Indias festivals are popular worldwide for the fervour with which they are celebrated. Festivals form an integral part of Indias culture. Each festival has its own history and significance. It is not just a great sight but also an enriching experience to witness any festival in India. It is beautiful to see how so many religions coincide harmoniously and treasure their culture in unique ways. Many people plan their holidays around these festivals to learn about the traditions of India through their celebrations. This article is your quick guide to help you plan this years calendar with all the insights on the most popular festivals of India.How Festivals in India are a symbol of its secularityOne of the most beautiful things about the festivals of India is that people from different sects do not differentiate between the celebration of festivals. You can see a Christian celebrating Rakhi or a Muslim celebrating Diwali or a Hindu visiting a Muslim family with sweets on Eid. Christmas, in fact, has become a universal festival that is enjoyed by people from all religions. It is indeed the presence of these festivals that brings together people from different communities. Besides, national festivals like Republic Day, the Independence Day, are also celebrated without any caste or religious barriers. India is a nation where everyone has the liberty to enjoy any festival they want to.1. DiwaliOne of the most popular festivals of India is Diwali. It is also called The Festival of Lights. People decorate their houses with flowers, Ashok leaves and make rangolis at the entry of their homes. On this day, people worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, and offer their prayers to the holy deity. It is a tradition to wear new clothes on this day and it is considered auspicious to purchase or start anything new on this day. People exchange sweets and celebrate this festival with a lot of pomp.Significance: Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman from 14 years of exile.Homes are deep cleaned and decorated with flowers, rangolis, lights and diyas.When: 24th October 2022. As per the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar, Diwali is celebrated on the darkest new moon night.Where: All over IndiaThings to do: Visit temples, light diyas, go to the markets that are lit up for Diwali and indulge in sweets from the famous sweet shopsTip: Be careful of going to places where people are bursting crackers.2. HoliPopularly titled The Festival of Colours, Holi is another joyous festival of the country. The eve of Holi is celebrated as Holika Dahan where people go around the bonfire and offer their prayers. On the day of Holi, people apply dry and wet colours in different shades to each other. This fun is doubled with water guns and colourful balloons filled with water. This festival is also a great photo opportunity for everyone as the whole environment is very colourful.Significance: It marks the victory of (good) Prince Prahlad over (evil) Holika as well as the arrival of the Spring season.Key Attractions: Holika dahan (Holika bonfire), Holi fests or carnivalsWhen: 18th March 2022Where: Everywhere in the countryThings to Do: Eat Gujiya from the sweet shops, enjoy drinking thandai, play with colours.Tip: During Holi, try to remain around people you know as many people are also under the influence of alcohol on this day.3. DussehraDussehra also called Vijayadashami is celebrated in different ways countrywide. However, the performance of Ramlila takes place everywhere for a period of 10 days. The enactment of scenes from the Ramayana is called Ramlila. On the ninth day, massive effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath are burnt which is a real sight to witness. While in Kullu, the mountain deities are welcomed and in Mysore, there are colourful processions during Dussehra. It is celebrated with grandiose and in high spirits. You can also choose to visit Ayodhya Nagri to see the magnificence of this festival.Significance: Dussehra marks the triumph of Lord Ram over Ravana (good over evil) when he also rescued Goddess Sita from him.Key Attractions: Ramleela performance in colourful clothes with great drama, the main event of the burning of the effigies, bustling and decorated marketsWhen: 5th OctoberWhere: All over IndiaThings to Do: Visit temples, witness the Ravan Dahan and enjoy the Dussehra celebrations4. NavratriThis festival is also among the popular list of festivals in India. In North India, people celebrate Navratri by observing a sattvik fast for nine days, doing special ritualsespecially overnight onesfor the goddess Amba. It is especially a big celebration in the state of Gujarat where it is a nine-day affair of Dandiya Raas and Garba night. People dress in beautiful traditional clothes, the females in Gujarat especially wear the popular outfit Chaniya Choli and men wear kedia with pyjama or dhoti. During this time, most of the people also observe a fast.Significance: It represents the celebration and worship of Goddess of Power- Maa Amba in nine different forms.Key Attractions: Participate in the Garba dance events that are held on a large scale, especially if you are in Gujarat. Just to see everyone perform in rhythm and in high energy is a great sight. Enjoy the Gujarati cuisine Singoda ki kheer, sabudana khichdi, mandvi pak, etc.When: 26th September to 4th October. As per the Hindu calendar, Navratri falls in the Ashwin month.Where: Gujarat and Maharashtra and major metro cities of IndiaThings to Do: Visit the temples, go to restaurants that serve Navratri food5. Durga PujaDurga Puja is a very important festival in India. It is especially celebrated by people in the Eastern states of India, predominantly West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and Bihar. The festival is a four-day affair that falls from the sixth to the ninth day of Navratri, followed by Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami. The festival encompasses worship of Goddess Durga and her children, limited fasting, cultural songs, grand ritualistic feasts, dances and drama. The Durga idols are made by talented artists and placed in Pandals which are tastefully decorated.Significance: It marks the