The Most Popular Festival in India: Ranking the Beloved Celebrations

Choose the festival you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 20, 2024 06:04
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter! Today, we're diving into the vibrant and diverse world of Indian festivals. From the mesmerizing colors of Holi to the shimmering lights of Diwali, India's rich cultural tapestry offers a plethora of celebrations that captivate the senses and bring people together. We've curated a list of the most popular festivals in India, and now it's your turn to decide which one reigns supreme! Cast your vote, make your voice heard, and perhaps discover a new festival that you'd love to experience. Don't see your favorite on the list? Don't worry, you can suggest a missing option and rally support for it. Together, let's embark on a vivid journey through India's most beloved festivities and embrace the spirit of unity and joy that they represent. Happy voting!

What Is the Most Popular Festival in India?

  1. 1
    Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is the most popular festival in India. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and is celebrated with lighting diyas, bursting firecrackers, and exchanging sweets and gifts.
    Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most awaited and widely celebrated festivals in India. It is a five-day festival that symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Diwali is celebrated by people of various religious backgrounds, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists.
    • Duration: 5 days
    • Date: Varies every year based on the Hindu lunar calendar, typically falling in October or November
    • Meaning: Victory of light over darkness and good over evil
    • Lamps and Lights: Decorating homes and public spaces with lamps and lights
    • Fireworks: Bursting of fireworks and crackers
  2. 2
    Holi is a colorful festival that celebrates the arrival of spring. People throw colored powders and water at each other, dance to music, and enjoy traditional delicacies.
    Holi is a vibrant and colorful festival celebrated in India, also known as the Festival of Colors. It marks the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. The festival is characterized by people smearing colored powders, known as 'gulal,' on each other's faces, and throwing water-filled balloons and water guns. Traditional music, dance, and delicious food are also an integral part of the celebration.
    • Date: Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Phalgun, usually falling in February or March.
    • Duration: The festival typically lasts for two days.
    • Religious Significance: Holi is associated with several Hindu mythological stories, including the legend of Lord Krishna playing Holi with Radha and other Gopis.
    • Symbolism: The vibrant colors symbolize the arrival of spring and the blossoming of love and happiness.
    • Customs: People visit friends and family, exchange sweets, dance to traditional music, and engage in playful color fights.
  3. 3
    Durga Puja
    Subhrajyoti07 · CC BY-SA 4.0
    A festival that honors the goddess Durga, Durga Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm in West Bengal and other parts of India. It involves elaborate rituals, feasting, and cultural performances.
    Durga Puja is the most popular Hindu festival celebrated in Bangladesh. It is dedicated to the worship of the goddess Durga, who is believed to be the embodiment of feminine power and strength. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and is characterized by elaborate decorations, cultural performances, and religious rituals.
    • Duration: Durga Puja typically lasts for five days, with the main celebrations happening on the final three days.
    • Date: The festival usually takes place in the months of September or October, according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
    • Idols: Elaborate clay idols of goddess Durga, accompanied by her four children, are worshipped during the festival.
    • Pandal: Specially decorated temporary structures called 'pandals' are built to house the idols of Durga and serve as the focal point for community gatherings and worship.
    • Decoration: Elaborate decorations, themed lighting, and artistic designs adorn the pandals, creating a vibrant and festive ambiance.
    Durga Puja in other rankings
  4. 4
    Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival that celebrates the birth of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha. It is observed with prayers, offerings, and the immersion of idols in water bodies.
    Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular and widely celebrated festivals in India. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity and the remover of obstacles. The festival marks the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha and is observed with great enthusiasm and devotion.
    • Significance: Celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha
    • Duration: Varies from 1 day to 10 days
    • Observance: Worship, processions, and immersion of Ganesha idols in water bodies
    • Regional variations: Celebrated with unique local customs and traditions in various parts of India
    • Decoration: Elaborate pandals (temporary structures), colorful decorations, and Ganesha idols
    Ganesh Chaturthi in other rankings
  5. 5
    Navratri is a nine-day festival that honors the goddess Durga and her various forms. It is celebrated with fasting, dancing, and offering prayers to the deity.
    Navratri, also known as Nava Durga Puja, is a nine-night Hindu festival celebrated in various parts of India. The word 'Navratri' literally means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit. It is dedicated to the worship of the deity Goddess Durga, who is believed to have nine different forms, representing different aspects of femininity, power, and divinity. The festival is filled with vibrant colors, music, dance, fasting, and religious ceremonies.
    • Golu Dolls: In South India, people set up 'Golu' displays, which consist of arranging dolls and figurines depicting various deities and mythological characters.
    • Duration: Navratri is celebrated for nine consecutive nights and ten days.
    • Date: Navratri usually falls in the months of September or October, according to the Hindu calendar.
