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Find out information on major Hindu festivals and holidays. Also, explore a free, printable calendar on Hindu holidays and festivals 2017.

Hindu Holidays 2017

Hindu Festivals
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 2017
January 13, FridayLohri
13, Friday ~ Saturday, Jan 16Pongal
14, SaturdayMakar Sankranti
15, SundayBhogali Bihu
15, SundayBihu
27, FridayMauni Amavasya
February 01, WednesdayVasant Panchami
25, SaturdayMaha Shivaratri
March 01, WednesdayVikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
13, MondayHoli
13, Monday ~ Tuesday, Mar 14Holla Mohalla
28, Tuesday ~ Wednesday, Apr 05Chaitra Navratri
28, TuesdayGudi Padwa
28, TuesdayUgadi
April 05, WednesdayRama Navami
09, SundayMahavir Jayanti
11, TuesdayHanuman Jayanti
13, Thursday ~ Monday, Apr 17Rongali Bihu
14, FridayBaisakhi
25, TuesdayGanesh Chaturthi
28, FridayAkshay Tritiya
May 10, WednesdayBuddha Purnima
June 03, SaturdayGanga Dussehra
25, SundayRath Yatra
July 09, SundayGuru Purnima
27, ThursdayNaag Panchami
August 07, MondayRaksha Bandhan
14, MondayShri Krishna Janmashtami
September 17, SundayVishwakarma Puja
21, ThursdayNavaratra Begins
21, Thursday ~ Friday, Sep 29Sharad Navratri
26, Tuesday ~ Saturday, Sep 30Durga Puja
30, SaturdayDussehra
October 08, SundayKarva Chauth
17, TuesdayDhan Teras
18, WednesdayKongali Bihu
19, ThursdayDiwali
19, ThursdayKali Puja
20, FridayGovardhan Puja
21, SaturdayBhai Duj
26, ThursdayChhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
29, SundayChhath Puja Ends (Sandhya Argh)