Festivals IloveIndia
Find out information on major Hindu festivals and holidays. Also, explore a free, printable calendar on Hindu holidays and festivals 2015.

Hindu Holidays 2015

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 2015
January 14, WednesdayLohri
14, Wednesday ~ Saturday, Jan 17Pongal
15, Thursday ~ Saturday, Jan 17Bhogali Bihu
15, ThursdayBihu
15, ThursdayMakar Sankranti
20, TuesdayMauni Amavasya
24, SaturdayVasant Panchami
February 17, TuesdayMaha Shivaratri
March 06, FridayHoli
06, FridayHolla Mohalla
21, Saturday ~ Saturday, Mar 28Chaitra Navratri
21, SaturdayUgadi
21, SaturdayVikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
28, SaturdayRama Navami
April 02, ThursdayMahavir Jayanti
04, SaturdayHanuman Jayanti
14, TuesdayBaisakhi
14, Tuesday ~ Thursday, Apr 16Rongali Bihu
21, TuesdayAkshay Tritiya
May 04, MondayBuddha Purnima
28, ThursdayGanga Dussehra
July 18, SaturdayRath Yatra
31, FridayGuru Purnima
August 19, WednesdayNaag Panchami
29, SaturdayRaksha Bandhan
September 05, SaturdayShri Krishna Janmashtami
17, ThursdayGanesh Chaturthi
17, ThursdayVishwakarma Puja
October 13, TuesdayNavaratra Begins
13, Tuesday ~ Wednesday, Oct 21Sharad Navratri
18, Sunday ~ Thursday, Oct 22Durga Puja
22, ThursdayDussehra
30, FridayKarva Chauth
November 09, MondayDhan Teras
11, WednesdayDiwali
11, WednesdayKali Puja
12, ThursdayGovardhan Puja
13, FridayBhai Duj
15, SundayChhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
17, TuesdayChhath Puja Ends (Sandhya Argh)