Embarking on Public Holidays in India: Unveiling the Tapestry of Cultural Odyssey

User By Marcus Richard

India, known for its various landscapes, rich cultural past, and lively customs, observes a list of holidays yearly. These festivals, which have religious, cultural, and historical importance, provide an intriguing peek into the tapestry of India's identity. From the grandeur of festivals to the solemnity of national commemorations, each holiday occupies a special place in the hearts of millions. In this thorough guide, we will delve into the myriad public holidays in India, investigating the customs, rituals, and tales that make each celebration a monument to the nation's unity in diversity.

List of holidays in India for tourists experiencing

List of holidays in India for tourists experiencing

What is a national holiday in India?

A national holiday in India is a day on which a country, whether sovereign or not, remembers its independence, foundation, or other noteworthy events. 

India has three national holidays: Republic Day on January 26th, Independence Day on August 15th, and Gandhi Jayanti on October 2nd each year.

What is a public holiday in India?

Public holidays in India differ by state, and numerous are honored throughout the year. While national holidays such as Independence Day and Republic Day are also public holidays, there are also state or regional public holidays. These holidays may mark religious festivals, cultural events, or significant regional events.

List of restricted and national holidays in India 2024


  • New Year's Day -  Monday, 1 Jan
  • Lohri -  Saturday, 13 Jan 
  • Makar Sankranti -  Saturday, 14 Jan
  • Pongal - Monday, 15 Jan
  • Guru Govind Singh Jayanti -  Wednesday, 17 Jan
  • Hazarat Ali's Birthday - Thursday, 25 Jan
  • Republic Day - Friday, 26 Jan


  • Lunar New Year -  Saturday, 10 Feb
  • Vasant Panchami -  Wednesday, 14 Feb
  • Shivaji Jayanti -  Monday, 19 Feb
  • Guru Ravidas Jayanti -  Monday, 24 Feb


  • Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti -  Wednesday, 6 Mar
  • Maha Shivaratri/Shivaratri -  Friday, 8 Mar
  • Ramadan Start -  Tuesday, 12 Mar
  • March Equinox-  Wednesday, 20 Mar
  • Holika Dahana -  Sunday, 24 Mar
  • Holi -  Monday, 25 Mar
  • Dolyatra-  Monday, 25 Mar
  • Good Friday-  Friday, 29 Mar
  • Easter Day-  Sunday, 31 Mar


  • Jamat Ul-Vida (Tentative Date) -  Friday, Apr 5 
  • Chaitra Sukhladi - Tuesday , Apr 9
  • Ugadi - Tuesday , Apr 9
  • Gudi Padwa - Tuesday , Apr 9
  • Ramzan Id/Eid-ul-Fitar - Wednesday , Apr 10
  • Ramzan Id/Eid-ul-Fitar - Wednesday , Apr 11
  • Vaisakhi - Wednesday, Apr 13

  • Mesadi / Vaisakhadi- Wednesday, Apr 14

  • Ambedkar Jayanti - Wednesday, Apr 14

  • Rama Navami - Wednesday, Apr 17

  • Mahavir Jayanti - Wednesday, Apr 21

  • First day of Passover - Wednesday, Apr 23


  • Labour Day - Wednesday, 1 May
  • Mother's Day -  Sunday, 12 May
  • Buddha Purnima/Vesak -  Thursday, 23 May


  • Father's Day - Sunday, 16 Jan
  • Bakrid/Eid ul-Adha (Tentative Date)  - Monday, 17 Jan


  • Rath Yatra - Sunday, 7 Jul 
  • Muharram/Ashura (Tentative Date)  - Wednesday, 17 Jul 
  • Guru Purnima - Sunday, 21 Jul 


  • Friendship Day - Sunday, 4 Aug
  • Independence Day  - Thursday, 15 Aug
  • Parsi New Year  - Thursday, 15 Aug
  • Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi)  - Monday, 19 Aug
  • Janmashtami  - Monday, 26 Aug
  • Janmashtami (Smarta)  - Monday, 26 Aug


  • Ganesh Chaturthi/Vinayaka Chaturthi - Saturday, 7 Sep
  • Onam  - Sunday, 15 Sep


  •  Wednesday, 2 Oct  : Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti    
  • Thursday, 3 Oct : First Day of Sharad Navratri   
  • Wednesday, 9 Oct: First Day of Durga Puja Festivities    
  • Thursday, 10 Oct: Maha Saptami   
  • Friday, 11 Oct: Maha Navami    
  • Friday , 11 Oct : Maha Ashtami    
  • Saturday, 12 Oct: Dussehra    
  • Thursday, 17 Oct : Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti    
  •  Sunday, 20 Oct : Karaka Chaturthi (Karva Chauth)    
  • Thursday, 31 Oct: Halloween    
  • Thursday, 31 Oct: Naraka Chaturdasi    
  • Thursday, 31 Oct: Diwali/Deepavali      


