India, the land of varied cultures and traditions is a land of festivals and fairs. It is a land of festivity - religious as well as folkloristic. Whether you go to the East or the West, North or the South you would be able to enjoy every month a festival or a fair. Be it cultural or religious, it gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy and join the festivity. Festival is the time to rejoice and have fun.
Many festivals celebrate the various harvests, commemorate great
historical figures and events, while many express devotion to
the deities of different religions.
Every celebration centres around the rituals of prayer, seeking
blessings, exchanging goodwill, decorating houses, wearing new
cloths, music, dance and feasting.
In India every region and every religion has something to celebrate.
The festivals reflect the vigour and life-style of its people.
Vibrant colours, music and festivity make the country come alive
throughout the year.
The emphasis laid on the different festivals differs in different
parts of the country. For instance during Navaratri is
celebrated with maximum fervour in West Bengal as compared to that in
other parts of the country. Holi is celebrated with gusto in the north,
and although it is also observed in the western and eastern parts of
India, in the south it is almost unknown. There are also a few regional
festivals like Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Onam in Kerala and the various
other temple festivals devoted to the specific patron Gods and Goddesses
of the temples, which are celebrated exclusively in those areas which
may be limited to one or a few villages. The galaxy of festivals that
exist do contribute in inter-spicing Indian life with gaiety and colour
as also in giving the country the distinction of having the maximum
number of holidays.
In this chapter you would find a selection of the
major festivals. But there are countless others not included in the
For further information please contact the Indian Tourist Office.
The Indian calendar is a long procession of festivals; if you can
find yourself in the right place at the right time, it is possible
to go through your visit with a festival each day.