• Devotees prepare ritual rice dishes to offer to Hindu Sun God as they attend Pongal celebrations at a slum in Mumbai. Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamilians across the country.Reuters
  • Women with their hands decorated with henna paste pose for pictures as they pray during Karva Chauth in Ahmedabad. Married Hindu women observe a one-day fast and offer prayers for the well-being of their husbands during the festival. The fast begins before sunrise and ends after they worship the moon in the evening.Reuters
  • Artists dressed as Hindu Gods Rama (R) and Laxman (L) give blessings to a child during the Dussehra festival celebrations in Chandigarh. Effigies of 10-headed demon king "Ravana" are burnt on Dussehra, the Hindu festival that commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over the Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil.Reuters
  • Dancers participate in festivities marking the start of the annual harvest festival of "Onam" in Kochi.Reuters
  • Municipal workers carry an idol of Durga for immersion in the waters of the river Hawra during the Durga Puja festival in Agartala.Reuters
  • Folk dancers perform Dandiya, a traditional dance, during a rehearsal ahead of Navratri festival in Ahmedabad. Navratri, held in honour of Hindu Goddess Durga, is celebrated over a period of nine days where thousands of youths dance the night away in traditional costumes.Reuters
  • Performers painted to look like tigers dance during festivities marking the end of the annual harvest festival of Onam in Trichur city in Kerala. The ten-day long festival is celebrated annually in Kerala to symbolise the return of King Mahabali to meet his subjects.Reuters
  • A Hindu priest pours milk on men performing prayers as they take a dip in a lake on the auspicious day of "Pratipada" in Bhopal. Hindus offer prayers after taking a dip in rivers or lakes to honour the souls of their departed ancestors during Pratipada, which is also called 'Shraadh' or Pitru Paksha.Reuters
  • Devotees splash water on an idol of god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, as it is carried for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and later immersed in a river or the sea, symbolising a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode, taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind.Reuters
  • A Sikh man performs a stunt with fire during the celebrations of the 410th anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious book of Sikhs, in Amritsar.Reuters
  • Students hold an idol of Lord Krishna during the celebrations to mark Janmashtami festival inside a school in Ahmedabad. The festival marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.Reuters
  • A woman ties a "Rakhi" or traditional Indian sacred thread onto the wrist of an Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier during the Raksha Bandhan celebrations at the India-Pakistan joint check post at the Wagah border in Amritsar. During the festival, a sister ties one or more of the threads onto her brother's wrist to ask him to protect her.Reuters
  • Muslims offer prayers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr at a mosque in Ahmedabad. The Eid al-Fitr festival marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.Reuters
  • Widows, who have been abandoned by their families, light sparklers after offering prayers on the banks of the river Yamuna as part of Diwali celebrations organised by Sulabh International in Vrindavan, in Uttar Pradesh.Reuters
  • A Shia Muslim has his child gashed with a knife during a Muharram procession ahead of Ashoura in Mumbai.Reuters
  • Hindu devotees gather to worship the Sun god Surya on the banks of the Sun lake during Chatt Puja in Chandigarh. Hindu women fast for the whole day for the betterment of their family and the society during the festival.Reuters
  • Hindu devotees prepare to receive rice as offerings being distributed by the temple authority on the occasion of the 'Annakut' festival, which is celebrated on the first day of the full moon in the Kartik month where 56 types of food items are prepared and given to the worshippers in Kolkata.Reuters
  • Kashmiri Muslim women react upon seeing a relic of Prophet Muhammad during Meraj-un-Nabi celebrations at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar.Reuters
  • Devotees with their mouths pierced with tridents participate in a ritual to worship Durga during Aadi festival celebrations in Chennai. During the festival, Hindu women also fast for the whole day in hopes of winning the favour of Durga.Reuters
  • Devotees with their mouth pierced with rods participate in an annual religious procession to worship Maha Mariamman in Amritsar as a thanksgiving gesture to the goddess in return of their fulfilled wishes.Reuters

From regional festivals to the ones celebrated throughout the nation, India, a land of cultural diversity with many religions, celebrate a number of festivals throughout the year.

From New Year, Makar Sankranti or Pongal, Maha Shivaratri, Holi, Ugadi, Gudhi Padva, Vishu, Easter, Krishna Jayanti, Onam, Navarathri, Vijayadashami, Deepavali, Kumbh Mela, Lohri, Ganesh Chathurthi, Bakra Eid, Eid al-Fitr, Barah Wafat Celebration, Urs, Muharram to Christmas, the country has one or other reason to celebrate each and every day.


The harvest festival, celebrated by Punjabis, during the end of the winter, is celebrated on 13 January.


Rather than a religious festival, Pongal, the four-day harvest festival, is considered as a cultural festival, celebrated worldwide by Tamilians in the month of January. The festival indicates wealth and prosperity.

Eid al-Fitr 

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Islamic month of fasting, known as Ramadan, during which the Muslim devotees fast from dawn to sunset for a month.

Maha Shivaratri 

The Hindu festival celebrated on the 13th/14th day of Krishna Paksha, falls in February or March every year. It is the day Shiva married Parvathy, and it also celebrates Shiva's 'Tandava' performance.


Holi, the spring festival or the festival of colours, celebrated in India and Nepal, normally comes in the month of February or March, indicating the end of winter season and the victory of good over evil.


Easter, which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is observed by Christians all over the world, preceded by Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Prior to the Holy Week, Christians observe a forty-day period of fasting to celebrate the Resurrection. The festival falls in April-May period.

Kumbh Mela

For this mass pilgrimage, Hindu devotees gather to take holy bath to cleanse themselves from their sins and is held every third year in Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik or Ujjain.

Ganesh Chathurthi 

During Vinayaka Chaturthi, the 10-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in August or September, to honour Lord Ganesha, devotees immerse the giant idols of the god, who is considered as the remover of obstacles.


Also known as Dussehra, the 10th day of Navratri or Durga Puja, Vijayadashami is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king, Ravan. It also celebrates goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura. The festival normally falls in the month of September or October.


Diwali (Deepavali), also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated all over the country indicating the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and so on. The five-day-long festival falls between mid-October and mid-November.


The first month of the Muslim calendar, Muharram, is observed during the last months of the Gregorian calendar and the date moves from year to year.


Christmas is one of the most important festivals celebrated throughout the world on 25 December commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Many devotees observe fasting and prepares to welcome baby Jesus on the day of his birth. Christmas trees, cribs, carols and feasts are the major attractions of the festival.

Also read