  • Saturday , 2 Nov:  Govardhan Puja    
  • Sunday , 3 Nov: Bhai Duj   
  • Thursday, 7 Nov: Chhat Puja (Pratihar Sashthi/Surya Sashthi) 
  • Friday, 15 Nov: Guru Nanak Jayanti  
  • Sunday, 24 Nov : Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day 
  • Saturday, 21 Dec : December Solstice


  • Tuesday, 24 Dec :  Christmas Eve  
  • Wednesday, 25 Dec : Christmas    
  • Thursday, 26 Dec: First Day of Hanukkah
  • Tuesday, 31 Dec : New Year's Eve

How many public holidays are there in India?

There are 17 public holidays in India every year based on important religious and cultural dates. On these days, state and central government employees are entitled to paid holidays. If employees are required to work for any reason, the employer will have to compensate them.

Explore the list of holidays in India for travelers

1. Republic Day: A Grand Symphony of Patriotism

Republic Day, observed on January 26th, marks the day when the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950, transforming the nation into a republic. The celebrations are grand and spectacular, with the main event held in the capital, New Delhi. The iconic Rajpath witnesses a majestic parade featuring military displays, cultural performances, and the unfurling of the national flag. Republic Day is not just a public holiday; it is a vibrant expression of India's commitment to democracy and diversity.

2. Holi: The Festival of Colors

Immerse yourself in the festival of colors called “Holi”

Immerse yourself in the festival of colors called “Holi” 

Holi, the Festival of Colors, is a joyous and exuberant celebration in March. This Hindu festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. Celebrated with great enthusiasm, people play with vibrant colored powders, dance to lively music, and indulge in festive sweets. Holi transcends religious and cultural boundaries, uniting people in the shared joy of color and camaraderie.

People celebrate the Holi festival to display their devotion to Lord Krishna, a prankster who used to throw colors and water on country girls. Holi also marks the beginning of spring and the end of winter. Furthermore, the event represents an appreciation for the rich harvest of the season. Holi festivals are more common in regions like Mathura and Vrindavan. We are in Uttar Pradesh, Krishna's home state. Holi begins a week sooner in such areas.

3. Independence Day: A Triumph of Freedom

Independence Day ranks high on the list of Indian public holidays, and people all around the country commemorate it with zeal. On August 15, 1947, India was liberated from British rule and declared an independent republic. This national holiday serves as a reminder to every Indian citizen of the emergence of a fresh beginning. It marked the beginning of a more than 200-year period of freedom from the rules of British colonialism.

Every year on August 15th, people commemorate Independence Day by adorning the streets with the national flag's tricolors. Landmarks and other government structures are lighted up in the country's colors. It is a national holiday on which television stations broadcast patriotic films, documentaries, and other programming about India's independence.

After becoming a country, India celebrated its first Independence Day in 1948. Independence Day is a national holiday in India, and all schools, colleges, banks, and other businesses are closed for the day.

4. Diwali: Illuminating the Darkness 

Enjoy Diwali with your family and friends - the festival of lights

Enjoy Diwali with your family and friends - the festival of lights

Diwali, also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, is one of India's most popular celebrations. It occurs between mid-October and mid-November, according to the lunar cycle during the time of year, and it is also a public holiday in India. It is a joyous celebration that symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Diwali also represents a person's inner metamorphosis by acquiring knowledge and spiritual awareness.

Diwali is celebrated with the same zeal across India; however, the customs differ slightly. There are also several variants in the origin myths of the event. It is said that the celebration began when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after saving Sita from the demon Ravana and finishing his fourteen-year exile. To greet the Lord, people kindled clay lanterns or 'diyas' across the city. Diwali is also the festival of Goddess Lakshmi, representing prosperity, and Gujarat people honor her on the festival day. Diwali is associated with the Goddess Kali in Bengal. Sikhs and Jains also observe this holiday.

5. Eid al-Fitr: Celebrating the End of Ramadan 

Eid al-Fitr is a significant Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Families gather for special prayers, and feasts are prepared to break the fast. The joyous atmosphere extends beyond the Muslim community, with neighbors and friends exchanging greetings and sweets. The festival exemplifies the spirit of sharing, compassion, and communal harmony.

