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Explanatory note
Hindu festival dates

The Hindu calendar is lunisolar but most festival dates are specified using the lunar portion of the calendar. A lunar day is uniquely identified by three calendar elements: māsa (lunar month), pakṣa (lunar fortnight) and tithi (lunar day).

Furthermore, when specifying the masa, one of two traditions are applicable, viz. amānta / pūrṇimānta. Iff a festival falls in the waning phase of the moon, these two traditions identify the same lunar day as falling in two different (but successive) masa.

A lunar year is shorter than a solar year by about eleven days. As a result, most Hindu festivals occur on different days in successive years on the Gregorian calendar.

Across the globe, Hindus celebrate a diverse number of festivals and celebrations, typically marking events from ancient India and often coinciding with seasonal changes.[1] These celebrations take place either on a fixed annual date on the solar calendar, or on a specific day of the lunisolar calendar. There is some regional variation with the observance of the festivals, and numerous festivals that are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent.


Dolu Utsava

Utsava is the Sanskrit word for festivals. The Sanskrit word Utsava comes from the word "ut" meaning "starts" and "sava" which means "Change" or "Decline".[2] Dolu Means seasonal colouring. Both solar and lunisolar calendar operates on basis of Dolu Utsava.

Observance periods (tithi)

See also: Astronomical basis of the Hindu calendar § chandramana

Hindu calendar dates are usually prescribed according to a lunisolar calendar. In Vedic timekeeping, a māsa is a lunar month, a pakṣa is a lunar fortnight and a tithi is a lunar day.

Two definitions of the lunar month prevail: amānta and pūrṇimānta (lunar month ending with new moon and full moon respectively). As a result, the same day may refer to belonging to different but adjoining months. If a festival occurs during śukla paksha, the two traditions assign it to the same month; if a festival occurs during kṛṣṇa paksha the two traditions assign it to different but adjoining months.

Popular Hindu festivals
Festival māsa pakṣa tithi
amānta pūrṇimānta
Gudi Padwa/Ugadi
Rama Navami
Akshaya Tritiya
Guru Purnima
Naga Panchami
Raksha Bandhan
Krishna Janmashtami
Ganesh Chaturthi
Sarvapitru Amavasya



Durga Ashtami

(constituent of Navaratri, Durga Puja)

Maha Navami

(constituent of Navaratri, Durga Puja)


śukla navamī
Vijaya Dashami

(constituent of Durga Puja)

Karva Chauth
Dhan Teras

(constituent of Diwali)

Naraka Chaturdashi

(constituent of Diwali)

Lakshmi Puja

(constituent of Diwali)

Bali Padyami

(constituent of Diwali)

Bhai Dooj

(constituent of Diwali)

Vasant Panchami

Maha Shivaratri
Holika Dahan


List and descriptions of major Hindu festivals

The tithi shown in the following list is as per the amānta tradition.

See also

Hindu festival related concepts



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  14. ^ Rinehart, Robin; Rinehart, Robert (2004). Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-905-8.
  15. ^ Kumar, Ajith (2019-12-14). The Murder of Alexander the Great, Book 1: The Puranas: Book 1: The Puranas. Argead Star llc. ISBN 978-0-9990714-0-3.
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  17. ^ "Indian Festivals". Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  18. ^ a b Kartar Singh Bhalla (2005), Let's Know Festivals of India, Star Publications, ISBN 978-81-7650-165-1, ... 'Karva Chauth' is a ritual of fasting celebrated by married women seeking longevity, ... married women in the northern and western parts of India, especially Delhi, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajashtan, Punjab, vJammu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand ... eat a little food before sunrise and start the fast ... After the moon rises ... finally, break their fast ...[page needed]
  19. ^ S. K. Rait (2005), women in England: their religious and cultural beliefs and social practices, Trentham Books, ISBN 978-1-85856-353-4, ... Karva Chauth, a fast kept to secure the long life of husbands, was popular among women ...
  20. ^ "Makar Sankranti Top 10 Facts You should know about". 2020-02-13. ... Hindu women Friday celebrated Karva Chauth in the city. The minority arranges different functions in the city to mark the day where women collectively sighted the moon and broke their fast ...
  21. ^ Kumar, Anu (2007-10-21). "A Hungry Heart". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ Subhashini Aryan (1993), Crafts of Himachal PradeshLiving traditions of India, Mapin, ISBN 978-0-944142-46-2, ... Karva Chauth, when all married women universally fast a small pot, Karva, is required ...
  23. ^ Anne Mackenzie Pearson (1996), Because it gives me peace of mind: ritual fasts in the religious lives of Hindu women (McGill studies in the history of religions), SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-3038-5, ... Karva Chauth seems to be in western Uttar Pradesh ...