India Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

India: holidays, climate, national customs

Public holidays

Date Holiday
January 26 Indian National Day
January and February Sankaranti is mainly celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala
January and February Pongal is a three day Tamil harvest festival
January and February Vasant Panchami is mainly celebrated in the eastern regions of India. The festival is dedicated to Saraswati, the Hindu deity of learning. Women wear yellow saris for the occasion
January and February The birthday of the 17th ruler is celebrated on Madurai
February and March Shivratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva
February and March Holi is mainly celebrated in northern India at the beginning of spring. It is also called the Festival of Colors and is an official holiday in India
February and March Mardi Gras in Goa is a celebration of Carnival
February and March The birth of Rama, the incarnation of the god Vishnu, is celebrated at Ramanavami
February and March Mahavir Jayanti celebrates the birth of Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara
March and April Kumbh Mela is the oldest and most important Hindu festival. It takes place every three years in one of the five largest holy cities, Nasik, Maharashtra, Ujjain, Prayag (Allahabad) and Hardwar. It is celebrated by millions of pilgrims who take a holy bath in the sacred Ganges.
April and May Baisaki is celebrated in North India, West Bengal, Kerala (Vishu) and Tamil Nadu. It is the Hindu solar new year. Women wear yellow saris on this festival.
April and May Yugadi is celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The Hindu Lunar New Year is celebrated at this festival.
April and May Poram is the new moon festival. On this occasion, numerous elephants are adorned with ceremonial capes.
April and May Id-Ul-Zuha is the most celebrated Islamic festival in India to commemorate the sacrifice of Abraham.
April and May Id-Ul-Fitr is a celebration that marks the end of the month of Ramadan.
April and May Meenakshi Kalyanam celebrates the wedding of Meenakshi with Lord Shiva for ten days. It is a colorful temple festival where statues of deities are carried by powerful chariots.
April and May Fair is a Sufi festival, but no processions are held.
June and July Rath Yatra is the largest temple festival in honor of Lord Jagannath (Lord of the Universe). Smaller festivals take place in Ramnagar (near Varanasi), Serampore (near Calcutta) and Jagannathpur (near Ranchi). Many temple chariot festivals are also celebrated in the south.
July and August Teej is a procession in honor of the deity Parvati to welcome the monsoons. Women wear green saris at this festival.
July and August Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in North and West India.
July and August Naag Panchami is mainly celebrated in Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Karnataka and Maharashtra. The festival is dedicated to the green, thousand-headed serpent Sesha.
15th of August Independence day
August and September Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated on Janmastami.
August and September Onam is Kerala’s legendary harvest festival: impressive snake boat races take place in many places in Kerala.
August and September Ganesh Chaturthi is mainly observed in Pune, Orissa, Bombay, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madras. The festival is dedicated to the elephant-headed god Ganesh. Large models of the deity are accompanied in processions and immersed in water.
September and October Dussehra, the most famous festival in the country, is celebrated differently in different places. In the north and mainly in Delhi (where it is called Ram Lila), games and music tell of Rama’s life. In Bengal and many parts of east India it is known as Durga Puja. In the south of India it is called Navaratri. In Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh the celebrations last nine nights, in Mysore Dussehra lasts ten days. On the tenth day, a procession with elephants is celebrated from the Maharaja’s palace.
September and October Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday is celebrated on Gandhi Jayanti.
September and October Diwali is a festival of light where colorful lamps and lanterns are hung all over India. It marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The deity Kali is mostly worshiped in the East Indies, while in other parts it is Lakshmi, the deity of wealth. The whole country is lit and there are fireworks everywhere.
September and October Gurpurab is mainly celebrated in northern India on the birthdays of ten gurus, the spiritual teachers of Sikhism.
November Muharram is a commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, when tiger dancers lead the procession with colored replicas of the tomb of the martyr.
November Bihar is the largest cattle market in the world and is held on the banks of the Ganges.
November Pushkar Mela is a camel and cattle market, with camel races and celebrations.

Source: Countryaah – India Holidays

Cultural events

Most important music festivals in India:

  • Elephanta Festin February in Bombay.
  • Khajuraho Festivalin Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Ellora Festivalin March in Ellora (Maharashtra).
  • Orechha Festivalin Mandul Orcha (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Summer festivalin April in Rajasthan.
  • Golconda Festivalin June in Hyderabad.
  • Tansen Festivalin Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Hampi Viyanagarin December in Hampi (Karnataka).
  • Music and dance festivalin Madras in December

Sporting events

Many of the Indian sports have become known through the influence of British colonial rule. The most popular sports are English cricket and hockey.

National customs

The Indian board game Chaturanga is considered the forerunner of the game of chess and pachisi and is one of the oldest known games. Today’s Chaturanga is played on a field of nine on nine lines with 81 fields. Of these 81 fields, five are marked with a cross.

Pachisi is still the most played running game in the world today, especially in its native India.

The board game Carrom originated in Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) as a simple and affordable variant of the billiards game, which was introduced by the colonial rulers.

The Indian music has evolved over the centuries as a part of Indian culture. However, it is very different from Western music. Mostly she deals with Indian fables and legends or with the seasonal rhythm of nature.

The classical Indian dance tradition of Bharata Natyam is mainly cultivated in the southeast, Tamil and Telugus-speaking regions of India. Bharata Natyam denotes different styles such as the solo dance Sadir Natya, the group dance Kuruvanji or the dance theater Bhagavatamela and Kuchipudi. The Indian teaching of Ayurveda is thousands of years old.

Yoga was developed in India thousands of years ago. Yoga and meditation encompass the teaching of the mind and soul as set out in the Vedic scriptures and the Brahmanic Upanishads. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ is the ‘yoke’. Accordingly, yoga is to be viewed as a means of connecting the spirit of the individual person with the universal being of Divine Truth.

The caste in India has an impact on the entire life of a person. For example, it determines the choice of partner and career. You don’t eat with everyone either, high-class people find a meal together with low-class people polluting. The arranged weddings are mostly organized within the same caste.

Airports, industrial plants, bridges, etc. may not be photographed in India without permission. Anyone wishing to photograph art historical sites with a tripod and flash usually needs a permit. Photo tickets are available in some facilities and can be purchased.

India: climate

There are basically three seasons in India – summer, rainy season and winter. Although the country stretches from the maritime-tropical south to the continental-subtropical north, moderate climatic zones are also represented due to the high altitudes in the northern high mountains. The warmest season is between May and July. This is also the season when the Himalayan passes are opened for a few short months. In June, the monsoons set in on the west coast in the south, then migrate north, arriving in July and moving back south. However, it doesn’t rain all day. The southwest monsoons account for 80 to 90% of the annual rainfall in all of India, excluding the southeast. Precipitation is highest on the western slopes of the Western Ghats and on the southeast slope of the Himalayas. The best travel time begins in October and lasts until around March. In December and January it can get very chilly at night in northern cities. The small or northeast monsoon blows from December to February. During this time, the lowest temperatures are generally measured: in the south 20 to 25 degrees, in the Ganges valley 15 and in the Punjab and northwest around 10 degrees. In rare cases, night frost can even occur here. There are also some ski resorts in the Himalayan states.

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