Fairs & Festivals Calendar India 2024 - 2025
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
A land of contrast, a treasure trove of many cultures makes India a vibrant destination for its enthusiastic travelers. Fairs and festivals are a never ending culture of India. They are colorful, varied and mark the rich cultural Heritance of the Indian subcontinent. The Indian calendar is marked with festivals throughout the year.
The festival of kites and sesame seeds, Makar Sankranti is the most auspicious occasion for Hindu religion. Celebrated in almost every part of India, this harvest festival is celebrated with a lot of thrill and enthusiasm. The festival marks the end of the winter season. Celebrated on 14th January every year, the festival marks the shift of the sun to the north. In Punjab, this festival is celebrated as Lohri on 13th January with great pomp and show around the born fire.
Celebrated in Tamil Nadu to thank God for a good produce of harvest in that particular year. This four day long festival is the most important festival of South India. The first day is celebrated as the Bhogi festival in honor of Lord Indra, the God of Rains. The second day is the act of ceremonial worship where rice is boiled in milk and is offered to Sun God. The third day is celebrated as Mattu Pongal, the festival of cows. The fourth day is known as Kannum Pongal where women pray for prosperity of their husbands and brothers.
ThaiPusam: It is a ten day post-harvest festival held in Periyanayaki temple. You can observe unique splendor and exuberance in the temple, contributed by the hearty participation of the farmers. The main attraction of this festival is the parade devoted to Bhaktas bearing kavadis. It literally catches the eye of spectators.
Bikaner festival is a vibrant and colorful festival, organized by the Department of Tourism in Bikaner every year in the month of January. Portraying the deep rooted culture of Rajasthan in a subtle way, this charming festival offers you an experience of raw rustic village life.
Pattadakal dance festival
Held in the month of January by the government of Karnataka, the Pattadakal Dance Festival is a cultural dance event, which takes place in the small town of Pattadakal. The festival is organized against the magnificent backdrop of renowned Pattadakal temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival portrays an exhilarating and spiritual setting with the blend of beautiful performances with attractive background. It is a musical and dance treat for all Indian Classical music and dance lovers.
Another important and famous attraction of the festival is Crafts Mela where various craftsmen display their work of art.
Celebrated annually in the month of January, Vasant Panchami is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated throughout the country. The festival is celebrated to mark the onset of spring season and is devoted to Goddess Saraswati, the symbol of wisdom. In northern parts of the country, this day is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm. Food is served to Brahmins and organized rituals are performed. Yellow color is the predominant color in the festival. Kite flying is also associated with this festival.
The festival of Maha Shivratri is of utmost importance and occurs in the month of February and March. On this night, the planet is facing is in such a direction that there is a natural upsurge of energy in human beings. Maha Shivratri is observed as the day of the wedding of Shiva and Parvati. It is celebrated by fasting and pouring milk on Lord Shiva and ornamenting him with flowers. It is considered as the most auspicious day for women as they fast to get a blissful married life.
Every year in February, Jaisalmer hosts a colorful Desert festival amidst golden sands of the Thar Desert. This three day festival was originally started to attract foreigners so that they explore various facets of Rajasthan culture within a short span of time. You will be thrilled to see various competitions, cultural events, camel races, turban tying competition, mustache competition, etc. The major attractions of the event are Gair and Fire dancing. Enjoy a camel ride to Sam sand dunes and observe the folk performances by various artists.
The hot and happening festival in the country, Goa Festival is also known as Goa carnival. With dazzling colors, costumes, foot tapping music and soul stirring gala is held every year in February. This four day festival was introduced by the Portuguese and is still an ongoing legacy of Portuguese. The Carnival is the biggest cultural event of the country, attracting thousands of tourists. The carnival serves as the best time to visit Goa as you can enjoy all its glamour and gusto. Visitors can experience the essence of traditional Goa, carnival caricatures, brass bands, and color décor which adorns the state throughout the festival.
