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Vibrant Festivals of India: A Colourful Celebration of Diversity

Fair & Festival Calendar Across India

Gemma

Gemma

Marketing Exec
Published on

23 Apr 2024

Updated on

09 May 2024

Festival of Colour

India is a land of incredible diversity, where centuries-old traditions intertwine with a kaleidoscope of cultures, languages, and belief systems. This is woven together by the countless festivals that dot the country's calendar, each one a unique expression of the nation's rich heritage.

From the snow-capped peaks of Ladakh to the sun-drenched beaches of Kerala, every region of India has its own set of festivals, each celebrating the change of seasons, honouring deities, or marking auspicious occasions. Whether it's the riotous colours of Holi, the ethereal dances of Khajuraho, or the sacred rituals of the Kumbh Mela, these festivals offer a fascinating glimpse into the heart and soul of India.

Rajasthan Holi Festival
Rajasthan Holi Festival
Lathmar Holi Festival Nandgaon
Lathmar Holi Festival Nandgaon

One such celebration is the Hemis Festival, held in the remote Ladakh region. Here, vibrant masked dances and colourful pageantry mark the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, a revered Buddhist figure. In contrast, the Ziro Music Festival, set against the picturesque Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, showcases the indigenous tribes and artists of Northeast India, alongside global independent music acts.

As autumn arrives, the country is swept up in the fervor of Durga Puja and Dussehra, where the triumph of good over evil is celebrated with elaborate rituals and grand processions. The streets come alive with the beat of drums, the aroma of incense, and the vibrant hues of intricate pandals (temporary structures).

Happy Family Celebrating Diwali
A happy family celebrating Diwali in India.
Celebrating Holi Festival India
Holy Festival India

Winter brings its own set of festivities, from the Pushkar Fair, one of the largest cattle fairs in India, to the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, where the various Naga tribes unite in a celebration of their rich cultural heritage. The International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad and the Modhera Dance Festival in Gujarat offer a unique blend of art, music, and tradition.

As the year draws to a close, the Kumbh Mela, considered the world's largest congregation of pilgrims, takes place in the holy city of Prayagraj (Allahabad). This massive gathering is a truly awe-inspiring sight, as millions of devotees gather to take a dip in the sacred waters of the Ganges, seeking spiritual purification.

Festival of Colour
Festival of Colour, India
Holi Festival 2
Holi Festival, India.

Whether you're a culture enthusiast, a music lover, or simply someone seeking a deeper understanding of India's rich tapestry, these festivals offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the country's vibrant traditions. From the mesmerizing dances to the mouthwatering culinary delights, each festival promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you spellbound and yearning for more.

So, why not plan your next adventure around one of these colourful celebrations? Embrace the spirit of diversity, revel in the infectious energy, and let the magic of India's festivals captivate your senses.

Holi Festival
Holi Festival, India.

Festival Dates


  • Hemis Festival, Ladakh: 16-17 June 2024 (Celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava with colourful masked dances and pageantry)
  • Ziro Music Festival, Arunachal Pradesh: End of September 2024 (Showcases indigenous tribes and artists from Northeast India along with independent global music acts)
  • Durga Puja: 8-12 October 2024 (Celebrates the goddess Durga's victory over evil, with pandals and idol immersion)
  • Dussehra: 12 October 2024 (Commemorates Lord Rama's victory over Ravana, marking the triumph of good over evil)
  • Pushkar Fair: 9-15 November 2024 (One of the largest cattle fairs in India, featuring traders, farmers, musicians and cultural performances)
  • Hornbill Festival, Kohima, Nagaland: 1-10 December 2024 (Unites the various Naga tribes in a celebration of their cultural heritage)
  • International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad: 8-14 January 2025 (Displays vibrant and unique kite designs by master kite makers from around the world)
  • Modhera Dance Festival, Gujarat: 3rd week of January 2025 (Indian classical dance performances held against the backdrop of the Modhera Sun Temple)
  • Kumbh Mela, Prayagraj: January-February 2025 (Auspicious bathing dates: 13 Jan, 14 Jan, 29 Jan, 3 Feb, 4 Feb, 12 Feb, 26 Feb) (The largest congregation of pilgrims, taking a sacred dip in the Ganges)

When to go to India

Find out the best time to visit India with our month by month guide.

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

January

January is a great option for sightseeing in the north, days are clear and warm with minimal fog in the mornings. During this month, southern India provides a warm, sunny escape - properties in Kerala can fill quickly. If all that wasn't enough, visitors can experience some of the best mountain views in the Himalaya's - but you'll need to wrap up warm!

  • Kite Festival in Gujarat
  • Bikanar Camel Festival in Rajasthan
  • Republic Day 26th January
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February

February sees all the fog clearing in Northern states and it is regarded as one of the best months to travel as the whole country is warm and sunny. Visiting Delhi and the Golden Triangle are amazing during February and March, October and November but you will experience crowds at these popular sites.

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March

One of the more popular months to travel, March is great for both weather conditions and cultural experiences, including Holi celebrating the victory of good over evil. If you're looking to go hiking, March is perfect in the Western Ghats. Visiting Delhi and the Golden Triangle is amazing during February and March, October and November but you will experience crowds at these popular sites.

  • Holi Festival - world famous paint throwing celebration.
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April

April sees temperatures sore country-wide, making it one of the driest and best months to go elephant and tiger spotting. As daytime temperatures can reach over 40 degrees we recommend excursions based in the mornings and evenings.

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May

Temperatures and humidity continue to rise in May, reaching 45 degrees, which can make it uncomfortable. But wildlife viewings continue to be at their best as animals search for water sources.

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June

From June, Ladakh is accessible offering incredible scenery and a complete contrast to the rest of India. Days are warm and bright, but you will need to pack layers for added warmth.

We recommend not travelling to Southern India and the Himalayas as humidity is high and thunderstorms are frequent as the country awaits the monsoon season.

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July

Much like June, July offers incredible views across Ladakh whilst elsewhere monsoon season rains are imminent.

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August

August is the perfect time to cruise along the Ganges thanks to the monsoon and its increased water levels.

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September

September marks the end of the monsoon season and weather can still be unsettled across the country. If you're looking for good value travel, there can be some good deals in Rajasthan. Travel to Ladakh comes to a close as the season ends.

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October

October is peak travel season, the rains end and the north of the country is warm. Visiting Delhi and the Golden Triangle is amazing during October and November but you will experience crowds at these popular sites.

  • Mahatma Ghandi's birthday is celebrated on the 2nd October and is a national holiday.
  • Diwali, the ancient Hindu festival of lights dazzles and illuminates the sky.
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November

November is one of the best months to travel anywhere in India. Visiting Delhi and the Golden Triangle is amazing in November but you will experience crowds at these popular sites.

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December

Southern India is sunny and warm in December, making it a popular option for yuletide celebrations. If you want to delve into northern culture, daytime temperatures as beautiful, however mornings and evenings can be cold and sometimes foggy.

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