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Holidays in India 2023, A Full List Is Here!

Holidays in India 2023, A Full List Is Here!

By Albee NingUpdated Dec. 7, 2022

India is country with many holidays and festivals. India’s holidays have two main types: gazetted holidays (mandatory holidays) and restricted holidays (up to the employee to decide whether or not to take leave).

The most important public holiday in India is Diwali (November 12, 2023), which is as important as Christmas is for Westerners.

2023 India Public Holidays Calendar

Here are all of the 17 gazetted holidays (mandatory public holidays) in India in 2023.

2023 Date Holiday Name Holidays Remarks
Jan 26 Republic Day Jan 26 To commemorate the birth of the Indian Constitution
Feb 18 Maha Shivaratri Feb 18 a Hindu festival; in honor of the god Shiva
Mar 8 Holi Mar 8 A Hindu festival; to celebrate the victory of good over evil
Apr 4 Mahavir Jayanti Apr 4 A Jainist festival; to celebrate the birth of Mahavira (the founder of Jainism)
Apr 7 Good Friday Apr 7 A Christian holiday; to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary
Apr 22 Eid ul-Fitr Apr 22 An Islamic holiday; marks the end of Ramadan
May 5 Buddha Jayanti May 5 A Buddhist holiday; Buddha's birthday
Jun 29 Eid ul-Adha Jun 29 An Islamic holiday
Jul 29 Muharram Jul 29 Islamic New Year
Aug 15 Independence Day Aug 15 To celebrate India’s national independence in 1947 
Sep 7 Krishna Janmashtami Sep 7 A Hindu festival; to celebrate the birth of Krishna
Sep 27 Milad un-Nabi Sep 27 An Islamic holiday; Muhammad's birthday
Oct 2 Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti Oct 2 Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday
Oct 24 Dussehra Oct 24 A Hindu festival; to celebrates the victory of good over evil
Nov 12 Diwali Nov 10-14 To celebrate the victory of light over darkness
Nov 27 Guru Nanak Jayanti Nov 27 To commemorate Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism
Dec 25 Christmas Dec 25  

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7 Major Indian Public Holidays

Most Indian public holidays are religious holidays. Here are introductions to India’s seven major holidays.

1. Republic Day

Indian people will have a day off for Republic Day to celebrate the establishment of the Republic of India. They hold a military parade on New Delhi’s Rajpath on January 26 each year.

2. Maha Shivaratri

India Holidays-Maha Shivaratri Lord Shiva

This Hindu festival honors the god Shiva, one of the principal deities of Hinduism.

Its dates vary from year to year. It falls on the Hindu calendar’s twelfth month, corresponding to February or March.

It is celebrated by Shiva followers all over the country, with the most spectacular celebrations in Varanasi.

People celebrate by fasting, keeping vigil, and doing pujas (Hindu rituals) at homes and temples.

3. Holi

Holi is one of the most famous traditional holidays in India. Holi’s date usually falls in March (Mar 8, 2023). People have one mandatory day off for Holi, but in some areas the celebration lasts several days. Uttar Pradesh has a 9-day celebration.

Holi symbolizes the end of winter, the arrival of spring, and the triumph of good over evil. People chase and fight and splash each other with colorful powders to express good wishes.

You will feel the whole country being filled with great enthusiasm if you visit during Holi. It could be an unforgettable chance for you to play and laugh with local people.

If you are planning a trip to India and want to experience the Holi, just contact us. We will arrange some of the best activities for you to experience. 

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4. Eid ul-Fitr

Eid ul-Fitr, holiday of breaking the fast, is one of the biggest Islamic holidays. Eid al-Fitr (Apr 22, 2023) is the time of the first sighting of the new moon after Ramadan.

Muslims clean their houses, bathe, change into new clothes, go to mosques to pray, and have family celebrations including giving gifts and visiting the graves of ancestors.

5. Eid ul-Adha

Eid al-Adha Muslims pilgrimage

Eid ul-Adha is another of the most important festivals for Muslim. The main tradition of Eid ul-Adha is slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat with the family, relatives and friends, and also poor people. Thus, it is called ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’.

6. Dussehra

Durga Puja Durga Puja on Dussehra

Every September or October, there will be ten nights in a row filled with the sound of dancing and drumming. It is the celebration of the Hindu festival, Dussehra.

Dussehra originated form the Indian epic Ramayana. The festival celebrates the victory of the Hindu hero Rama in a 10-day battle over the demon Ravana.

Thousands of shows and plays of Rama’s story are performed at outdoor fairs during the festival.

7. Diwali

Diwali holiday Family celebration on Diwali holiday

Diwali is the most important and grandest holiday in India. It usually falls in late October or early November. It celebrates light driving out darkness and good conquering evil.

The celebration lasts for 5 days. People light candles, set off fireworks, and have family gatherings.

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Other Major Indian Observances and Holidays

Here is a list of major restricted holidays and observances in India. Many holidays are to commemorate leaders (Gurus) or deities and some are for the celebration of harvests. The most common way to celebrate is to pray in temples.

