36 Popular Winter Festivals in India that You Must Celebrate in 2023

winter festivals in india

Just listen to one cliched line and then we will start our fun journey of attending the winter festivals in India, virtually.

So, that overused line is, “India is the land of festivals.” When you get to the end of this list of the festivals celebrated in the winter season in India, you will get the answer to why.

Let’s get it straight, India is scenic like every part of the world, but what adds extra beauty to this subcontinent is its festivals.

And if you are talking about the winter season festivals in India, then you are discussing the best of the best.

To make it great for you, we have come up with a huge list of winter festivals in India.

From the colors of Holi to the lights of Diwali, everything is covered here.

Contents

List of Winter Festivals in India

  1. Pongal
  2. Lohri
  3. Holi
  4. Navaratri
  5. Diwali
  6. Makar Sankranti
  7. Christmas
  8. Ellora Festival
  9. Chhath Puja
  10. Pushkar Camel Fair
  11. Jaisalmer Desert Festival
  12. Nagaur Festival
  13. Bikaner Camel Festival
  14. Republic Day
  15. Rajasthan International Folk Festival
  16. Elephant Festival
  17. Sunburn Festival
  18. Mount Abu Winter Festival
  19. Ganga Mahotsav
  20. Manali Winter Carnival
  21. Hornbill Festival
  22. Ziro Festival
  23. Magh Bihu
  24. Konark Dance Festival
  25. The Goa Carnival
  26. Tarpa Festival
  27. Kutch Rann Mahotsav
  28. Magnetic Fields Festival
  29. Baisakhi
  30. Tamladu Festival
  31. Matho Nagrang Festival
  32. Basant Panchami
  33. Onam
  34. Nuakhai
  35. Festa De Diu
  36. International Sand Art Festival

1. Pongal

Where in India: Tamil Nadu | When: 14 Jan – 17 Jan 2023

pongal
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of “Thai” and that’s why it is also known as Thai Pongal.

2. Lohri

Where in India: Punjab | When: 13 Jan 2023

lohri
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The harvest festival of Punjab is Lohri, which is also known as “Gurmukhi” and “Sanmukhi.”

People gather around the bonfire and celebrate Lohri by singing, dancing, and enjoying the great food. This winter festival in India comes in January and people are eagerly waiting for this festival to start the year with the amazing Lohri Festival.

Take Agra Food Tour with our Local guide.

3. Holi

Where in India: All over | When: 8 March 2023

holi
Photo Credit: Pexels

The Festival of Holi signifies the triumph of good over bad and at least for a day people forget their true color, as everybody seems colorful. The biggest Color Festival of India, which comes in winter, that people wait for year to enjoy and put color to their love ones.

Where in India: All over | When: 26 Sep – 5 Oct 2022

navaratri goddess durga
Photo Credit: Pexels

“Nava” means nine and “Ratri” means night. Navaratri is a festival that continues for nine nights, where people play dandiya to pay tribute to the omnipotent goddess Durga. People during the nine days worship gods and pray for the good of their family and the world, also watch ancient Indian Sanskrit epics.

5. Diwali

Where in India: All over | When: 22 Oct – 26 Oct 2022

diwali festival
Photo Credit: Pexels

You will find Diwali getting celebrated only after 15-20 days of Navaratri.

The festival of lights, Diwali is the way to commemorate the coming back of Lord Rama from 14 years of exile to Ayodhya. Every Diwali, it’s an amazing moment to watch the lightning show in Ayodhya, and this winter festival in India comes in the last of year.

Guided Full day Jaipur tour with Trocals.

6. Makar Sankranti

Where in India: All over | When: 14 Jan 2023

makar sankranti
Photo Credit: Pexels

If Diwali is the festival of lights, Makar Sankranti is the festival of kites.

You will find it hard to guess the color of the sky on the 14th of January in India as Makar Sankranti is one of the winter season festivals in India which makes the environment colorful.

7. Christmas

Where in India: All over | When: 25 Dec 2022

christmas
Photo Credit: Pexels

Christmas is celebrated especially in South India.

On this day, Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus.It’s a wonderful time to explore the streets in India, as people come together to celebrate.

8. Ellora Festival

ellora festival

Where in India: Aurangabad, Maharashtra | When: 13 Jan 2023 (estimated)

During this festival, you get to enjoy classical dances and folk music.

Some of these events take place near the Ajanta caves and some near the Ellora caves.

Read: Chandni Chowk Food Walk

9. Chhath Puja

Where in India: In many states | When: 30 Oct 2022

chhath puja
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

People, especially ladies, offer prayers to the sun on this day as it is the sun that gives life to every cell on the planet Earth.

Chhath Puja is majorly celebrated in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and some of the regions of Madhya Pradesh.

10. Pushkar Camel Fair

Where in India: Pushkar, Rajasthan | When: 1 Nov – 9 Nov 2022

puskhar camel fair
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Camel” is there in the name, but the Pushkar Camel Fair is also the largest horse and cattle fair.

