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Hindu Festival Calendar

Hindu Festival Calendar 2017

Indian Festival Calendar 2017

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.

January 2017
13, Friday Lohri
13, Friday ~ Saturday, Jan 16 Pongal
14, Saturday Makar Sankranti
15, Sunday Bhogali Bihu
15, Sunday Bihu
27, Friday Mauni Amavasya
February 2017
01, Wednesday Vasant Panchami
25, Saturday Maha Shivaratri
March 2017
01, Wednesday Vikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
13, Monday Holi
13, Monday ~ Tuesday, Mar 14 Holla Mohalla
28, Tuesday ~ Wednesday, Apr 05 Chaitra Navratri
28, Tuesday Gudi Padwa
28, Tuesday Ugadi
April 2017
05, Wednesday Rama Navami
09, Sunday Mahavir Jayanti
11, Tuesday Hanuman Jayanti
13, Thursday ~ Monday, Apr 17 Rongali Bihu
14, Friday Baisakhi
25, Tuesday Ganesh Chaturthi
28, Friday Akshay Tritiya
May 2017
10, Wednesday Buddha Purnima
June 2017
03, Saturday Ganga Dussehra
25, Sunday Rath Yatra
July 2017
09, Sunday Guru Purnima
27, Thursday Naag Panchami
August 2017
07, Monday Raksha Bandhan
14, Monday Shri Krishna Janmashtami
September 2017
17, Sunday Vishwakarma Puja
21, Thursday Navaratra Begins
21, Thursday ~ Friday, Sep 29 Sharad Navratri
26, Tuesday ~ Saturday, Sep 30 Durga Puja
30, Saturday Dussehra
October 2017
08, Sunday Karva Chauth
17, Tuesday Dhan Teras
18, Wednesday Kongali Bihu
19, Thursday Diwali
19, Thursday Kali Puja
20, Friday Govardhan Puja
21, Saturday Bhai Duj
26, Thursday Chhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
29, Sunday Chhath Puja Ends (Sandhya Argh)

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