    • Significance: Navratri is considered a time for self-reflection, spiritual purification, and seeking blessings from Goddess Durga.
    • Worship: During Navratri, devotees perform religious rituals, offer prayers, and engage in fasting. Traditional dance forms like Garba and Dandiya Raas are also performed.
  6. 6
    Eid al-Fitr
    Government of Pakistan · Public domain
    Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is celebrated by Muslims all over India. It involves feasting, visiting relatives, and exchanging gifts.
    Eid al-Fitr is one of the most popular festivals in India and is celebrated by the Muslim community. It marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The festival is a time of joy, gratitude, and feasting, as Muslims break their month-long fast and come together to celebrate the spiritual and physical achievements of Ramadan.
    • Meaning: Eid al-Fitr translates to 'Festival of Breaking the Fast'.
    • Date: The festival is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
    • Feasting: Eid al-Fitr is associated with a grand feast called 'Eid ki Sewaiyan', where delicious sweet vermicelli is prepared and shared with family, friends, and the needy.
    • Prayer: Muslims offer a special congregational prayer called 'Salat al-Eid' at mosques or designated prayer grounds.
    • Charity: Giving to the less fortunate is an important aspect of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims are encouraged to offer 'Zakat al-Fitr', a form of charity.
    Eid al-Fitr in other rankings
  7. 7
    Christmas is a popular festival in India, especially among the Christian community. It involves decorating homes, exchanging gifts, and attending midnight mass.
    Christmas is a widely celebrated festival in Italy, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a significant cultural and religious event observed by both Christians and non-Christians across the country. The holiday is marked by various traditions, customs, and festivities that bring families and communities together to share joy and goodwill.
    • Date: December 25th
    • Religious Significance: Birth of Jesus Christ
    • Decorations: Christmas tree, nativity scene, lights, ornaments
    • Traditional Food: Panettone, Pandoro, roasted meats, pasta, seafood, torrone
    • Gift Exchange: Exchanging gifts on December 25th or Epiphany (January 6th)
  8. 8
    Onam is a harvest festival celebrated in Kerala with great fervor. It involves cultural performances, feasting, and the decoration of homes with flower carpets.
    Onam is a traditional harvest festival celebrated in the state of Kerala, India. It is one of the most popular and auspicious festivals in the region, marked with vibrant festivities and cultural performances. Onam is believed to commemorate the homecoming of King Mahabali, a mythical ruler who brought prosperity and happiness to the land.
    • Duration: Onam is typically celebrated over a period of ten days, starting with the first day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September).
    • Rituals: People clean their houses, decorate them with floral patterns (Pookalam), and conduct various cultural activities, including music, dance, boat races (Vallamkali), and traditional games (Onakalikal).
    • Feasting: A grand feast, known as Onasadya, is an integral part of the festival. It is served on banana leaves and consists of a variety of vegetarian dishes, typically comprising more than 20 different items.
    • Iconic Dance Form: The traditional dance form known as Thiruvathirakali is performed by women during Onam, where they form concentric circles and dance to the rhythmic beats of traditional songs.
    • Snake Boat Races: Vallamkali, the snake boat race, is one of the main highlights of Onam. Colorfully decorated longboats, manned by rowers, compete against each other in a thrilling race.
  9. 9
    Baisakhi is a Sikh festival that celebrates the harvest season and the formation of the Khalsa panth. It is observed with prayers, processions, and the preparation of special dishes.
    Baisakhi is an important harvest festival celebrated in India, primarily in the state of Punjab. It marks the start of the new harvest season and is considered one of the most significant festivals in the region. Baisakhi holds religious, social, and agricultural importance for the people of Punjab.
    • Date: Baisakhi is celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April every year.
    • Religious Significance: Baisakhi commemorates the formation of the Khalsa Panth (Sikh brotherhood) in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh.
    • Harvest Festival: It marks the harvesting of the Rabi crop and the onset of the new agricultural season.
    • Traditional Attire: People dress in colorful Punjabi attire, with women wearing vibrant salwar-kameez and men donning traditional kurta-pajama or dhoti-kurta.
    • Religious Processions: Sikhs participate in large Nagar Kirtan processions, carrying the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book) on decorated floats.
  10. 10
    Janmashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. It is observed with fasting, prayers, and the decoration of temples and homes with flowers and lights.
    Janmashtami is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. This festival holds significant cultural and religious significance among Hindus across the country. The festivities take place over two days, with the main celebrations occurring at midnight, believed to be the time of Lord Krishna's birth.
    • Date: Janmashtami typically falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada of the Hindu lunar calendar, which usually falls between August and September in the Gregorian calendar.
    • Fasting: Devotees observe a strict fast on Janmashtami, which involves abstaining from grains and consuming only vegetarian food and dairy products.
    • Prayer and Chanting: Temples are beautifully decorated, and devotees gather to offer their prayers and sing bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of Lord Krishna.
    • Rasleela: One of the highlights of Janmashtami is the enactment of the 'Rasleela,' which is a reenactment of Lord Krishna's playful interactions with the gopis (cowherd girls) in Vrindavan.
    • Dahi Handi: A popular custom during Janmashtami is the 'Dahi Handi' ceremony, where a clay pot filled with curd is hung high above the ground, and participants form human pyramids to reach and break the pot.