return of Goddess Durga to her maternal home with her young children, which is why it is considered a time of great feasting and indulgence. On the ninth day or Navami, the festival also marks the invocation of Goddess Durga by Lord Rama before setting for war with Ravana, the demon king.Key Attractions: Magnificent Durga idols (Ten-armed), glorious pandals, and the charm of the durga aarti.When: 1st October 2022. It falls in the Ashwina Shukla Paksha as per the Hindu calendarWhere: Kolkata and all the major metro cities of India are best to witness Durga Puja celebrations.Things to Do: Go pandal-hopping and witness the majestic Durga idols, and feast over sumptuous food at the pandals.6. Krishna JanmashtamiOne of the widely celebrated festivals of India, Janmashtami is filled with heavy and massive decorations at the Krishna temple. If you are in Mathura or Vrindavan, it is an unforgettable experience to witness the spirit, the energy, the pujas and the flock of devotees. Dancing, singing bhajans at midnight, praying, and visiting temples is a part of the festivity.Significance: It marks the annual celebration of Lord Krishnas birthday.Key Attractions: The mesmerizing decorations of Radha Krishna idols, the Janmashtami puja and the beautifully made jhaankis that depict Krishnas story of life.When: 18th August-19th August, 2022. As per the Hindu calendar, Janmashtami falls on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha in the month, Bhadrapada.Where: Celebrated across the country, but Mathura and Vrindavan celebrations are the most famous.Things to Do: Visit the Krishna temples, attend the bhajans and witness the intricately made jhaankis7. GurupurabIt is among one of the most important Sikh festivals in India. On this day, there are many processions held depicting the life of the Sikh gurus. Several assemblies are held on the teachings of the gurus and langars, i.e. community meals are organized in the Gurudwaras. Karah Prasad is distributed to everyone who visits the Gurudwara. People celebrate this festival with lights and candles in their homes. It is a soulful experience to visit a Gurudwara where you can listen to many hymns and seek solace.Significance: It marks the anniversary of 10 Sikh gurusKey Attractions: Visit to the gurudwaras, the hymn chanting, the bhajans, and the Gurbani in GurudwarasWhen: 8th November. As per the Hindu calendar, Gurupurab falls on the full moon day in the Kartik monthWhere: Celebrated by the Sikhs across the country, especially in PunjabThings to do: Visit the Gurudwara, indulge in langar and sewa (service at the Gurudwara)Other Famous Festivals8. Ganesh ChaturthiIf you search for national festivals' names, Ganesh Chaturthi is one such festival that is celebrated in great spirits. It is a 10-day affair filled with colourful festivities. Massive Ganesh idols are installed in pandals and at homes where the Lord is worshipped with complete rituals. The tenure of placing the Ganesha idol differs from one family to the other. The last day is observed as Visarjan where the holy deity is immersed in water. The processions are a sight to witness with lots of music, dance, and joyous hymns of Ganpati Bappa Morya.Significance: The birthday of Lord GaneshaKey Attractions: Pandals, markets, home decorations.When: 31st August, 2022. According to the Hindu calendar, it comes on the 4th day in Shukla Chaturthi (The first fortnight)Where: Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh especially but it is celebrated as a one-day affair in many other states as well like in the North.Things to do: Go pandal-hopping and witness the beauty and art of the magnificent Ganesha idols9. Raksha BandhanName the national festivals of India, and Raksha Bandhan is truly such a festival that marks the bond of a brother-sister in a special way. On this day, sisters tie rakhi to their brothers in return of a promise that he will protect her throughout life. The sister also performs an aarti, applies tilak, and ties a thread (rakhi) around her brothers wrist.Significance: It symbolizes the bond between a brother and a sister.Key Attractions: Beautifully lit markets filled with artistic rakhis and sweet shops.When: 11th August, 2022. As per the Hindu calendar, Rakhi comes on the day of the Full moon in the month of Shravana.Where: It is celebrated especially in North India, Central India and West India.Things to do: Enjoy the day with your siblings.10. Eid-Ul-FitrOne of the most important festivals of India and the Muslim community, Eid-Ul-Fitr is celebrated as a culmination of Ramadan. People dress up in new clothes, attend a community prayers at the mosque in the morning, and visit friends and relatives in their homes. Children are offered idi in the form of money or gifts by the elders.Significance: It is celebrated as a closure to the month of Ramadan when the fast is observed.Key Attractions: The beautifully decorated and well-lit markets as well as the mosques.When: 2nd May- 3rd May, 2022. As per the Hijri calendar, it falls on the first day of the Shawaal month.Where: Celebrated by Muslims throughout the country.Things to do: Visit the markets and eat the delightful dishes or Sheer Khurma at a friends place. Attend community prayers at the mosque, it is a sight to witness everyone offering their prayers.The next time when someone asks you to name the national festivals of India, you can literally pull out a list and mention each one and its significance. There is perhaps no other country like India with so many festivals. The vibrant and liveliness with which each one of them is celebrated is unmatchable.FAQ1. When is Ganesha Chaturthi in the year 2022? Is it worth witnessing the processions?This year it is on 31st August on Wednesday. Yes, it is absolutely worth watching the zest with which all the devotees take part in the procession. In Maharashtra, it is the most important festival for Mahrashtrians.2. Which is the best festival in India?There is no such thing as the best festival. The list of festivals in India is very long and each festival has its own charm, be it Janmashtmi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan or Eid. All the festivals have a great history and are celebrated in high spirits.