This unique medieval tapestry which has been created over several hundred years and still stands as a testimony to the many historic significance in the 12th an 16th century. The festival is the world’s 2nd largest cattle fair held in the country and attracts flocks of tourist from across the globe. Trading of cattle during the festival takes place on a massive scale along with singing and dancing in a traditional Rajasthani style. Various events that take place during the festival are Tug of war, camel races, bullock races, cock fights, juggling, puppet dances, camp fire, and storytelling.
This annual event is held every year in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan and falls on the day of full moon in February or March. Elephants serve as the major attraction of the festival. They are adorned beautifully with chunky elephant jewelry, large anklets decked with bells grace their feet, bodies are decorated with traditional Indian motifs and backs are graced with gold embroided velvet rugs and parcels. The festival awards the best decorated elephant and mahout. You will be amazed to see royal creatures marching in a parade on the beats of the drum followed by the rows of decks camels, horses and chariots of horses. It is then followed by the performances of folk dancers creating an ambience of regal past and celebrating the majesty of elephant and royal heritage of Rajasthan.
A five-day long festival celebrated in Hyderabad, portrays the culture of the Deccan and brings to light -the culture, cuisine and arts and crafts of Hyderabad. It is one of the most sought after festivals of South India. Sooth your ears with Ghazals, qawalis and mushiaras sung by various popular singers and rejoice the dance performances of various talented dancers. Organized by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, the festival also has a fear of pearls and bangles which surely attracts numerous tourists from across the globe. The major attraction of the festival is the Food Fair where you can savor the delicious Hyderbadi cuisines.
The most eagerly awaited festivals of India; Taj Mahostav is celebrated at Shilpgram, the eastern gate of Taj Mahal. The festival was originally started in the year 1992 and since then the festival has been a huge attraction for the tourist from across the globe. This ten day long carnival serves as a platform of knowledge for visitors who are interested in exploring the rich culture of India. Organized by Uttar Pradesh Tourism, the festival brings together 400 legendary artists from across the country to display their exquisite work of art. The soul stirring performances will overwhelm you. It is the paradise for the connoisseurs of good food as it serves as an ideal destination for food lovers. Enjoy games and rides at fun fair, the biggest attraction of festival for children.
Surajkund Crafts Mela
The most eagerly awaited fair in the country, Surajkund Crafts Mela is internationally acclaimed fair, held every year in the month of February. The fair is a treasure trove of rich regional and international crafts. Surajkund crafts mela brings together a splash of colors, rhythm of drum beats and fun filled joy. A celebration of Indian folks and traditions is created in an ambience to represent the ethos of rural India. The entertainment quotient is brought up by mesmerizing evening recitals at Natyashala and rejuvenating folk performances at two chapels. The multi cuisine food court serves you with ethnic food cuisines from across the globe.
Chapchar Kut, the festival of Joy is celebrated in Mizoram every year. It was celebrated during the period when bamboos and trees were cut down to dry in the process of Jhumming. During this period, Mizos have full time to enjoy and they spend their time hunting, fishing etc. This festival may last for several days and end with concluding ceremony. White flags flutter high in the air, surrounding hills reverberate with the sounds of beating gongs, Assam Rifles parade in a perfect drill and colorfully dressed men set the stage with fire with their amazing Cheraw Dance performance. The festival is celebrated with lot of gaiety and fervor with various attractions such as flower shows, musical competition, traditional games and sale of exquisite handlooms.
Island Tourism Festival
Cultural event is organized by the Tourism Department of Andaman and Nicobar Island. It is 10 day long event celebrated annually in Port Blair. The festival of dance, drama and music brings a unique festive look to the island. The various activities that take place in the event are display of art and crafts, exhibitions of flora and fauna. Aqua sports and para sailing are an added attraction to the event.
The festival of colors is celebrated on Phalgun Poornima and it is a celebration of good over evil. It is one of the oldest festivals of the country. The festival bridges the social gap and renews sweet relationships. The celebration begins with the lightening of the bonfire. Next day, people rub Gulaal (color)on each other’s face and cheer them up saying Bura Na Mano Holi Hai. Bhang is also traditionally consumed during the festival. The festuvak if Holi is celebrated in all the corners of the country. Fun, frolic, boisterousness to the extent of buffoonery marks this festival of colors.
