2015 Bank Holidays in India as formulated by the Reserve Bank of India represent an interesting bouquet of multi cultural holidays in keeping with the rich heritage of the land that that projects a lot of diversity.

Apart from these days which are observed as holidays in almost all parts of the country, there are also State holidays and Restricted holidays that a person can avail in keeping with the laws of the land.

Here is a list of 2015 Bank Holidays in India along with a brief background about each for easy comprehension:

Id-E-Milad – This day is also known by the name of Mawlid, and this is the day that commemorates the birth anniversary of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It is believed that this day is being celebrated since the 10th century. This day is celebrated according to the traditional Islamic Hijri calendar on the 12th day of the third month of the Hijri calendar.

Republic Day – This is one of the three national holidays in India as it commemorates the day when in the year 1950 the Constitution of India was adopted and provided the country the status of a Republic freeing it from being a British Dominion. Since the day fulfilled the dreams of Sovereignty for the country, this day is observed with much fanfare in the country. In the national capital of New Delhi the President addresses the nation and reminds people of the sacrifice of the martyrs which brought about the freedom the country enjoys today. In honor of the occasion, a grand parade and pageant is organized at Raj Ghat along the Vijay Path. This is attended by many important people of the country including the President, the Prime Minister and foreign delegates. It is also a tradition to award medals for acts of valor on this day.

Maha Shivratri – This is the day when the Hindus perform special rights and rituals in reverence to Lord Shiva.

Holi – This is the colorful festival commemorated mainly by the Hindu community. There are mythological connotations too and also many rituals that are associated with the festival. However, today this is more of a happy occasion where people get together with families and friends to smear colors on each other and exchange greetings and sweets.

Ram Navami – This is the day when Hindus commemorate the birth anniversary of Lord Rama who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Mahavir Jayanti – This is the most auspicious day in the Jain calendar for it marks the day on which the last Tirthankara of the Jains, Mahavir, was born.  People visit temples, decorate them, and participate in prayers and meditation. In some places Jain people also take out processions to mark the occasion. It is often the custom for the Jains to visit the Jain temples located in Girnar and Palitana of Gujarat State for this occasion. In many places lectures are held that uphold the life and teachings of Mahavir and generally encourage people to stick to the path of virtue.

Good Friday – This is a day of mourning for the Christian community which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is marked with special prayer services at Churches.

May Day – This is the day that upholds the rights of workers and was first celebrated in the year 1923 in the then Madras (now Chennai). To mark the occasion various Labor Unions organize for competitions and parades to propagate awareness of workers’ rights.

Buddha Purnima – This is the day which commemorates the three most significant events of the life of Lord Buddha – his birth anniversary, his enlightenment and his death anniversary. This is the holiest day of the year for the Buddhist community. This day is also considered very auspicious by the Hindu community since Lord Buddha is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Id-Ul-Fitr – This is the Eid that is observed after the month long fasting period of Ramadan that the pious Muslims adhere to. This is a day of feasting and merriment. People wear new clothes, attend special prayers, visit and greet friends and family, and then enjoy sumptuous meals.

Independence Day – On this day in the year 1947, India established herself as an independent sovereign after getting freed from the clutches of the reign of Great Britain. This is one of the three days observed as a national holiday all over the country. Public offices and other important buildings are decorated with lighting. The national flag of India is hoisted at a number places generally with an important person from the government or the administration in attendance. The main event takes place at the Red Fort situated in New Delhi, the city that is the capital of the country. Here the National Flag is hoisted with much fanfare by the Prime Minister of the country who then addresses the nation in a speech that enlightens the country about the achievements in the past year and the plans for the upcoming year. Parades and processions are held which demonstrate the cultural diversity of the country as well as military capabilities.

Krishna Janmastami – This day commemorates the birth of the Hindu God Krishna, who is considered to be the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Ganesh Chaturthi – This is the day that commemorates the birth of the Hindu God Ganesha who is considered to be the God of wisdom and success, and also the one who blesses so that all obstacles are removed from one’s way.

Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti – This day commemorates the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who is considered to be the Father of the Nation. This is one of the three national holidays of the country. To mark the occasion, special prayer services are organized in Raj Ghat, New Delhi, where Gandhi was cremated after his death. Many competitions and discussions are organized on this day to remind the youth of the country about the life and teachings of Gandhi.

Vijaya Dashami/ Dussehra – This is the final day after the nine days celebrations of Navaratri all across the country. This is also the day when according to the Hindu mythology the Demon God Ravana was killed by Lord Ram, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. This is also a day when people celebrate the victory of the good over all that is evil. Meeting and greeting families and friends, exchanging sweets and an air of merriment marks the occasion.

Muharram – This marks the day when the Muslim community mourns the death of Hussein Ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. Processions are taken out on the roads on this day, and many people choose to enact the scenes from the Battle of Karbala and express their grief for the loss and death of Hussein.

Deewali – This day is considered auspicious by people of many faiths – Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. Each religion has a different connotation for it, but all across the country lights and fireworks celebrate a day that is considered to be reinstating one’s faith in all the virtues and the fact that vices can never win over what is virtuous.

Guru Nanak Jayanti – This is the day that commemorates the birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, who was also the first Guru of the Sikhs. The Sikh community starts the celebrations two days prior with the 48 hrs nonstop recital of the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious book of the Sikhs. On the day, processions are organized around Gurudwaras along with devotional singing.

Id-E-Milad – Since Muslim festivals are celebrated in keeping with the Islamic Hijri calendar which is lunar in pattern, Id-e-Milad would be celebrated twice during the course of the year 2015.

Christmas – This day commemorates the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ for the Christendom, but has now transcended religious boundaries to have become a time of festivity for all. Christmas décor and trees adorn homes and businesses. Christmas parties are becoming more and more popular with each passing year. The day begins with midnight Mass at Churches and Cathedrals.

List of 2015 Bank Holidays in India

January – 04 Sunday Id-E-Milad
January – 26 Monday Republic Day
February – 17 Tuesday Maha Shivratri
March – 06 Friday Holi
March – 28 Saturday Ram Navami
April – 02 Thursday Mahavir Jayanti
April – 03 Friday Good Friday
May – 01 Friday May Day
May – 04 Monday Buddha Purnima
July – 18 Saturday Id-Ul-Fitr
August – 15 Saturday Independence Day
September – 05 Saturday Krishna Janmastami
September – 17 Thursday Ganesh Chaturthi
October – 02 Friday Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti
October – 22 Thursday Vijaya Dashami/ Dussehra
October – 24 Saturday Muharram
November – 11 Wednesday Deewali
November – 25 Wednesday Guru Nanak Jayanti
December – 24 Thursday Id-E-Milad
December – 25 Friday Christmas