>>>See more on Top 37 Festivals of India in 2023

2023 Date Festival Name Remarks
Jan 1 New Year's Day  
Jan 14 Lohri A winter harvest festival, celebrated primarily in northern India
Jan 14 Pongal A popular harvest festival in South India
Jan 14 Makar Sankranti A Hindu harvest festival; flying kites is one of the celebrations
Jan 20 Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti A Sikh festival, birthday of the tenth Guru
Jan 22 Lunar New Year Celebrated by Chinese in India
Jan 26 Vasant Panchami A Hindu festival marking the preparation of the coming of spring
Feb 5 Hazarat Ali's Birthday An Islamic holiday
Feb 15 Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Commemoration of the founder of the Vedic dharma reform movement
Feb 16 Guru Ravidas Jayanti In honor of the guru whose efforts aided in eradicating the caste system
Feb 19 Shivaji Jayanti Birthday of the great Maratha king, Shivaji
Mar 7 Holika Dahan The night before Holi
Mar 7 Dolyatra A festival of colors, like Holi, celebrated in West Bengal
Mar 22 Ugadi Hindu New Year
Mar 22 Gudi Padwa Traditional new year for Marathi and Konkani Hindus
Mar 30 Rama Navami A Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of Rama, a Hindu god
Apr 6 Maundy Thursday Commemorates the Last Supper
Apr 9 Easter Day Commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Apr 14 Vaisakhi  A harvest festival in the Punjab region of northern India
Apr 14 Ambedkar Jayanti To commemorate Ambedkar, ‘father’ of the Constitution of India
Apr 15 Mesadi A festival for the harvest season
Apr 21 Jamat Ul-Vida The last Friday of the month of Ramadan
Jun 20 Rath Yatra A Hindu festival; the festival of chariots
Jul 3 Guru Purnima A festival where many Hindus and Buddhists pay respect to their Guru or spiritual guide
Jul 30 Friendship Day Celebrating friendship
Aug 20 Onam Biggest festival in Kerala; a harvest festival commemorating mythical King Mahabali
Aug 30 Raksha Bandhan To celebrate the love between brothers and sisters
Aug 16 Parsi New Year Zoroastrian New Year
Sep 19 Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrating the birth of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha
Oct 15 – 24 Sharad Navratri Honoring the Hindu mother goddess, Durga
Oct 31 Halloween  
Nov 1 Karaka Chaturthi Celebrated by married Hindu women to pray for the well-being and longevity of their husbands
Nov 14 Govardhan Puja Expressing appreciation and respect towards Mother Nature
Nov 14 Bhai Duj Brothers give gifts to their sisters; similar to Raksha Bandhan
Nov 19 Chhat Puja For showing gratitude and thankfulness for the bounties of life on earth
Nov 24 Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day A Sikh festival
Dec 31 New Year's Eve  
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Travel Tips for the India Holidays

India Holidays fireworks in Delhi during the India Holidays

Indian festivals and holidays are always loud, intense, colorful, chaotic, and exciting. During India’s public holidays, tourist attractions, hotels, and transportation are at their most crowded. 

  • Plan and book your trip at least 2 months in advance to avoid hotels, flights, and tourist attractions being fully booked. You can contact our travel advisors for assistance with your planning.
  • Prepare yourself for massive crowds. Popular attractions are much busier than usual during the public holidays.
  • Cover yourself and dress appropriately to show respect, as most holidays in India have historical or religious significance.
  • Use a professional travel agency and travel advisors to help you plan an India trip during India public holidays to avoid any potential set backs.

See more on How to Plan an India Trip 2023/2024.

FAQs about Indian Holidays

1. Do businesses keep running during Indian public holidays?

During the gazetted holidays, government offices, schools, and banks are shut. On restricted holidays, government offices and most businesses remain open.

Tourist attractions, markets, restaurants, and hotels open as usual.

2. What are the best holidays for experiencing the culture of India?

holi Throw colored dye on each other on holi

Diwali in Jaipur, Holi, Onam in Kerala, and Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai are the four most wonderful traditional Indian festivals for you to feel an Indian holiday vibe. They have grand celebrations with fun and lively atmospheres.

3. What’s the most important holiday in India?

Diwali Illuminated with diyas on Diwali

Diwali is the most important and biggest holiday in India. In 2023, it falls on November 12 and lasts for five days.

The best way to experience Diwali is to celebrate it with a local family in their home. Join in with the festivities, such as dancing and burning sparklers.

If you are interested in it, check out more on our 8-Day Diwali Festival in India Golden Triangle Tour.

Touring India with Us

We can help, whether you would like to visit India to experience traditional Indian festivals or you would prefer to avoid the holiday crowds.

All our tours can be customized. We can create a trip for your vacation according to your group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements. 

Why Travel with Asia Highlights During the Pandemic

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Your 1:1 travel consultant in Asia will take all the uncertainty out of your planning, helping you navigate any travel restrictions. 
  • No-risk booking: 100% refund policy! (up to 14 days before departure)
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