Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world, with more than a billion followers. Hinduism has deep ties to India, and is widely known for its art, history, architecture, and revelrous cultural celebrations. It is considered to be the world’s oldest religion. Many Hindu holy days follow a distinct lunisolar calendar that differs from the Gregorian calendar used in the West, and as such, festivals fall on different Gregorian dates from year to year.
Below is our list of Hindu festivals 2023 which includes Hinduism holy days, Hindu religious holidays calendar and festivals.
Makar Sankranti – January
Marks the first day of the sun’s transit in Makara, known as Capricorn in the West. This Hindu holiday has many traditions and rites including ceremonial bathing in sacred rivers and lakes, mass pilgrimages, and sun worship.
Maha Shivratri – February / March
Maha Shivratri is a solemn Hindu festival that occurs towards the end of winter, before the spring. It is marked with rituals such as fasting and meditation. The holiday occurs on the last night of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna or Magha.
Holi – March
Holi is one of the most important holidays in Hinduism, celebrating the end of winter and the divine, eternal love of Radha Krishna. Holi is a jubilant Hindu holiday of gathering, reunion, mending what is broken, music, dancing and playing. People smear dry colored powder on each other and drench each other with colored water; anyone is fair game while out and about and, by midday, everyone is covered in bright colors, hence its nickname the Festival of Colors. Festivities last one night and the following day, starting on the evening of the full moon in the month of Phalguna, which corresponds to late February-March in the Gregorian calendar.
Rama Navami – March / April
A spring Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Vishnu’s seventh avatar. Celebrations vary throughout the Hindu world, including ritual storytelling, fires, worship, and traditional readings.
Krishna Janmashtami – August / September
A holiday celebrating the birth of the eighth avatar of Vishnu, called Krishna. It is an important Hindu religious holiday, with traditions involving dance-drama performances, devotional singing, vigil and festivals.
Ganesh Chaturthi – August / September
A festival commenting the arrival of Lord Ganesh, one of the most widely known and worshipped deities in the Hindu faith. The festival is celebrated by prayer, hymns, fasting, group feasting, athletic events and martial arts competitions.
Navratri & Durga Puja – September / October
One of the largest festivals in the Hinduism religious holidays calendar occurs during the autumnal season, celebrated differently throughout different Hindu communities and for different reasons. Navratri is a nine-day festival (Navaratri is Sanskrit for “nine nights”) celebrated in the northern and western regions of India. Durga Puja is a ten-day festival celebrated in eastern India and the Bengal region. Some Hindu communities in Nepal and parts of India celebrate another festival around this time, known as Dashain. The exact dates are determined by ancient Hindu calendar traditions, but usually fall in late September or October, after the autumnal equinox.
Diwali – October / November
Diwali (Deepavali, Divali, Dīpāwali, Dipabali, Dīvali) is one of the most important and sacred Hinduism holy days.. It a festival of light and involves many traditions such as fireworks, gift-giving, feasting, and worship. Celebrants often decorate their home and workplace with small lights and oils lamps (diyas). Diwali is a five-day festival, with the third day (the day of the new moon) regarded as holding the most significant ceremonies. It is held during the new moon of Kartika, the month on the Hindu lunisolar calendar that corresponds roughly to mid-October through mid-November in the Gregorian calendar.
OTHER HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES
Below is an extended list of Hinduism holy days. Check out our 2023 Interfaith Calendar for a list of all religious holidays.
Thaipusam – January / February
A Tamil Hindu holy day, celebrated in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Falls on the full moon in the Tamil Hindu month of Thai.
Vasant Panchami – January / February
Also known as Saraswati Puja. Held 40 days before Holi, beginning the preparations for the arrival of spring and is dedicated to the goddess of learning and the arts.
Holika Dahan – February / March
A festival involving bonfires, typically held on the eve of Holi at sunset.
Hindu New Year – March / April
Celebrated on the first day of the first day of the month Chaitra in the Hindu lunisolar calendar. Known as Ugadi in some Indian states.
Vaisakhi – April
New Year’s Day, as observed by Sikhs but also some Hindu communities.
Hanuman Jayanti – March / April
An important religious festival commemorating the birth of Hindu God Hanuman. It is observed on different days throughout India, but is most widely celebrated on the full moon of the Chaitra month.
Akshaya Tritiya – April / May
An annual spring festival celebrated by Hindu and Jain communities.
Chhath – April / May or October / November, depending on region
An ancient Hindu festival that varies throughout cultures. Involves sacred rites, fasting, standing in water and offering prayer.
Puri Rath Yatra – June / July
A religious festival meaning “Chariot Festival”, held annually in Hindu communities in Eastern India. Celebrations include a parade and elaborate ceremonies.
Guru Purnima – June / July Full Moon
A festival honoring gurus, observed by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains. Falls on the full moon in the month of Ashadha. The name translates to Guru Full Moon.
Nag Panchami – July / August
A day of traditional worship of snakes, observed by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains. The exact date is determined by the lunisolar Hindu calendar in the month of Shravana.
Varalakshmi Vrat – July / August
A festival and day of ritual worship for women, honoring the Goddess Lakshmi.
Raksha Bandhan – July / August
A cultural annual tradition involving familial and marital rites.
Onam – August / September
Onam is a religious holiday and harvest festival observed in the Indian state of Kerala and by Hindus of Malayalam ancestry. Festivities begin a week before the holiday. There are four main days, with the third day (Thiru Onam) being the most sacred and important.
Vishwakarma Puja – September
A celebration of the god Vishwakarma, the divine architect, most often observed by craftsmen and industrial workers.
Sharad Purnima – September / October Full Moon
A harvest festival held during the month of Ashvin. Sharad is a season in the Hindu calendar, and Purnima translates to Full Moon.
Karwa Chauth – October / November
A day of fasting for married women, most common in North India. Falls four days after the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartika.
Dhan Teras – October / November New Moon
The beginning of Diwali, held on the eve of the new moon in the month of Kartika.
Bhai Dooj – October / November
A festival known by different names throughout South Asia. Traditions involve ritual gift giving and family rites.
Kartik Poornima – November / December Full Moon
The full moon festival in the month of Kartik.
Dhanu Sankranti – December
A festival celebrating the Sun crossing into Dhanu Rashi, which is known as the sign of Sagittarius in the west. Sankrati refers to the sun’s crossing.
We hope this list of Hindu holy days is useful to you. Inclusive scheduling is a must for businesses and organizations. It allows everyone to recognize holy days regardless of which world religion their employees or members participate in.
For all 2023 religious holidays, see our interactive DEI Calendar for all 200+ religious events.
For more diversity topics, see our Diversity Calendar 2023.