Awareness of India’s different holidays is quite important; this knowledge permits a traveler to plan a trip appropriately. Some travelers may wish to participate in festivals and activities; others will prefer to avoid the bustling crowds and activity altogether. India has a trio of official national holidays that the entire country observes. It also has, among the holidays of its many religions, some religious holidays that are observed nationally. Alcohol is not sold on these days.

January 26: Republic Day

In 1950 on this day, the Constitution of India was put into place, replacing its predecessor, the Government of India Act. On this day, the largest celebration is hosted in New Delhi, the capital city, at the Rajpath before India’s president.

August 15: Independence Day

Again, the main celebration is held in New Delhi for this day of commemoration for India’s independence in 1947 from Britain. The Prime Minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort. The flag’s colors can be seen in apparel and flags can be seen raised all about the country. There are many events and parades to celebrate India’s Independence Day.

October 2: Gandhi Jayanti

The “Father of the Nation” of India, Mahatma Gandhi, has his birthday celebrated on this day. It is internationally observed as a day of non-violence. Prayer services and tributes are held throughout India, most notably at the memorial for Gandhi, Rajghat, which is found in New Delhi.

Religious Holidays

The Hindu celebration of cobra worship, Nag Panchami, is also a day when married women go back to visit their family home from before being married. This is to celebrate families’ well-being. It also is meant to work to bring together siblings. Another Hindu festival is Dussehra, which is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. Diwali is among the most iconic Hindu festivals; it is also called the Festival of Lights. For the Christians in India, Christmas Day is celebrated. Some Islamic celebrations are the Day of Ashura, which mourns Muharram, Muhammad’s grandson; Mawlid, Muhammad’s birthday; Eid ul-Fitr, the marking of the end of the fast of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, which honors the Old Testament figure Abraham. These religious holidays, with their array of religions, are nationally celebrated.