Hindu Festival Calendar

Hindu Festival Calendar 2020: Printable

It’s been said often enough that Hindus celebrate everything. So they do. The birth of gods, death of asuras, victory of the gods, marriage of the gods, the new year, new months, full moons, new moons, harvests, birthdays, initiations, marriages, deaths, anniversaries – you name the event, and it is reason for music, dance, processions, and what have you.

And there is the religious bit lurking behind it all. The reasons for this lie deep, in the origin of Hinduism as an organic religion. Its followers have over time considered anything, animate or inanimate, to be sacred and aspects of divinity.

That is also why even secular events like harvests take on religious overtones, with the patron deity presiding over the festivities. As soon as something happens, there is a kind of thanksgiving to the divine that follows it.

Apart from the universally celebrated festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi, there are others that are observed in specific communities or geographical areas. Hindu holidays are also confined to particular regions by the importance a certain god enjoys.

Worship of Kartikeya (as during the festival of Skanda Shashti) is predominant in Tamil Nadu, where the god is considered a patron of the region. Onam is a good example of a festival that is celebrated solely by Keralites. Another interesting aspect of Onam is that it is perhaps the only major Hindu festival that celebrates the reign of an asura king, although a benevolent one.

The profusion of legends and the contradictions inherent in them is reflected in festivals too. Travel around the country, and you will hear people tell you a variety of legends involving different gods behind a single festival. Besides, you will also find versions of the same festival being celebrated under different names in different regions.

All this adds that facet of unending novelty and constant change to the strikingly colorful kaleidoscope that is India. You might end up thinking the thought: “The more things change, the more they remain the same”, which is something often said about India and its magical agelessness.

With so many holy days and more than 20 major Hindu festivals, the calendar should be liberally sprinkled with them. But it isn’t so. There is a distinct festival season, which runs from late August through December. This is when there is a fever of celebrations, with a string of important festivals following one another in a rush.

But the major festivals are not the only ones that the people celebrate. Browse through the Hindu almanac, and you will find a mention of holiness or sacredness against almost every day of the year. Most of the lesser festivals are lesser because they have a private rather than public face. There are rituals for phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, days of the week, a person’s auspicious star or zodiac sign.

Hindu Festivals Calendar 2020
January 13, Monday Lohri
15, Wednesday Bhogali Bihu
15, Wednesday Bihu
15, Wednesday Makar Sankranti
15, Wednesday ~ Saturday, Jan 18 Pongal
24, Friday Mauni Amavasya
29, Wednesday Vasant Panchami
February 21, Friday Maha Shivaratri
23, Sunday Vikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
March 09, Monday Holi
10, Tuesday Holla Mohalla
25, Wednesday ~ Thursday, Apr 02 Chaitra Navratri
25, Wednesday Gudi Padwa
25, Wednesday Ugadi
April 02, Thursday Rama Navami
06, Monday Mahavir Jayanti
08, Wednesday Hanuman Jayanti
14, Tuesday Baisakhi
14, Tuesday ~ Monday, Apr 20 Rongali Bihu
26, Sunday Akshay Tritiya
May 07, Thursday Buddha Purnima
June 01, Monday Ganga Dussehra
23, Tuesday Rath Yatra
July 05, Sunday Guru Purnima
25, Saturday Naag Panchami
August 03, Monday Raksha Bandhan
11, Tuesday Shri Krishna Janmashtami
22, Saturday Ganesh Chaturthi
22, Saturday ~ Wednesday, Sep 02 Onam
September 16, Wednesday Vishwakarma Puja
October 17, Saturday Navaratra Begins
17, Saturday ~ Sunday, Oct 25 Sharad Navratri
18, Sunday Kongali Bihu
22, Thursday ~ Monday, Oct 26 Durga Puja
26, Monday Dussehra
November 02, Monday Karva Chauth
12, Thursday Dhan Teras
14, Saturday Diwali
14, Saturday Kali Puja
15, Sunday Govardhan Puja
16, Monday Bhai Duj
18, Wednesday Chhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
20, Friday Chhath Puja Ends (Sandhya Argh)

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