Devoted to the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the festival of Ganguar is celebrated in Rajasthan. The festival centers on women and they follow rituals which make it an elaborate occasion. Various songs are sung by women in praise of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Women of Rajasthan make clay images of Lord Shiva and carry pots on their heads. Elaborate processions are taken out on the streets on the final which marks the return of Goddess Parvati to her husband’s home. The breaking of the pots marks end of the festival. People irrespective of their caste and creed come to observe and to be a part of the procession.
Jamshed e Navroz: Jamshed E Navroz is one of the three major festivals celebrated by Parsi’s. It is the first day of the Zoroastrian calendar, hence it is observed as Parsi’s New Year. The festival is celebrated to commemorate the ascent of King on the day of Navroz. The festival symbolizes the spirit of friendship, happiness and harmony. It is celebrated with a lot of zest, gusto, and fervor. The festival also marks the transition of the freezing winter season to refreshing summer season.
Ramnavami is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ram and it falls on the 9th day of the fortnight in the month of March. It is one of the most important festivals in Hindu religion. Temples devoted to Lord Rama are richly adorned and holy book Ramayana is read. Ayodhaya, birthplace of Lord Ram hosts a huge fair and thrilling episodes of Ramayana are narrated. On the ninth day, a special discourse is organized and coconut draped in hooded cloak is kept in the cradle. Devotees seek blessing from the Lord and shower flowers on him.
Eid UL Zuha
Also known Bakra Eid is a Muslim festival of sacrifice celebrated all over India. On this day, Muslims sacrifice goats to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, who willingly agreed to kill his son at the command of God. The sacrifice can be made any time before third day afternoon. Prayers are offered in the Mosque and sacrificed meat is then distributed after Eid prayers. The festival is celebrated annually on 10th, 11th and 12th day of the last Islamic month in the lunar Islamic calendar. The festival coincides with the Hajj pilgrimage Mecca.
Another important and famous attraction of the festival is Crafts Mela where various craftsmen display their work of art.
Mahavir Jayanti is the most important festival of Jains and is celebrated to mark the birth of Mahavira. The festival is marked with prayers and fasting. On this day, devotees bring home statues of Lord Mahavira and give them a ceremonial bath, traditionally known as Abhisheka. A grand cradle procession is taken out on this auspicious day.
Khajuraho Dance Festival
This festival is celebrated when hardness of winter begins to fade and spring takes over. This weeklong extravaganza gives a treat to the eyes as most colorful and brilliant classical dance forms are on display with their roots to rich traditions of the country. These performances bring forward the age old trends that are firmly established in dance forms. With the passage of time, these age old dance forms still not have lost their charm and are a total treat to the eyes.
This annual event is held every year in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan and falls on the day of full moon in February or March. Elephants serve as the major attraction of the festival. They are adorned beautifully with chunky elephant jewelry, large anklets decked with bells gracing their feet, bodies are decorated with traditional Indian motifs and backs are graced with gold embroided velvet rugs and parcels. The festival awards the best decorated elephant and mahout. You will be amazed to see royal creatures marching in a parade on the beats of the drum followed by the rows of decks camels, horses and chariots of horses. It is then followed by the performances of folk dancers creating an ambience of regal past and celebrating the majesty of elephant and royal heritage of Rajasthan.
The magnificent Hoysala era temples at Belur host a Dance festival in the month of March every year. It is one day celebration of Indian culture and heritage. Various famous artists belonging to the field of Classical dance group participate in this festival.
The festival of dance and music is held every year in the month of March at Ellora Caves. The festival portrays the best music and dance performances with the splendid Ellora caves background. This festival gives a brilliant opportunity for the travelers to experience the beauty of caves in a unique way.
Good Friday is a day which commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The day marks as a culmination of the holy week which begins on Sunday. The festival takes place two days prior to Easter Sunday. On this day, one full meal and light meals without meat are taken and is usually referred to as Fast Day.
