Must-Experience Festivals of India

India is often described as the land of festivals. And rightly so! Numerous and varied, festivals paint a perfect picture of India's diversity, heritage and culture.

Elaborate celebrations, colourful decorations, traditional foods, unique traditions, lively people... all make India come alive during its festivals.

Being a part of an Indian Festival is a unique experience and one of the best ways to get close to its culture and people. Although most festivals have their roots in religion, today they unite everyone in a common celebration, irrespective of religion, region or background. Many festivals, although common between regions, are called by different names and celebrated with different traditions.


One of the most colourful and fun-filled festivals of India, Holi is the festival of spring and is celebrated with great fervour all over northern and western India.
Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire the night before where people gather, sing, dance and celebrate the victory of good over evil. The next day is a free for all carnival of colours where everyone plays, chases and colours each other with dry powder and coloured water. 
Holi is a great time to visit India and live the experience of one of it's most beautiful festivals!


A 10 day festival in honour of the elephant-headed god, this festival is celebrated publicly with a lot of pomp and show in Maharashtra and Western India.
Ganesh Chaturthi a celebration of his birth is the first day and Anant Chaturdashi, the last day of immersion is when the excitement reaches its peak and the city goes crazy.

It is best to tread with caution when going out amidst the crowds. Join us on a tour where you can be a part of the celebrations at an Indian home, eat traditional Ganesh festival foods, meet idol makers and visit a Ganesh mandal to witness public celebrations!


A two-day event at one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh, this festival commemorates the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava. Traditional music, mask dances and tantric worship in the midst of the mountains makes this a special experience!


Onam, the national festival of Kerela, is a 10-day festival which marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. One of the few truly secular festivals of India, it is celebrated across all religions, castes and communities in Kerela with a lot of enthusiasm and zeal.

The festival starts off with a cultural parade in Cochin with decorated elephants, colourful floats and traditional Kerala art forms. Elaborate celebrations take place at the Thrikakkara temple, which is believed to be the ancient capital of King Mahabali.

Onam is a great time to visit Kerela to witness and take part in the various aspects of its beautiful culture. An Onam festival tour is also a fantastic add-on to your holiday amidst the beautiful landscape of God's own country... tranquil backwaters, beautiful beaches, lush green tea plantations, ancient temples and more!


Navratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit and is a major festival in India. It is celebrated in honour of Shakti / Devi, the female aspect of the divine. During the nine days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshipped.
Navratri is a great time to visit India and your holiday can be perfectly combined with a festival tour depending on which part of the countray you are visiting.
Celebrations differ throughout the country but are most colourful around Bengal, Gujarat and parts of North India.

Published by Sturla Stígsson on 11. nóvember 2017