Various races and other animal sports take place during the fair and people wash off their sins by taking a dip in Pushkar Lake.

Read: Best Things to Do in Delhi

11. Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Where in India: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan | When: 14 Feb – 16 Feb 2023

jaisalmer desert festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jaisalmer Desert Festival was started as a way to attract foreigners and other tourists.

When you attend this fest, you get to know the royalty of Rajasthan as you come across the culture, diversification, and not-to-be-missed Rajasthani cuisine.

12. Nagaur Festival

Where in India: Nagaur, Rajasthan | When: 27 Jan – 30 Jan 2023

nagaur festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ramdeoji Fair is another name for the Nagaur festival which is the second largest cattle festival in India after the very famous Pushkar Camel Fair.

Other than cattle trading, you will get to see the folk dances and music of Rajasthan.

Read: Best Things to Do in Jaipur

13. Bikaner Camel Festival

Where in India: Bikaner, Rajasthan | When: 11 Jan – 12 Jan 2023

bikaner camel festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Rajasthan Tourism organizes the Bikaner Camel Festival where camel-owners come with their adorned camels and take part in the various games.

You will easily get wooed by the beauty of the surrounding during the festival. You can book your trip journey of Rajasthan with us for wonderful experience.

14. Republic Day

Where in India: All over | When: 26 Jan 2023

republic day
Photo Credit: Pexels

Republic Day is a national festival. On this day in 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect.

It is an honor for every Indian to witness the grand Republic Day Parade on Rajpath in Delhi.

Read: Heritage Walk Jaipur

15. Rajasthan International Folk Festival

Where in India: Jodhpur, Rajasthan | When: 6 Oct – 10 Oct 2022

rajasthan international folk festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) is a music and art festival dedicated to the promotion of traditional dance and art restored at Meharangarh fort.

16. Elephant Festival

Where in India: Jaipur, Rajasthan | When: 8 Mar 2023

elephant festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Elephant festival is THE festival of Elephants. If elephants could speak, they would say, “I’m loving it.”

On this day, you see elephants beautifully adorned with trinkets and designed clothing. And the most decorated one gets awarded.

You will be glad to see the happiness of elephants.

Take Jaipur Jhalana Leopard Safari for adventurous experience.

17. Sunburn Festival

Where in India: Goa | When: 28 Dec – 30 Dec 2022

sunburn festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If you are a fan of music or dance, then you should know about Sunburn Festival, the biggest electronic music dance winter festival in Asia.

Enjoy the artistry of musicians and dancers and burn all your extra calories by attending the sun-like-warmth-giving Sunburn festival.

18. Mount Abu Winter Festival

Where in India: Mount Abu, Rajasthan | When: 29 Dec – 31 Dec 2022

mount abu winter festival
Photo Credit: rgyan.com

If you are fond of unique things then how’s the idea of attending the winter festival at the only hill station in Rajasthan?

Get to know the Rajasthani culture deeply by celebrating the festival at the height of 1,722 meters above sea level.

19. Ganga Mahotsav

Where in India: Varanasi, U.P. | When: 8 Nov 2022

ganga mahotsav
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ganga Mahotsav is dedicated to Goddess Ganga as she provides life to the whole nation by offering its water.

And every year shortly after Diwali, you witness the ghats of Varanasi occupied by thousands, if not millions, of devotees paying homage to the pious river Ganga.

Read: Indian Nation Food: Exploring the Culinary Diversity of India

20. Manali Winter Carnival

Where in India: Manali, Himachal Pradesh | When: 2 Jan – 6 Jan 2023

Manali Winter Carnival started in 1977 and it’s been a success to date.

It was a move to introduce Himachali culture to the tourists and the ones who are unaware of the beauty of Himachal.

You can’t count the ways you get entertained here. Participate in winter sports like skating and skiing, taste the mouth-watering Himachali cuisine, and do whatever you feel like,

21. Hornbill Festival

Where in India: Nagaland | When: 1 Dec – 10 Dec 2022

hornbill festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hornbill Festival is organized every year in the first 10 days of December by the Department of Cultural Tourism of India.

Nagaland has always been a spot to witness the cultural and traditional activities and the same you get to experience in this beautiful and full-of-richness festival.

22. Ziro Festival

Where in India: Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh | When: 29 Sep – 2 Oct 2022

ziro festival
Photo Credit: Instagram/zirofestival

The full name of the festival is ” Ziro Festival of Music.”

Now, you know what you are going to enjoy in the luscious Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh.

Witnessing the melody of the musical environment with the backdrop of lush valleys is a one-of-its-kind experience.

Read: Things to See in Agra Beyond the Taj Mahal

23. Magh Bihu

Where in India: Assam | When: 15 Jan 2023

magh bihu
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Magh Bihu, which is also known as ‘Bhogali Bihu’ is the harvest festival of the Indian state of Assam.