On this day Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is celebrated. It is observed as the most popular secular holiday. Also called as a moveable feast, the day is associated with Easter bunnies, colorful decorated eggs and candies. Decorating eggs is an oldest Easter customs and started in the late 19th century in Russia. People prepare Easter baskets for their kids. From the popular religious significance of popular customs, Easter is a widely celebrated holiday.
Celebrated annually on 13th April, Baisakhi is popularly celebrated in Punjab. The festival marks the beginning of the spring season and end of Rabi crops in the country. The festival is celebrated with a lot of gusto and fervor in agriculture dominated states. Farmers thank God for Bountiful growth of the crop, they wake up early and take a dip in the holy waters. The festival is also celebrated as the birthday of tenth Sikh guru, Guru Govind Singh and the foundation of the Khalsa was laid on this day. The skies are rented with cries of “Jatta Aai Baisakhi” and people of Punjab dressed in best clothes break into traditional Bhangra dance to show their joy for the festival.
Gudi Padva marks Maharashtra New Year and it is believed that Lord Brahma created the world after the great deluge. This joyous festival is considered to be an auspicious day to start any new venture. On this day, special flags known as Gudi’s (small inverted pot is kept on the top of bamboo stick) are erected in honor of Lord Brahma. The day begins with a traditional oil bath followed by prayers. Oil bath and eating neem leaves are traditions that were written scriptures and are till date followed by devotees.
Celebrated in Thissur, Pooram is a cultural highlight that is above all festivals. The festival is unique in its pageantry, participation and magnitude. Thissur Pooram is considered as the Mother of all the Poorams. There is a grand assemble of Gods and Goddess in and around Thissur make a visit to Vadakumnathan Temple premises on a well ornamented elephant. The processions and rituals of every God and goddess follow a very strict iternary. It is regarded as the festivals of festivals.
Muharram refers to as the first month of the Islamic calendar. The entire month of Muharram is regarded as the sacred month for Muslims, but the most important day is the tenth day. Different Muslim communities are celebrating this day for different reasons. Shia Muslims are celebrating this day to mourn the death of Husayn Ibn Ali; Sunni Muslims are celebrating this day to mark the victory of Moses over the Egyptian Pharoah. Both the communities observe fast on this day and no other celebrations are observed on this day.
It is regarded as the most sacred festivals of Buddhist and is celebrated in remembrance of Lord Buddha. This day is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Buddha, founder of Buddhism. The day is observed on the full moon day of the fourth month of the calendar. Three very important events of Buddha’s life are associated with this festival, the birth of Lord Buddha in 563 BC; his enlightenment; and the attainment of Nirvana. Devotees spend their day in the temples. Temples are well ornamented and small statues are displayed as a baby. The visitors to the temple pour water on the statue, which symbolizes pure and new beginning.
The festival is celebrated to welcome the arrival of spring season in the city of lakes, Udaipur. Celebrated with a lot of zest and dedication, Mewar festival is one of the major festivals of Rajasthan. The city of Udaipur is drenched fully in the colors of festivity. The festival coincides with the festival of Ganguar and holds a lot of importance for the womenfolk. The festival displays best of the Rajasthani culture and the festival is concluded with glittering fireworks.
Urs is celebrated annually at Ajmer Sharif Dargah to commemorate Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti’s unification with God.The festival witnesses over five lakh of devotees every year and they offer jasmine and rose flowers to Khwaja to seek his blessings. The festival begins with the hoisting of the flag at the Buland Darwaza by the successor of the Chishtis. On the last day of the sixth month Jannati Darwaza (way to the heaven) is open for the pilgrims early in the morning. Pilgrims walk across the door seven times to assure their place in heaven. The major attraction of the festival is Qawalis which are specially organized for mankind’s eternal peace.
