Hinduism is said to be the oldest religion in the world. There are about 1.03 billion followers who follow Hinduism making it the world’s third-largest community. As the above fact indicates, Hinduism should have a variety of festivals, cultures, and rituals in its basket. Some of the festivals celebrated by Hindus in and outside India with great joy and enthusiasm are listed below:
Diwali is the most auspicious festival of Hindus celebrated with great zeal all across India. The festival being known as the festival of lights signifies the victory of good over evil and is believed to be the start of a new year as per Hindu calendar.
Maha Shivaratri means "great night of Lord Shiva." As the name signifies, this puja is held at night. This night is considered the anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati or Gaura.
Holi has a special place in the hearts of people. It occurs in the month of March every year. It signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated as a day of spreading happiness and love.
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival and is celebrated all over India with great joy and devotion. It is a Hindu festival, and Lord Sun is worshipped on this day.
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu with great enthusiasm. This festival is celebrated for four long days and filled with traditions and rituals. It falls in the month of Thai i.e., January-February.
The word Vasant means spring, and Panchami means the 5th day. It falls on the fifth day of the month of Magha under the Hindu calendar. It is the 5th day of the spring season, so it occurs mostly in February, according to the Gregorian calendar.
Lord Rama is said to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ram Navami is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Rama. According to the Hindu calendar, Rama Navami falls on the bright fortnight in the month of Chaitra.
Raksha Bandhan is the annual festival celebrated by Hindus in every corner of the world. This festival is a symbol of love and affection between sisters and brothers. It is celebrated on the first full moon day (Rakhi Purnima) of the lunar month Shravana (the 5th month as per Hindu calendar).
Guru Purnima is the day dedicated to the Gurus or the teachers. On this day, people worship their Gurus — academic and spiritual teachers. They thank their Gurus for giving them the light of knowledge to overcome the darkness of the world. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the months of June and July.
Jagannath Rath Yatra of Puri is a major Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath. Lord Jagannath is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This lively event takes place in June or July, which is held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India.
Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Ganesh Chaturthi marks his birth anniversary. This festival falls on the fourth day of month Bhadra according to the Hindu calendar and occurs in the months of August-September.
Onam is the most important and vibrant festival of Kerela, falls at the beginning of Chingam month of the Malayalam calendar, Kollavarsham. It occurs in the months of August or September following the Gregorian calendar. People celebrate this festival to welcome King Mahabali, an ancient king of Kerela, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
The birth or the appearance anniversary of Sri Radha is celebrated as Radhashtami. According to the Hindu calendar, Radha Jayanti or Radhashtami falls on the 8th day of the 2nd half of the month Bhadra.
Chhath is a major festival for the people in the Indian States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand. It is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival in which devotees show gratitude to almighty for giving the bounties of life on earth and accomplishing their wishes.
The festival dedicated to brothers, Bhai Dooj is majorly celebrated by Hindus. Bhai Dooj falls on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Kartika, as per the Vikram Samvat calendar (Hindu calendar).
The bonfire harvesting celebration of Punjab is known as the festival of Lohri - a symbol of new beginnings. This festival is celebrated after sunset on the first night from Magha Sankranti, which is said to be the last day of Hari Paush.