashtraAugust-September
10Vishwakarma PoojaNorth IndiaSeptember
11Navratri/ Durga PoojaAll Over IndiaSeptember-October
13DiwaliAll Over IndiaOctober-November
14Bhai DoojAll Over IndiaOctober-November
15Govardhan PoojaAll Over IndiaOctober-November
16Chhath PujaNorth India, MaharashtraOctober-November

Hindu festivals include our mother nature in their celebrations. Our Mother Nature is considered a god and goddess and we pray to our nature by considering it a god. This means the Hindu or Sanatan religion is encircled by nature. We have an elephant-headed god-like Ganesha. We pray to Cows and perform various rituals during the festival with a cow. Some festivals are dedicated to these animals like Nag Panchami. We consider the Navratri as a spiritual festival. The Vishwakarma Jayanti is a festival dedicated to the god of construction. We have sun festivals.

Also Read:- Most Important Hindu Festivals

During the Navratri festival, a large crowd can be seen in the Vaishno Devi temple. During Shravan month pilgrims can be seen in Shiv temples. During the Janmashtami celebration, devotees can be seen in the Iskon temple. During Durga puja, a large pandal is set up in public places in India. Some religious festivals are celebrated at the bank of the river Ganga such as Kumbh Mela, and Chhath Puja.

It is common to find images of gods and goddesses in public and private spaces at all times of the year. The elephant-headed god, known as Ganesh, is particularly popular due to his belief in the ability to remove obstacles.

Muslim Festivals

Islam is the second most followed religion in India, influencing the country’s society, culture, architecture, and artistry.

Muslim Festivals List

1Hazarat Ali’sAll Over IndiaFebruary or March
2RamazanAll Over IndiaApril-May
3Jamat-ul-VidaAll Over IndiaMay-June
4Idul FitrAll Over IndiaMay-June
5Id-ul-ZuhaAll Over IndiaAugust
6MuharramAll Over IndiaSeptember
7Prophet Muhammad’s BirthdayAll Over IndiaNovember

Visit here, and learn more about Muslim Festivals in India

Sikh Festivals

Sikh festivals mainly encompass the birthdays of their ten gurus. The birthday of gurus is celebrated with unmatched vigour and Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the scripture is taken out from gurudwaras on a decorated palanquin and public processions follow it.

Some of the most important Sikh festivals include the birthday celebration of their first Guru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, his successors’ birthdays, Hola Mohalla, Baisakhi, and Deepawali.

Sikh Festivals List

2Guru Gobind Singh’s BirthdayAll Over IndiaJanuary
4Guru Nanak’s BirthdayAll Over IndiaNovember
5Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Martyrdom DayPunjabNovember

Fireworks, distribution of sweets such as Prasad, and feasts at the gurudwara are all an inseparable part of these festivities. Music is considered to be the strongest medium to connect with the Supreme in Sikhism hence the playing of Gurbani (musical reading of the scripture); hearty dances and their martial arts display treat the eyes of viewers during the festivals. 

Buddhist Festivals

Buddhist Festivals have an important element of serenity and formal celebration such as visiting monasteries, making symbolic offerings, reflecting on Buddha’s teachings, and committing to the moral precepts as propounded in the Dhamma.

The Buddhist festivals are auspicious days to involve oneself in offering food for the poor, supplies for the temple (Giving), reinforcing moral precepts (Virtue), sitting in meditation, and listening to sermons.

The most significant celebration which is held on the full moon night in May is Buddha Day also called ‘Vesak’. This day commemorates the birth and enlightenment of the Buddha. Buddhist followers offer food to monks, listen to sermons, and circumambulate a stupa three times symbolically to pay respect to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.

Buddha’s Birthday [Buddhist] (April or May) 

Jain Festivals

Jainism also originated as a countermovement that opposed some of the teachings and doctrines of early Hinduism. In modern-day India, layperson Jains usually uphold the ethical principle of ‘ahimsa’ (‘non-harm or ‘non-violence’). As such, Jains tend to promote vegetarianism and animal welfare. Another common practice in the Jain lay community is samayika, a meditative ritual intended to strengthen one’s spiritual discipline. Samayika is often practised in a religious setting, such as a temple, before a monk, or in one’s home. Most Jains reside in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. 

Mahavir’s Birthday (March or April)

Paryushana (August or September)

Christian Festivals

Christianity is the third most followed religion in India mostly concentrated in the far south and Mumbai. The most prominent denomination of Christianity in India is Roman Catholicism, but there are also localized Christian churches (such as the Church of North India and the Church of South India). Converts to Christianity have come mainly from traditionally disadvantaged minorities such as lower castes and tribal groups. Know more about Christian Festivals in India

Christian Festivals List

1EasterSouth IndiaMarch-April
2Good FridaySouth IndiaMarch-April
3ChristmasAll Over IndiaDecember

A large no of Indian festivals are celebrated every year. Each festival has its own identity and uniqueness. If you have been a part of any Indian festival and enjoyed it the most, please share your wonderful moments in the comment box. We love to listen to you and your memorable part.