Public Holidays

Public holidays in India

Indian holidays are extremely complex. Basically, every day, there is a public holiday somewhere because every community can set its own days. Nationwide public holidays are just Republic Day, Independence Day and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. All other holidays are only valid regionally or even only within certain religious denominations.

A special feature of Indian holidays is the orientation to the Hindu lunar calendar. Until 1957, there were even several dozen different calendars in India, which were only combined then. Because even the Hindu calendar is still calculated differently depending on the region, the dates cannot be matched exactly to the Gregorian calendar.

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Non-floating holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

Jan. 1stNew Year's Day
Jan. 5thGuru Govind Singh Jayanti
Jan. 26thDay of the Republic
Jan. 31stMe-dam-me-phi (Ancestor Festival of Ahom)
April 14thBengali New Year (Tripura + West Bengal only)
May 1stLabor Day
May 7thBirthday of Rabindra Nath Tagore
Aug. 15thIndependence Day
Oct. 2ndBirthday of Mahatma Gandhi
Dec. 24thBirthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad
Dec. 25thChristian Christmas
Dec. 31stNew Year's Eve

Moving Holidays in India

Good FridayApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rdMarch 26th
Festival of breaking the fastApril 21stApril 9thMarch 30thMarch 19thMarch 9th
Mother's DayMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10thMay 9th
Father's DayJune 18thJune 16thJune 15thJune 21stJune 20th
Festival of SacrificeJune 28thJune 16thJune 6thMay 26thMay 16th
Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year)July 18thJuly 7thJune 26thJune 16thJune 5th
Diwali (Hindu festival of lights)Nov. 12thNov. 1stOct. 21stNov. 8thOct. 29th

Moving holidays with (so far and for us) uncalculatable dates:

Vasant Panchami5th day of the Hindu month Magha, January/February
Makar Sankranti / PongalJanuary Solstice
Spring Festival Holi1st full moon day of Hindu month Phalgun, February/March
Shiva's Big Night13th day of Hindu month Phalgun, February/March
Ugadi1st new moon after the equinox in spring
Rama Navami (Rama's Birthday)9th day of Hindu month Chaitra, March/April
Mahavir Jayanti13th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Chaitra, March/April
Birthday of BuddhaFull moon day of the Hindu month Vaisakh
Raksha BandhanFull moon day of Hindu month Shravana, August
Janmashtami, birth of the god Krishna8th day of Hindu month Shravan, August/September
Birth of the God Ganesh4th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Bhaadrapada, August / September
Ganesh Chaturthi4th day of Hindu month Bhadrapad, September
DashaharaDay 10 of the moonlit half of the Hindu month of Ashvayuja
Birthday of Guru Nanak DevFull moon in the Hindu month Kartik

Probably the most important secular holiday in the Indian calendar is the national holiday — Republic Day on January 26. The occasion marks the constitution coming into effect in 1950, and on this date the capital celebrates with a big parade. The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 is also celebrated nationwide. In addition, there are numerous Hindu holidays, but none of them are attached to nationwide public holidays. Nevertheless, they are mostly celebrated nationwide and in most regions of India, they are also days off from work. Due to the Hindu and therefore polytheistic belief of the majority of the population, there are numerous peculiarities and different holidays. First and foremost in its importance is Diwali, the festival of lights. The light triumphs over the darkness — good over evil. With this extremely rough description, the similarities nearly end. The characteristics and interpretations are different around the country. In many regions of the south, the victory of Krishna over Naraka is at stake, while most northern inhabitants tend to associate the day with the exile of the god Rama. Among Indian Muslims, the festival of sacrifice (al-Adha) and the end of Lent (al-Fitre) are the most prominent. For the few Christians in the country, Easter and Christmas are also celebrated. In addition, there are some less common holidays from the most diverse religions in India.
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