If there is one thing that can be said of India, it is that it is a highly and devoutly religious country. If there were a day for every Hindu deity, the 365 days of the year would be insufficiently inadequate, as you will find out below.
The Arrival of the Winter Solstice – This celebration is similar to the American Thanksgiving, and in India, this means the end of harvest and festivities like dancing, singing and reuniting with families.
Monday to Thursday, 14 January to 17 January 2013
Republic Day – Observed nationally, the Republic Day marks the transition of India from a British colony to a sovereign entity.
Saturday, 26 January 2013
Milad un Nabi
The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad – This day is celebrated among the Muslim population as the natal day of the prophet, and is commemorated by reading the Qur’an and remembering his teachings.
Sunday, 10 March 2013
The Farsi New Year – Among the Parsee (or Farsi), New Year in the India calendar 2013 coincides with the arrival of spring, and is celebrated with religious fervor in Indian states with sizable Zoroastrian population.
Thursday, 21 March 2013
The Arrival of Spring in Northern India – Holi has become a largely secular celebration despite its religious roots. Nonetheless, on this day, Northern India is literally awash with colors as pranksters douse each other with colored water and paint each other’s faces.
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
The Great Night of the Lord Shiva is a Hindu celebration all over India (as opposed to only regional celebrations like Ugadi and Gudi Padwa) that retells how the Hindu deity married his beloved Parvati and more important, how he saved the world from destruction.
Friday, 29 March 2013
The Arrival of Spring in the Maharashtra and Deccan Region respectively – On this day, Brahma began the creation after the Great Flood.
11 April 2013
Spring Equinox – This religious holiday in the India Calendar 2013 is celebrated all over the country, albeit it is not a public holiday. This day, and the following 8 days (hence, ‘nav’ as in nine and ‘ratri’ as in night) celebrate the manifestation of the Hindu Mother Goddess Durga.
Thursday to Thursday, 11 April to 19 April 2013
The Birthday of Mahavira – Mahavira is the foremost prophet and enlightened teacher of Jainism, an Indian religious minority who believes in the principle of non-injury towards all religious beings. This being a religious festival, Mahavir Jayanti is only celebrated among the Jains and is not a national holiday.
Saturday, 25 May 2013
Buddha’s Birthday – Buddhism is also a major religious force in the India subcontinent, and the natal days of their major deities, like Buddha, are likewise celebrated, not unlike Christmas among Christians.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
Independence Day – On this day, India finally became independent from British rule in 1950.
Thursday, 15 August 2013
The End of Ramadan – For the Muslim population, the end of fasting and abstinence in the India calendar 2013, is an occasion to celebrate and to start the year with a ‘clean slate’ after a sacred purification ritual.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
The Birth of the Lord Krishna – There are close to a billion (900 million as of last count) Hindu devotees in India, and Lord Krishna being their major deity, his birthday is a national and public celebration.
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
The Vernal Equinox – This time of the year is the arrival of fall, and devout Hindus celebrate it with the same zest as the other Navratri holiday.
Saturday to Sunday, 5 October to 13 October 2013
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday – The proponent of ‘satyagraha’ (truth force) led his countryman to independence from their British masters. Mahatma Gandhi’s example has since set the stage for passive resistance.
Monday, 14 October 2013
Diwali – This day marks the defeat of the demon Naraka by the Hindu deity Krishna and the return of Lord Rama to Ayodha after vanquishing Ravana, another demon king.
Sunday, 3 November 2013
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Guru Nanak Jayanti
Guru Nanak’s Birthday – For the Sikh, the natal day of their foremost guru and founder of their faith is worthy of celebration in the same way as it is with other religious denominations.
Sunday, 17 November 2013
India also celebrates Christmas, where people share presents with their families and friends, feast and enjoy the moment, honoring the birth of Christ.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
Boxing Day – Although tinged with religious roots, this day has evolved to become a secular day that is a bank holiday. Boxing Day came from the fact that many people ‘box’ their presents after Christmas. Even though India has Christian minority population, it observes this British tradition as it was once part of that empire.
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Have a Happy India Holiday in 2013.!