Find out information on major Hindu festivals and holidays. Also, explore a free, printable calendar on Hindu holidays and festivals 2018.

Hindu Holidays 2018

It's been said often enough that Hindus celebrate everything. So they do. The birth of gods, death of asuras, victory of the gods, marriage of the gods, the new year, new months, full moons, new moons, harvests, birthdays, initiations, marriages, deaths, anniversaries - you name the event, and it is reason for music, dance, processions, and what have you.

And there is the religious bit lurking behind it all. The reasons for this lie deep, in the origin of Hinduism as an organic religion. Its followers have over time considered anything, animate or inanimate, to be sacred and aspects of divinity.

That is also why even secular events like harvests take on religious overtones, with the patron deity presiding over the festivities. As soon as something happens, there is a kind of thanksgiving to the divine that follows it.

Apart from the universally celebrated festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi, there are others that are observed in specific communities or geographical areas. Hindu holidays are also confined to particular regions by the importance a certain god enjoys.

Worship of Kartikeya (as during the festival of Skanda Shashti) is predominant in Tamil Nadu, where the god is considered a patron of the region. Onam is a good example of a festival that is celebrated solely by Keralites. Another interesting aspect of Onam is that it is perhaps the only major Hindu festival that celebrates the reign of an asura king, although a benevolent one.

The profusion of legends and the contradictions inherent in them is reflected in festivals too. Travel around the country, and you will hear people tell you a variety of legends involving different gods behind a single festival. Besides, you will also find versions of the same festival being celebrated under different names in different regions.

All this adds that facet of unending novelty and constant change to the strikingly colorful kaleidoscope that is India. You might end up thinking the thought: "The more things change, the more they remain the same", which is something often said about India and its magical agelessness.

With so many holy days and more than 20 major Hindu festivals, the calendar should be liberally sprinkled with them. But it isn't so. There is a distinct festival season, which runs from late August through December. This is when there is a fever of celebrations, with a string of important festivals following one another in a rush.

But the major festivals are not the only ones that the people celebrate. Browse through the Hindu almanac, and you will find a mention of holiness or sacredness against almost every day of the year. Most of the lesser festivals are lesser because they have a private rather than public face. There are rituals for phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, days of the week, a person's auspicious star or zodiac sign.

Hindu Festivals Calendar 2018
January 13, SaturdayLohri
14, SundayMakar Sankranti
14, Sunday ~ Wednesday, Jan 17Pongal
15, MondayBhogali Bihu
15, MondayBihu
16, TuesdayMauni Amavasya
22, MondayVasant Panchami
February 13, TuesdayMaha Shivaratri
18, SundayVikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
March 02, FridayHoli
03, SaturdayHolla Mohalla
18, Sunday ~ Monday, Mar 26Chaitra Navratri
18, SundayGudi Padwa
18, SundayUgadi
25, SundayRama Navami
29, ThursdayMahavir Jayanti
31, SaturdayHanuman Jayanti
April 14, SaturdayBaisakhi
15, Sunday ~ Saturday, Apr 21Rongali Bihu
18, WednesdayAkshay Tritiya
29, SundayBuddha Purnima
May 24, ThursdayGanga Dussehra
July 14, SaturdayRath Yatra
27, FridayGuru Purnima
August 15, WednesdayNaag Panchami
24, FridayOnam
26, SundayRaksha Bandhan
September 02, SundayShri Krishna Janmashtami
12, Wednesday ~ Sunday, Sep 23Ganesh Chaturthi
17, MondayVishwakarma Puja
October 10, WednesdayNavaratra Begins
10, Wednesday ~ Thursday, Oct 18Sharad Navratri
15, Monday ~ Friday, Oct 19Durga Puja
18, ThursdayKongali Bihu
19, FridayDussehra
27, SaturdayKarva Chauth
November 05, MondayDhan Teras
07, WednesdayDiwali
07, WednesdayKali Puja
08, ThursdayGovardhan Puja
09, FridayBhai Duj
10, SaturdayChhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
13, TuesdayChhath Puja Ends (Sandhya Argh)