India's Top 8 Most Popular Festivals

  • Publish date: Monday، 08 October 2018 Last update: Sunday، 07 November 2021
India's Top 8 Most Popular Festivals


  • Date: November 7, 2018. Diwali honors the victory of good over evil and brightness over darkness. It celebrates Lord Ram and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom of Ayodhya. This follows Ram's and monkey god Hanuman's defeat of the demon King Ravana, and rescue of Sita from his evil clutches. It's known as the "Festival of Lights" for all the fireworks, small clay lamps, and candles that are lit. For most Indian families, Diwali is the biggest and most anticipated festival of the year.

Ganesh Festival

Dates: September 13-23, 2018. The spectacular Ganesh Chaturthi festival honors the birth of the beloved Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha. The start of the festival sees huge, elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha installed in homes and public podiums, which have been especially constructed and beautifully decorated. At the end of the festival, the statutes are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much singing and dancing, and then submerged in the ocean. The best place to experience it is in Mumbai.


  • Date: March 2, 2018. Holi is the most popular celebration and it celebrates the victory of good over evil, as well as the abundance of the spring harvest season. It's commonly referred to as the "Festival of Colors". People exuberantly throw colored powder and water all over each other, have parties, and dance under water sprinklers. Bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) is also traditionally consumed during the celebrations. Holi is a very carefree festival that's great fun to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty.

Navaratri, Dussehra, and Durga Puja

  • Dates: October 10-19, 2018. The first nine days of this festival are known as Navaratri, and are filled with dance in honor of the Mother Goddess. The tenth day, called Dussehra, is devoted to celebrating the defeat of the demon king Ravana by Lord Ram. It also coincides with revered warrior Goddess Durga's victory over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. In eastern India, the festival is observed as Durga Puja. It's the biggest festival of the year in Kolkata. Huge statues of the Goddess are made and immersed in the river there. In Delhi, nightly plays are held around the Red Fort, recounting episodes from the life of Lord Ram.


  • Date: August 15-27, 2018. Onam is the largest festival of the year in Kerala. This is a 10-day harvest festival marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. It is a celebration filled with rich culture and heritage. People decorate the ground in front of their houses with flowers arranged in beautiful patterns to welcome the King. The festival is also celebrated with new clothes, feasts served on banana leaves, dancing, sports, games, and snake boat races.

Krishna Janmashtami (Govinda)

  • DateSeptember 3, 2018. Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Govinda, commemorates the birthday of Lord Krishna. This is an extremely fun part of the festival involves teams of guys climbing on each other to form a human pyramid to try and reach and break open clay pots filled with curd, which have been strung up high from buildings. This activity, called Dahi Handi, falls on the second day. It's best experienced in Mumbai.

Pushkar Camel Fair

Dates: November 15-23, 2018. This is about Camels! A large number of camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar, in India's state of Rajasthan, for the Pushkar Camel Fair. Camels are decorated and dressed up, paraded, shaved, entered into beauty contests, raced, and of course traded. It's a great opportunity to experience an old, traditional style Indian festival.

Temple Festivals in Kerala

  • Dates: Throughout Kerala, from January until May each year.
  • Kerala, the south Indian state is filled with religious temples and are renowned for their exotic and colorful temple festivals. Processions and celebrations include elephants, resplendent in ornaments, are the main attractions of these festivals. The ceremonies are accompanied by colorful floats, drummers and musicians.
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