Celebrated in the month of June, Ganga Dussehra is a ten-day festival celebrated to commemorate the ascent of River Ganga on the Earth. The festival is mainly celebrated in Varanasi, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Prayag and Allahabad. According to the legends praying for this day can help in attaining salvation from 10 sins. On this day, fast is observed by the devotees for full day and in the evening, the devotees take a dip in the holy water and break the fast. Women offer floating lamps in the holy waters of River Ganga and take back home the sacred water of the river
Hemis Festival :
Held in the month of June, this two day festival is hosted by 300 year old Hemis monastery near Leh. The festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, who founded Tantric Buddhism. The courtyard of Hemis Gompa is dressed up with finest traditional garb for the occasion. The most fascinating part of the whole festival is Mask Dances and Sacred plays which are accompanied by long horns, drums and cymbals. Take part in this vibrant festival and enjoy the local cuisine and adventure yak safaris.
Rath Yatra is the most important festival of Lord Jagannath that is celebrated with a lot of zest and enthusiasm. It is held every year in the month of June or July when Lord Jagannath comes out to give Darshan to all the sects. It is believed that all those devotees who take part in this festival find their way to heaven. Snana Purnima marks the beginning of the festival. The Yatra is hosted by Chariot Temple Puri. On the first day, images of Jagannath Temple are carried out in the streets on three huge thundering chariots. Due to this fact, the festival has earned its fame internationally. For next 21 days the images of the Lord Jagannath are taken to the Narendra Tank where they cruise in a colorful boat. Every year, a new chariot is made for this festival.
Guru Poornima is full moon day in the Hindu month of July—August. This auspicious day is observed in the memory of the great sage Maharashi Veda Vyasa, who edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas and Mahabharata. It is believed that this full moon day after solstice is a time when planet and all life on it are receptive to the cosmic energy and possibilities. The day even holds a lot of importance as they pray for rain showers which bring new life to their fields.
Janmashtmi commemorates the birth of Lord Krishna and is one of the biggest festivals of the country. The celebration for the festival begins before the dawn and continues till midnight. Mathura and Vrindavan, the birth place of Lord Krishna celebrates this festival with a lot of zest and enthusiasm. Incidents from Krishna’s life are recreated through Raslilas or religious plays to commemorate the love of Lord Krishna towards Radha. During midnight statue of baby Krishna is bathed and kept in ornamented cradle. In northern India, dance and song mark the occasion; in Maharashtra people enact Krishna’s attempt to steal butter and curd from earthen pots which is beyond reach. The excitement builds, and a rousing kirtan ensues.
Onam is one of the biggest festivals in Kerala and falls during the Malayali month of Chingam. The festival commemorates the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali. This ten-day festival brings out the best of traditions and culture of Kerala. Intricately ornamented Pookalam, ambrosial Onasadya, awe-inspiring Snake Boat Race and glamorous Kaikottikali dance are some of the most extraordinary features of Onam – the harvest festival in Kerala. Elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers all are a part of the dynamic festival called Onam.
On this day, Hindus throughout India and Nepal worship snakes and serpents. Snakes are worshipped as supreme deities. The devotees offer cow’s milk, fried paddy, and dove in front of Nag’s picture. Unmarried girls pray to get good life partners.
The festival of Rakshabandhan is entirely dedicated to the love and affection of brother and sister. On this day sisters pray for long life of their brothers and ask God to bless them. Sisters tie a thread of love on the wrist of their brothers, known as “Rakhi”. The day is celebrated on the full moon day and celebrations are started much in advance. The streets of bustling markets are filled with colorful ornamented Rakhis.
This magnificent festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha. The festival is celebrated on the fourth day of the full moon according to the Hindu calendar. This 11 day long festival is celebrated with a lot of zest and enthusiasm in Maharashtra and other major parts of the country. One of the best ways to experience the zest of the festival is in Mumbai, where special celebrations take place at Siddhivinayak temple. Prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha every day during the festival. The biggest spectacle of the festival is on the last day, which is also called as Anant Chaturdasi, when Lord Ganesha is immersed in the water.
