Festivals IloveIndia
Find out information on major Hindu festivals and holidays. Also, explore a free, printable calendar on Hindu holidays and festivals 2021.

Hindu Holidays 2021

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 2021
January 13, WednesdayLohri
14, ThursdayMakar Sankranti
15, FridayBhogali Bihu
14, ThursdayBihu
14, Thursday ~ Sunday, Jan 17Pongal
February 11, ThursdayMauni Amavasya
16, TuesdayVasant Panchami
March 11, ThursdayMaha Shivaratri
28, SundayHoli
29, MondayHolla Mohalla
April 13, TuesdayVikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
13, Tuesday ~ Thursday, Apr 22Chaitra Navratri
13, TuesdayGudi Padwa
13, TuesdayUgadi
14, WednesdayBaisakhi
21, WednesdayRama Navami
13, Tuesday ~ Wednesday, Apr 21Rongali Bihu
25, SundayMahavir Jayanti
27, TuesdayHanuman Jayanti
May 14, FridayAkshay Tritiya
26, WednesdayBuddha Purnima
June 20, SundayGanga Dussehra
July 12, MondayRath Yatra
24, SaturdayGuru Purnima
August 13, FridayNaag Panchami
22, SundayRaksha Bandhan
30, MondayShri Krishna Janmashtami
12, Thursday ~ Monday, Aug 23Onam
September 10, FridayGanesh Chaturthi
17, FridayVishwakarma Puja
October 07, ThursdayNavaratra Begins
07, Thursday ~ Thursday, Oct 14Sharad Navratri
11, Monday ~ Friday, Oct 15Durga Puja
15, FridayDussehra
24, SundayKarva Chauth
19, TuesdayKongali Bihu
November 02, TuesdayDhan Teras
04, ThursdayDiwali
04, ThursdayKali Puja
05, FridayGovardhan Puja
06, SaturdayBhai Duj
08, MondayChhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
10, WednesdayChhath Puja Ends (Sandhya Argh)