Holidays in India have always been guided by the history of the land, the regional and religious beliefs, and the fact that India is a land of a wide range of diversities. As such, the country observes a few holidays nation-wide while the other observances are honored regionally.

The three National holidays that occur according to the Gregorian calendar are Republic day on January 26, Independence Day on August 15 and Gandhi Jayanti on October 2. Other holidays vary each year as the dates follow traditional Indian calendar system. This applies to most religious observances as they are calculated based on lunar or luni-solar calendar system mostly.

In India, every holiday is not celebrated all over the country. There are many regional observances as well. This calls for the necessity for scheduling restricted holidays in accordance to regional requirements.

In India Public Holidays 2015 are decided by the declarations made by the Central Government of India. 2015 Bank Holidays in India follow the mandates laid down by the Reserve Bank of India. Apart from the compulsory holidays, every employee can have two extra holidays from the list of Restricted Holidays in India in 2015.

Here’s a detailed list of Holidays in India in 2015 –

Public & Bank Holidays
January 3rd Milad-Un-Nabi or Id-E-Milad This day commemorates the birth anniversary of The Prophet Mohammed and signifies a holy day for the Muslims.
January 26th Republic Day This day marks the adoption of the Indian Constitution and is celebrated with pomp and show all across the country.
March 6th Holi Known as the Festival of Colors, Holi is actually the Indian Spring Festival that is celebrated with joyous merriment.
March 28th Rama Navami This is the Hindu celebration of the birth anniversary of the mythological character Ram, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
April 2nd Mahavir Jayanti This day commemorates the birth anniversary of Mahavir, the last of the Jain Tirthankaras and is an auspicious day for the Jains.
April 3rd Good Friday According to Christian belief, this day marks the crucifixion of Jesus. Also known as Easter Friday or Black Friday, this is the Friday that comes just before the Easter Sunday.
May 4th Budda Purnima It is believed that Lord Gautama Buddha was born on this day. It is celebrated amidst prayers as Buddhists from all across the world visit Bodh Gaya as pilgrimage.
July 18th Idu’l Fitr This is a Muslim observance that is marked by merrymaking, feasting, new clothes, meeting and greeting people. On a serious note, special prayers are held and charitable donations are made.
August 15th Independence Day Every Indian honors this day as India became independent on this day in 1947 from the British Rule. It is marked by honoring and hoisting the Indian Tricolor flag and by parades and cultural events across the country.
September 5th Janmashtami Hindus believe that on this day Shri Krishna, who is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was born.
September 24th Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) On this day, Muslims honor Prophet Ibrahim who sacrificed his own son as obedience to God’s will.
October 2nd Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday This National Holiday celebrates the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is honored by the country as the Father of the Nation.
October 22nd Dussehra Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana symbolizing that virtue will always win over vice.
October 24th Muharram This marks the first month of the year according to the Islamic calendar and is held with great reverence by the Muslims.
November 10th Diwali (Deepavali) This festival of lights is a universal celebration amongst Hindus. It is celebrated with much zeal as prayers are followed by feasting, meeting and greeting friends and relatives, exchanging gifts and bursting firecrackers. According to Jains, Mahavira attained nirvana on this day.
November 25th Guru Nanak’s Birthday This day marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak who was the founder of Sikhism and also the first Guru of the Sikhs.
December 25th Chirstmas Day Christmas is celebrated almost all across the globe and has attained a socio-cultural perspective. In essence it marks the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ.

Apart from the public and bank holidays in India, there are many restricted holidays to honor the customs and traditions of this diverse land. These are mostly State and region specific observances. The Restricted Holidays in India for 2015 are listed below –