If you take a close look at this list of winter festivals in India, you will find many of the harvest festivals lie around the 14th of January and that’s why Magh Bihu is Assam’s celebration of Makar Sankranti.

24. Konark Dance Festival

Where in India: Konark, Odisha | When: 19 Feb – 23 Feb 2023

konark dance festival
Photo Credit: Instagram/odishatourguide

The biggest dance festival in India is Konark Dance Festival which organizes every year for five days.

If you want to experience enlightenment at dawn and enchantment at dusk, then you must attend this dance festival.

25. The Goa Carnival

Where in India: Goa | When: 18 Feb – 21 Feb 2023

goa carnival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Started by the Portuguese in the 18th century, Goa Carnival is still as entertaining as it was 300 years ago.

Goa Carnival holds the title of the biggest carnival festival in India.

You can guess the craze of this festival by the fact that it is the most popular festival in Goa and that’s why it is also known as the ‘festival of Goa.’

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26. Tarpa Festival

Where in India: Dadra and Nagar Haveli | When: December 2022

tarpa festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tarpa is the form of dance that the Kokna, Varli, and Koli tribes perform. And from that Tarpa dance, the ‘Tarpa festival’ gets its name.

Every year this festival is celebrated in Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the month of December.

27. Kutch Rann Mahotsav

Where in India: Kutch, Gujarat | When: 26 Oct 2022 – 20 Feb 2023

kutch rann mahotsav
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Organized by Gujarat Tourism, Kutch Rann Mahotsav takes place in one of the largest salt deserts in the world, Rann of Kutch.

The dance, music, cultural exhibitions, and dandiya performances are what make Kutch Rann Mahotsav one of the best winter festivals in India.

28. Magnetic Fields Festival

Where in India: Shekhawati, Rajasthan | When: 9 Dec – 11 Dec 2022

magnetic fields festival
Photo Credit: Instagram/magneticfieldsfestival

Music is everywhere, at Magnetic fields festival too but it’s a bit melodious.

This music festival is arranged in a 17th-century-palace, Alsisar Mahal in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan.

29. Baisakhi

Where in India: Punjab | When: 14 April 2023

baisakhi
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Baisakhi, which is also pronounced as Vaisakhi, is the harvest festival of Punjab.

But, Baisakhi is not just limited to the celebration of the harvest. On the same day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa.

Take Delhi Shopping Tour to explore Delhi vibrant market.

30. Tamladu Festival

Where in India: Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh | When: 15 Feb 2023

tamladu festival
Photo Credit: Instagram/nyatodukam

Tamladu festival is celebrated by the Digaru Mishmis tribe where they offer prayers to mother nature.

Since their livelihood totally depends on agriculture and harvest, it is nature who is god for them.

31. Matho Nagrang Festival

Where in India: Ladakh | When: 15th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan calendar

matho nagrang festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Matho Nagrang Festival organizes in the Matho monastery of Ladakh.

It is quite an auspicious festival for the locals and the monks as the oracles come from their meditation at an isolated place and provide insights into the future happenings.

After the prophecy, people enjoy the mask dance.

32. Basant Panchami

Where in India: All over | When: 26 Jan 2023

basant panchami
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Basant Panchami also pronounced as Vasant Panchami, is celebrated at the beginning of the spring season.

The festival is also known as Saraswati Puja as the festival is dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning and music.

33. Onam

Where in India: Kerala | When: 20 Aug – 31 Aug 2023

katthakali performer onam
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Kerala celebrates its annual cultural and official festival, Onam for a period of 10 days.

During these ten days, people celebrate Onam like everything; from adventurous sports to ritual gatherings to not-to-be-missed Onam Sadhya, you witness every bit of Keralite culture during this period.

34. Nuakhai

Where in India: Odisha | When: 20 Sep 2023

nuakhai
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Nuakhai is the harvest festival of Odisha which generally falls after a day of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Also known as Navakhai, Nuakhai is mainly celebrated in Western Odisha where locals welcome the new rice of the season.

Read: Discover the Jaipur Famous Attractions

35. Festa De Diu

Where in India: Diu | When: December to February

festa de diu
Photo Credit: Instagram/siddharthgargphotography

Festa De Diu is the longest beach festival in Asia and takes place at various beaches.

It runs from December to February and you can witness dance performances, other artistic works like stand-up comedy, and much more.

36. International Sand Art Festival

Where in India: Chandrabhaga Beach, Odisha | When: December

international sand art festival
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

International Sand Art Festival is one of the most offbeat winter festivals in India which takes place in the month of December.

Sand and sculpture artists from all over the world participate in the competition and the winner gets a lakh rupee.

Experience one of the most unique winter festivals in India at Chandrabhaga Beach in Odisha.

 

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