The act of offering "Zakat al-Fitr" or "Fitra," which is a charity contribution given to the less fortunate before Eid prayers, is one of the most essential components of Eid al-Fitr. This payment is intended to cleanse the fast and guarantee that everyone may take part in the festivities.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by families and friends by wearing in new clothing, making special dinners, and sharing great food and sweets. Traditional foods such as biryani, sheer khurma (a sweet milk and vermicelli dessert), and various savory specialties are cooked and eaten. People also visit family, neighbors, and acquaintances to exchange pleasantries and enjoy meals.

6. Christmas: Spreading Joy and Goodwill 

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. It is a public holiday in India commemorating the birthday of Jesus Christ. India is a secular nation home to all religions, and Christianity is a crucial part of this diverse, cultured country. The day is marked by midnight Mass, festive decorations, and the exchange of gifts. Streets and markets come alive with colorful lights and decorations, creating a festive atmosphere that people of all faiths embrace.

Gifting is an integral part of Christmas celebrations in India. Families and friends exchange presents, signifying love and appreciation. Traditional Indian sweets, homemade delicacies, and baked goods like plum cakes and cookies are prepared and shared. Christmas feasts are a highlight, featuring a variety of dishes that blend local flavors with international influences.

7. Gandhi Jayanti: Honoring the Father of the Nation

Explore public holidays in India for travelers -  Gandhi Jayanti

Explore public holidays in India for travelers -  Gandhi Jayanti 

Gandhi Jayanti, observed on October 2nd, pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent independence movement. The day is an Indian national holiday, and people participate in prayer services, cultural programs, and activities that promote Gandhian principles of truth, non-violence, and communal harmony.

Throughout the country, on this day, numerous activities and rituals are organized to honor and reflect on Gandhi's teachings and values. The site of Gandhi's cremation, Raj Ghat in New Delhi, is frequently the focal point of the ceremonies. Political leaders, social activists, and residents assemble to pay their condolences at his monument with flower offerings.

Gandhi Jayanti is both a day of remembering and an occasion for introspection. It acts as a reminder of Gandhi's beliefs and inspires people to apply his lessons in their own lives. Special events, talks, and cultural activities are organized by schools, universities, and community organizations to raise knowledge about Gandhi's life and ideas among the younger generation.

8. Navratri and Durga Puja: The Divine Dance of Goddesses

Navratri, a Hindu holiday lasting nine nights, is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga. Durga Puja festival is celebrated with lavish decorations, creative idols, and cultural events in the eastern region of India, notably in West Bengal. The event concludes with the immersion of Durga idols, which is followed by processions and festivals.

9. Raksha Bandhan: A Bond of Sibling Love

Learn some exciting things in Raksha Bandhan

Learn some exciting things in Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan is a unique day dedicated to the link between brothers and sisters, usually celebrated in August. Sisters tie a rakhi, or protecting thread, around their brothers' wrists to symbolize love and the pledge of lifetime protection. In exchange, the brothers provide presents and display their devotion.

Biological siblings do not just celebrate Raksha Bandhan. It also honors the link between cousins, close friends, and distant relatives. It represents love, trust, and the eternal connection between people with a particular link.

Raksha Bandhan fosters harmony and solidarity throughout families and communities in addition to honoring sibling love. It fosters a sense of belonging and promotes family members' values of loyalty, respect, and support.

10. Guru Nanak Jayanti

Janmashtami commemorates Lord Krishna's birth as an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Fasting, devotional singing and dance, and re-enactments of Krishna's life are all part of the event. Temples and residences are lighted at midnight, the precise moment of Krishna's birth, and his statue is washed and put in a cradle.

Recommended Place to Visit: Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna. The festival brings the city to life with music, dancing, and theater, making it a lively destination.

Learn information about India e-visa for tourists to enjoy the holiday in India

India Immigration Services provides a straightforward approach for travelers to get Indian e-visas, allowing them to have a pleasant holiday in India. Travelers may apply for visas online using the e-visa system, eliminating the need for extensive paperwork and visits to embassies. India Immigration Services gives detailed information on the e-visa process, including eligibility requirements, needed papers, and the application process. 

Tourists who use this service may apply for an Indian visa online quickly and focus on organizing their schedules to discover India's diverse culture, rich legacy, and magnificent scenery. Whether it's seeing renowned sights like the Taj Mahal, participating in vibrant festivals, or relishing in different culinary pleasures, India Immigration Services offers a hassle-free entry into the nation, allowing travelers to make the most of their trip to India.