National Festivals of India
The national festivals in any country are cherished as auspicious days. Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti are celebrated as National festivals of India.
All the three National holidays are “independence” centric as they are connected to India’s freedom from British rule.
Every year, the Indian government celebrates the national holidays with complete preparations. If you visit India Gate or Red Fort on Independence Day, you will find parades, bike stunts and other interesting and engrossing activities by Indian Army. Also, you will be able to listen to the Prime Minister’s speech. This simple information might already be known to you and therefore, we will discuss even more relevant facts about our National Festivals in the following lines.
Republic Day is celebrated every year on 26th January. And we all know that the Indian constitution, which was drafted by Dr. B.R Ambedkar, came into effect on this day. A few interesting facts related to 26th January (Republic Day) are mentioned below.
- Republic day marks the day on which our constitution came into effect, replacing the Government of India Act (1935).
- Every year head of state of a country is invited to celebrate Republic day.
- President Sukarno of Indonesia was the first chief guest who attended the republic day celebration. Barack Obama was the first American president to become chief guest at the Independence Day.
- Indian constitution which was enforced on 26th January is the longest constitution in the world with 448 articles, 12 schedules and 98 amendments.
The British House of Commons passed the Indian Independence Act on 15th June 1947. India gained its independence on this day. A few facts related to 15th of August are given below.
- Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India on August 15, 1947 and the national flag was raised above Lahori gate in Red Fort.
- Each year on this day Indian Prime Minister delivers a speech and raises the national flag.
- August 15 is also the Independence Day for South Korea.
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on 2nd October to mark the birthday of our Father of the Nation (Mahatma Gandhi). Everybody knows that Mahatma Gandhi played an important role in India’s Independence. We have mentioned 3 simple facts related to Gandhiji and Gandhi Jayanti below.
- Raghunath Raghav Rajaram is usually sung on Gandhiji’s birthday.
- 2nd October is celebrated as the International day of Non-Violence in honor of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Gandhiji was given the Person of the year award in 1930 by US’s TIME magazine.
In this article, we have mentioned simple and few facts related to Indian national festivals. Short and sweet information is always easy to grasp and remember!
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India is well known all over the world as a country of cultural and traditional festivals as it has many cultures and religions. One can enjoy the festival celebration in India every month. As it is a secular country full of diversity in the religions, languages, cultures and castes, it is always crowded with the people involved in the fairs and festivals celebration. People from each religion have their own cultural and traditional festivals. Some of the festivals are celebrated by the people of all religions in the entire nation. Each and every festival is celebrated uniquely in different ways according to the rituals, beliefs and its significant history behind. Each festival has its own history, legend and significance of celebration. Indian origin people in the abroad also celebrate their cultural festival with the immense passion.
India is a country with example of unity in diversity as it contains people of various religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian and etc. Some of the festivals are celebrated at national level whereas some of are at regional level. According to the religions and rituals, festivals have been categorized into following categories:
There are lots of cultural and traditional festivals celebrated by the people of Hindu religion all over the world. Hinduism is considered as the oldest organized religion of the world as well as counted as the third largest religion of the world. Each Hindu festival celebration has a special ritual to be celebrated in that way by the act of worship, offerings to deities, offering Ganga Jal, fasting, bathing in Ganga jal in early morning, feasting, Dan, Dakshina, Puja, Katha, Hoom, aarti and so many. All the people of Hindu religion celebrate their festivals by uniting together in community without any distinction of age, caste and gender.
The dates of the Hindu festivals are fixed according to the dates of the Hindu calendar, lunar calendar which depends on the sun and moon movements throughout the year. Some of the festivals of Hindu are celebrated as the historical mythology, some for seasonal changes and some for cleaning and keeping the environment safe. Some of the festivals celebrations are limited to the specific sects or Indian subcontinent regions.
There are many believes in the Hinduism because of various historical sculptures (Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and Ramayana), ancient and sacred religious text (Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda), Hindus deities and etc. The birth and death anniversaries of the god and goddess are also celebrated in the Hinduism with lots of fun and frolic activities such as music, dance and etc. Below is the list of all the Hindu festivals:
Festivals in 2018
|Hindu Festivals||Date – 2018|
|Lohri||13 January, Saturday|
|Makar Sankranti||14 January, Sunday|
|Pongal||14 January, Sunday|
|Vasant Panchami||22 January, Monday|
|Thaipusam||31 January, Wednesday|
|Maha Shivaratri||13 February, Tuesday|
|Holika Dahan||1 March, Thursday|
|Holi||2 March, Friday|
|Chaitra Navratri||18 March Sunday to 26 March Monday|
|Ugadi/Telugu New Year||28 March, Wednesday|
|Gangaur Festival||20 March, Tuesday|
|Mewar Festival||18 March Sunday – 20 March Tuesday|
|Ram Navami||25 March Monday|
|Mahavir Jayanti||29 March Thursday|
|Hanuman Jayanti||31 March Saturday|
|Rath Yatra||14 July, Saturday|
|Guru Purnima||27 July, Friday|
|Onam||15 August Wednesday to 27 August Monday|
|Raksha Bandhan||26 August Sunday|
|Kumbh Mela||29 August Wednesday to 18 September Tuesday|
|Janmashtami||2 September Sunday|
|Ramlila||8 September Friday to 8 October Sunday|
|Ganesh Chaturthi||12 September Wednesday|
|Brahmotsavam||10 October Wednesday to 18 October Thursday|
|Pitr Paksh||24 September Monday to 8 October Monday|
|Rambarat||8 October Sunday|
|Navratra||10 October Wednesday to 18 October Thursday|
|Dussehra||19 October Friday|
|Maharishi Valmiki jayanti||24 October Wednesday|
|Karva Chauth||28 October Sunday|
|Dev Uthani Ekadashi||19 November Monday|
|Dhanteras||5 November Monday|
|Diwali||7 November Wednesday|
|Govardhan Puja||8 November Thursday|
|Bhai Dooj||9 November Friday|
|Chhath Puja||11 November Sunday to 14 November Wednesday|
All the people of Muslim religion enthusiastically celebrate their all the Islamic festivals all over the world. There are many religious festivals which they celebrate with great passion and dedication by following the date of their Islamic calendar. Some of the very important Islam festivals are Ramzan (Ramadan), Id-e-Milad, Muharram, Bakr-Id and etc which they celebrate in special ways by offering prayers in the mosques, feasting, fasting and wishing to each other.