Tarnetar Fair is hosted by the Tarnetar village in Gujarat. Also known as Trinetreshwar Mahadev Mela, it takes place around Trinetreshwar temple. Held in the first week of September, the fair is primarily a marriage mart for tribal youth where men come in search of beautiful bride. Men stand under beautifully decorated umbrellas to signify marital status while women go around the umbrella hunting for their grooms. Rural Olympics, cattle exhibition, bullock cart race and horse race are some attractions at the fair and even give an opportunity to learn folk dances of Maladhari community.
Navratri,a nine day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, is one of the largest Hindu festivals celebrated all over India every year. The exact dates of the festival are fixed by the rotation of the moon but most likely it takes place around September or October. After the nine days of the worship, there comes the event of Ramnavami, signifying Rama’s (good) triumph over Ravana (evil) is celebrated by the ritual of inviting young boys and girls to the homes and serving food to them who are considered as the incarnations of the Lord Rama himself.
Durga Puja,Mother Durga represents the divine feminine force that governs all cosmic creation, existence and change. It is believed that Durga emerged from the energies of all the Gods, including Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma, to defeat the demon Mahishasura, undefeatable by any other God. In West Bengal, this festival occurs primarily on days six through ten of Navratri. Life-sized idols of Durga are created by potters and temporary temples made of bamboo and cloth are also created to house those idols. The idol is worshipped for five days and then carried in elaborate ceremony to a river for immersion. The five-day period of worship is celebrated with a lot of zest and enthusiasm in West Bengal.
Dussehra celebrates the Hindu god Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana and the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated on the tenth day, following the nine days of Navratri. The legendary triumph is re-enacted on this day. In the northern parts of India, huge effigies of Ravana, son Meghnath and his brother Kumbhkarna are placed in open Dussehra grounds. Children dressed as Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana enact the final moments of the battle at the Ramlila grounds in the localities. At the end, Rama shoots an arrow at the dummy model of Ravana and the crowd rejoices and cheers over the killing of the Devil. Firecrackers are burnt to express the joy.
Sharad Purnima, celebrated all over india, is a harvest festival that marks the end of monsoon. It is believed that Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity, visits everyone’s homes to bring good fortune and luck. The freshly harvested rice is offered to the Gods and lamps are lit before the full moon.
Diwali or Deepavali,The festival of Lights, is the biggest and the most elaborate of all the festivals celebrated in the country. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen-year long exile and defeating the demon, Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their heir, the people of Ayodhy, illuminated his kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.
And this ritual follows till date to celebrate the trimph of good over evil.
Guru Purab signifies the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak-the first guru of the Sikhs. On all the gurpurabs, there is the non-stop recital of the Granth Sahib and organization of religious discourses. Langars (free meals) are served to one and all, with no distinction of caste, creed or religion. It is celebrated all over Punjab to revere all the Sikh gurus.
Ka Pomblang Nogkrem is the most important and elaborate festival of the Khasis. This five day long colourful festival is held annually in November near Shillong. It is celebrated as a token of gratitude for a rich harvest and prosperity of the people.
An important part of this festival is Pomblang Ceremony in which goats are sacrificed and offerings are made to the ancestors of the ruling clan. After the religious rituals, on the final day, Khasi men and women, dressed in traditional outfits perform the famous Nongkrem dance.
Pushkar Fairone of the world’s largest camel fairs, is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair celebrated in the town of Pushkar in Rajasthan. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy water of Pushkar Lake.
Christian community in India celebrates Christmas with pomp, enthusiasm and a lot of devotion. Celebrations begin on the eve of Christmas and continue till New Year’s Day. Christians across the country celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ by participating in special masses organized in churches. Celebration of Christmas is marked by singing carols, baking cakes, lighting candles and decorating Christmas tree.
Konark Dance Festival is one of the biggest dance festivals held in India and is popular with tourist and dance aficionados alike. During the festival, talented dancers and their troupes display their skill and mastery over age-old dance forms ranging from the graceful Odissi, the classic Bharatanatyam and Manipuri, to the expressive Kathakali dance style amongst others. A Crafts Mela is also organised alongside the Konark Festival so that visitors can also be exposed to the master craftsmen of the region.