Restricted Holidays
January 1st New Year’s Day The first day of the Gregorian calendar celebrated with fervor to give the New Year a warm and cheerful welcome.
January 5th Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday This day marks the birth anniversary of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh.
January 14th Makar Sankranti According to Indian traditions, Makar Sankranti marks the period when harvest festival is observed with fanfare in many parts of the country.
January 14th Pongal This is a Tamil celebration where people acknowledge the blessings of the Sun God for gifting them a good harvest.
January 23rd Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti This day commemorates the birth anniversary of the Indian Freedom Fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
January 24th Basanta Panchami / Sri Panchami According to the lunar calendar, Shukla Panchami of the Indian month of Magha is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the deity for wisdom and knowledge.
February 3rd Guru Ravidas’ Birthday The day commemorates the birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru Ravidas.
February 14th Swami Dayananda Saraswati Jayanti This date marks the birth anniversary of the religious scholar Dayananda Saraswati who was the founder of Arya Samaj. He propagated Vedic messages and taught to overcome ritualistic prayers and idol worship.
February 17th Maha Shivratri This is a Hindu festival in which Lord Shiva is worshipped, and is observed by Hindus all across the country.
February 19th Shivaji Jayanthi This date marks the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha nation. This is celebrated mostly in Maharashtra.
March 5th Holika Dahan Symbolized by burning bonfires and as a victory of good over evil, Holika Dahan marks the death of demon princess Holika, by Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
March 21st Chaitra Sukladi / Gudi Padava / Ugadi / Cheti Chand A Hindu auspicious day of Indian the month of Chaitra is celebrated as Chaitra Sukladi. The Sindhis celebrate their New Year on Cheti Chand. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka is marks their traditional New Year which is called Ugadi. In Maharashtra, this day commemorates their traditional New Year that is known as Gudi Padava. According to Indian mythology, it is believed that Lord Brahma created the Universe on this day.
April 5th Easter Sunday This is a Christian festival which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion as is found in the New Testament.
April 14th Vaisakhi/Vishu Vaisakhi marks the harvest festival as well as the beginning of traditional New Year in Punjab. Vishu is the New Year festival of Kerala. Both are celebrated amidst loads of traditional rites and rituals.
April 14th Mesadi This is a harvest festival celebrated in some parts of Southern India. The celebrations include prayers for prosperity all over the year to come.
April 15th Pahela (Poela) Baisakh (Bengal)/ Bahag or Bohaag Bihu (Assam) Bengal celebrates New Year on the first day of the traditional Indian month of Baisakh. It is believed to be an auspicious day for new beginnings.
Bohaag Bihu marks both the New Year as well as the new agricultural cycle in Assam.
May 3rd Hazarat Ali’s Birthday This day marks the birth anniversary of Hazarat Ali who was the son-in-law and cousin of Prophet Mohammed and was a successor to the Islamic Caliphate.
May 9th Rabindranath Tagore’s Birthday This day marks the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate poet, philosopher and thinker.
July 18th Rath Yatra Ratha Yatra is a celebration held in Puri, Orissa, which marks the annual visit of Lord Jaggannatha to the Gundicha Temple. This is also known as the Chariot Festival.
August 18th Parsi New Year’s day Known was Nowruz, this also marks advent of Spring for the Parsis.
September 16th Onam This is the State Festival of Kerala that commemorates the victorious homecoming of mythological king Mahavali. This also marks their harvest (rice) festival.
August 29th Raksha Bandhan This is a traditional Hindu celebration that marks the bonding of brothers and sisters which is represented by a rakhi thread that the sister ties around the brother’s wrist who in turn pledges love and security.
September 17th Vinayaka Chaturthi/Ganesh Chaturthi This Hindu festival marks the birth (rebirth) of Lord Ganesha who is worshipped for prosperity, fortune and wisdom.
October 22nd Dussehra This traditional Hindi festival marks the victory of Lord Ram over demon king Ravana and signifies the victory of good over evil.
October 27th Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday This marks the birth anniversary of Valmiki who was a Sanskrit poet. He is known as the Adi Kavi (first poet). He penned the epic Ramayana.
October 30th Karaka Chaturdasi (Karva Chouth) This is a fast observed by Hindu married women for the wellbeing of their husbands.
November 10th Deepavali / Narak Chaturdasi This is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated all over the country and is also known as Festival of Lights.
November 12th Govardhan Puja This is a traditional Hindu festival that spreads the message that teaches us to preserve, conserve and nurture Nature.
November 13th Bhai Duj Held right after Deewali, this festival aims at strengthening the bonds between brother and sister.
November 17th Pratihar Sashthi or Surya Sashthi (Chhat Puja) This traditional Hindu Festivals is meant to worship the Sun God for sustaining life on Earth.
November 24th Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day The ninth guru of the Sikhs, Teg Bahadur, was executed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb for causing hindrance to his aim of converting India to a Muslim land.
December 24th Christmas Eve The day preceding Christmas is celebrated with fervor all across the world.


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