Missing your favorite festival?


Ranking factors for popular festival

  1. Number of participants
    This refers to the number of people who actively participate in the festival and attend its celebrations, both locals and tourists.
  2. Geographic reach
    The extent to which the festival is celebrated across the regions of India. Some festivals are celebrated nationally, while others may be more region-specific.
  3. Cultural significance
    The importance and value of the festival in the beliefs, traditions, and history of the people of India. This can include the impact on the nation's identity and the role it plays in connecting people to their roots.
  4. Economic impact
    The contribution of the festival to the local and national economy, through factors like tourism, sales of related goods and services, and employment opportunities created by the event.
  5. Duration
    The length of time the festival is celebrated, as longer celebrations typically involve more participants and activities, thereby affecting its popularity.
  6. Media coverage and online presence
    The amount of media attention given to the festival in terms of news articles, television programs, and social media engagement can also indicate its popularity.
  7. Variety of activities and events
    Festivals that offer multiple and diverse activities, such as music, dance, food, and art, can attract a larger number of people with diverse interests, making it more popular.
  8. Tourist appeal
    The extent to which the festival attracts tourists and travelers from other parts of the country and the world, either due to its unique offerings or its international recognition.
  9. Level of organization and infrastructure
    Well-organized and smoothly-run festivals with adequate facilities and infrastructure can attract more participants and contribute to its overall popularity.
  10. Tradition and continuity
    The longevity and historical background of the festival, and the extent to which it has evolved and adapted over the years, can play a role in its overall popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular festival in India. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Festival is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 182 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Festival once every 24 hours. The rank of each Festival is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular festival in india

India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, and this is reflected in the numerous festivals that are celebrated throughout the year. From Holi, the festival of colors, to Diwali, the festival of lights, there is no shortage of celebrations in India. However, when it comes to determining the most popular festival in India, it is a tough call. One festival that stands out is the grand celebration of Navratri and Durga Puja, which is observed by Hindus across the country. It is a nine-day festival that honors the goddess Durga and celebrates the victory of good over evil. The festival is marked by colorful decorations, lively music, and enthusiastic dancing. Another popular festival that draws millions of visitors from across the world is the Kumbh Mela. Held every 12 years, this festival is the world's largest gathering of people, and it is a celebration of faith, spirituality, and culture. Pilgrims come to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges River, and it is believed that doing so will cleanse them of their sins. Other popular festivals in India include Eid al-Fitr, Christmas, and Guru Nanak Jayanti. Regardless of which festival you choose to celebrate, one thing is certain – you will be immersed in a vibrant and colorful culture that is unlike any other in the world.

Share this article