Festivals of India

India is a land of various cultures and communities, with each of these having their own unique festivals and celebrations. As such it is not surprising that all through the year some festival is being celebrated in one or other part of India. Irrespective of their diversity, the numerous festivals of India are simply another way to celebrate the joy of living and spread the message of love and peace. Whether it is festivals of colours or the festival of lights, the festivals to commemorate the natural and supernatural forces or the festivals to celebrate the sacrifices and achievements of mere mortals, each festival is steeped in a rich vibrant history that adds to its purity and excitement. Discussed below are some of the most popular festival celebrated in India.


Holi is popular by the name of festival of colours as on this day, people throw colour on each other as a symbol of love and peace. On this day people tend to forget their differences and start a new relationship based on love and mutual trust. Singing of traditional folk songs, and dancing to the beats of the dholak form other important aspects of this festival. To add to the fun and excitement of the festival, the tradition of drinking bang is also quite popular in many regions.

Pushkar Fair

The annual cattle fair held in the holy city of Pushkar is a combination of great fun and many celebrations. The Pushkar fair is amongst the largest and the only fair of its kind held across the globe. The fair lasts for several days during which time people from various parts of rural India take part in extensive cattle trade as well as religious and cultural activities that are a part of the celebration. a large number of devotees attend the fair simply to take a bath the holy sarovar of the town to attain moksha.

Kumarakom Boat Race

The extremely thrilling and exciting Kumarakom boat races are held between the months of June and September. The races are a true symbol of team work and focus on achieving the goal. The sheer sight of groups of hundreds of people pulling the oars in unison to the beats of the folk songs, is simply awe-inspiring. The word famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a part of this traditional sports activity enjoyed by the people of southern India.

Indra Gandhi Boat Race

This annual boat race is organized in Ernakulam in the month of December and is renowned for the snake boat race. Each snake boat generally carries 100-125 oarsmen who are guided by 4 helmsmen and inspired by nearly 25 singers seated in the same boat. The boat race is a means of enhancing tourism in Kerala and has in fact become one of the most popular events of South India.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

This celebration of the most vibrant and colourful traditional dance forms of India is organised just as the bliss of summer starts setting in. Renowned dancers and performers from all parts of India attend this festival to present an extravaganza of the rich cultural and traditional roots of their respective regions. With the world famous sculptures of Khajuraho as their backdrop, the artists behold every member of the audience with their mesmerizing performances.

Goa Carnival

Goa is known as the land of fun and festivities and nothing defines this better than 4 day long Goa carnival. A time of pure celebration and enjoyment, the carnival showcases the lively and vibrant life of the locals through a parade of colourful floats and masked people in gorgeous attires and colourful costumes.

Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race

This annual snake boat race held on the 10th of August in Kerala, is attended by people from all parts of the world in large number. The majesty of the long and narrow snake boats decorates in traditional colours is enhanced by the enthusiasm of the hundreds of oarsmen and singers riding the boats to attain victory.

Kohima Hornbill Festival 2014

This festival is organized in the first week of December in the naturally beautiful locales of Nagaland. The main attraction of the festival is the rich folk dances and songs that form an integral part of the lives of the local people. The colourful costumes and jewellery add to the thrill of the festivities as people rejoice and enjoy the small joys of life.

Diwali Festival

The festival of lights is a major celebration that is equally enjoyed in all parts of India. Symbolizing the victory of good over evil, people celebrate this day by offering prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and lighting up their homes. A major attraction of the festival is the burning of firecrackers which lasts long into the night.

Onam Festival

This is definitely the most important festival of Kerala and is spread over a period of ten days. It is the harvest festival and is celebrated with great devotion as people believe that during this time King Mahabali, under whom Kerala enjoyed its golden period, would come back to visit his people.

Hemis Tsechu Festival

Hemis Tsechu is the biggets and most popular festival of Ladakh that is celebrated to remember the birth of Guru Padmasambhava. The 2 day festival is celebrated by the Hemis monastery, and features sacred masked dance performances by the lamas from the monastery. The masks worn by the lamas represent the various guardians belonging to the Dugpa order.

Saga Dawa Festival

The Saga Dawa is a Buddhist festival celebrated in the honor of the passing away of Shakyamuni Buddha into parnirvana. Additionally, the festival is also celebrates the birth and enlightenment of the respected Buddhist saint. During the celebrations, devotees make pleasant offerings such as light, flowers, and incense to the holy saint.

Maha Kumbh Festival

The Maha Kumbh is a great Hindu festival that is held in various religious cities located on the banks of river Ganga after every four years. Millions of people ascend the holy city where the festival is organized to take a dip in the divine river and seek absolution for their sins. The festival is considered to be an occasion for spiritual awakening and hence holds great reverence.