They decorate their homes with colored lights and other things in the evening and celebrate throughout the night by getting together. Some of the Islamic festivals have been declared as the public holiday in the educational institutions, government offices and other working place. Islam was founded by the spiritualist Muhammad around the 7th century which has become the 2nd largest religion worldwide. The Islam has five most significant Pillars such as “Shahadah (Faith), Salah (Prayer), Zakah (Donate), Sawm (Fasting) and Hajj (Pilgrimage)”. Below is the list of all Muslim festivals:
|Muslim Festivals||Date – 2018|
|Barawafat||11 December, Monday|
|Milad-Un-Nabi||20 November Tuesday to 21 November Wednesday|
|Giaravahin Sharif||22 January, Sunday|
|Hazarat Ali’s Birthday||29 March, Thursday|
|Shab E Miraj||12 April Thursday to 13 April Friday|
|Shab-e-Barat||30 April Monday to 1 May Tuesday|
|Jamat-Ul-Vida||14 June Thursday to 15 June Friday|
|Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Eid)||14 June Thursday to 15 June Friday|
|Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid or Eid Ul-Adha)||21 August Tuesday to 22 August Wednesday|
|Muharram||21 September Friday|
As India is considered as the country of numerous religions, cultures and traditions that’s why it is known as having unity in diversity. People of Sikh religion have lots of unique and ritual festivals which they celebrate with full courage and enjoyment. They commemorate the lives of their 10 Sikh gurus including their teachings. Some Hindu festivals are also celebrated by the people of Sikh religion having different reasons of celebration.
All the worship at the festival in Sikhism is directed towards the holy book called “the Guru Granth Sahib” which was first compiled by the Sikh guru, Guru Nanak and later edited by the Sikh Guru, Arjan. The Guru Granth of the Sikh religion has the place of deity among people and taken out on a palanquin in the public processions while celebrating any Sikh festival. They involve lots of music and religious songs, readings from the holy book, holy songs, singing of gurbani while celebrating their festivals in order to attach with God. Below is the list of all Sikh festivals:
|Sikh Festivals||Date – 2018|
|Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti||5 January Friday|
|Lohri||13 January Saturday|
|Holla Mohalla||2 March Friday to 4 March Sunday|
|Sodal mela||15 September Saturday|
|Guru Ramdass Ji Birthday||9 October Tuesday|
|Guru Nanak Jayanti||23 November Friday|
|Guru Purab||23 November Friday|
People from Jain religion have lots of rituals and religious ceremonies to be celebrated as the festival. Their rituals belong to the idol worships in various ways and festivals belong to the life events of Tirthankara which involves the purification of the soul. Their rituals are divided in two parts named Karya and Kriya. According to the Jain Svetambara there are six obligatory duties called Six Avashyakas which are “Chaturvishnati-stava: praising Tirthankaras, Kayotsarga: meditation, Pratikramana: expiation of past sins, Pratyakhyana: renunciation of anything, Samyika: practising serenity and meditation and Vandan: respecting teachers and ascetics”.
According to the Jain Digambara there are six duties which are “Dana: charity, Devapuja: worship of Tirthankaras, Guru-upashti: respecting teachers and ascetics, Sanyam: controlling self by following different rules, Swadhyaya: studying spiritual texts and Tapa: austerities” which has been involved as a fundamental ritual activities of the Jains. Below is the list of all Jain festivals:
|Jain Festivals||Date – 2018|
|Deep Diwali||22 November Thursday|
|Mahamastak Abhishek||17 February Saturday to 25 February Sunday|
|Mahavir Jayanti||29 March Thursday|
|Paryushan||7 September Friday to 14 September Friday|
As India is a land of variety of cultures and ethnicity because of celebrating lots of colorful festivals by the people of different religions. People of the Christian religion celebrate their festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday and etc with big enthusiasm and fun filled activities. People from other religions also become involve in the Christmas celebrations which proves the unity in diversity of India.
There are various famous places in India where the Christian festivals are celebrated such as Goa as most of the oldest and beautiful churches are there. They do feast, prayers and processions while celebrating their festivals. Below is the list of all Christian festivals:
|Christian Festivals||Date – 2018|
|Good Friday||30 March Friday|
|Easter||1 April Sunday|
|Christmas||25 December Tuesday|
People from Buddhist religion celebrate their festivals well connected to their Lord Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. It is considered that the Buddhist festivals were first started by the lord Buddha and He advised his followers to be in touch with each other to strengthen their bond. Buddhist has their own beliefs and rituals of celebrating historical festivals. The do worship of the historical objects while celebrating their festivals.
Their festivals become more religious, spiritual and intellectual which are not restricted to any service of the community. Below is the list of all the Buddhist festivals:
|Buddhist Festivals||Date – 2018|
|Losar||16 February Friday to 18 February Sunday|
|Buddha Purnima||22 May Tuesday|
|Hemis Gompa||23 June Saturday to 24 June Sunday|
|Ullambana||25 August Saturday|