2017 Calendar of Hindu Festivals, Fasts, and Religious Events

Diwali celebration
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Hinduism is often described as a religion of fasts, feasts, and festivals. They are organized according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, which is different than the Gregorian calendar used in the West. There are 12 months in the Hindu calendar, with the new year falling between mid-April and mid-May on the Western calendar. This list organizes important Hindu festivals and holy days according to the 2017 Gregorian calendar.

January 2017

The first day of the Gregorian calendar brings Kalpataru Divas, when the faithful celebrate the life of Ramakrishna, one of the most influential Hindu holy men of the 19th century. Other holidays during this cold month include Lohri, when celebrants build bonfires to celebrate the harvesting of winter crops, and Republic Day, which commemorates the day that the Indian Constitution was adopted in 1950.

  • Kalpataru Divas: 1/1/2017, Sunday
  • Vivekananda Jayanti: 1/8/2017, Sunday
  • Paush Purnima: 1/12/2017, Thursday
  • Lohri: 1/13/2017, Friday
  • Makar Sankranti / Paush Sankranti: 1/14/2017, Saturday
  • Uttarayan & Kite Festival: 1/14/2017, Saturday
  • Pongal: 1/14/2017, Saturday
  • Magh Bihu: 1/15/2017, Sunday
  • Thiruvalluvar Day: 1/15/2017, Sunday
  • India's Republic Day: 1/26/2017, Thursday
  • Mauni Amavas: 1/27/2017, Friday

February 2017

The most important February festivals are Hindu holy days honoring the deity Shiva and his children.

Vasant Panchami, which begins the month, honors Shiva's daughter Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts. Midmonth, Thaipusam honors Shiva's son Murugan. Towards the end of the month is Maha Shivaratri, when the faithful pay homage through the night to Shiva, the most powerful Hindu deity.

  • Saraswati Puja: 2/1/2017, Wednesday
  • Ratha Saptami: 2/3/2017, Friday
  • Thaipusam: 2/9/2017, Thursday
  • Magha Purnima: 2/10/2017, Friday
  • Shivaji Jayanti: 2/19/2017, Sunday
  • Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti: 2/21/2017, Tuesday
  • Maha Shivaratri: 2/24/2017, Friday
  • Ramakrishna Paramhansa Jayanti: 2/28/2017, Tuesday

March 2017

With springtime approaching, Hindus celebrate Holi. One of the most joyous holidays of the year, this celebration is known for the colorful dyes thrown to herald spring's arrival. March is also the month when Hindus celebrate the lunisolar new year.

April 2017

New Year's celebrations continue in April as Tamils in Sri Lanka and Bengalis in India observe this Hindu holiday. Other important events in April include Vasanta Navaratri, a nine-day celebration of fasting and prayer, and Akshaya Tritiya, a day Hindus consider especially lucky for beginning new ventures.

  • Ramanavami: 4/5/2017, Wednesday
  • Vasanta Navaratri: begins 4/8/2017, Saturday
  • Mahavir Jayanti: 4/9/2017, Sunday
  • Hanuman Jayanti: 4/11/2017, Tuesday
  • Baisakh: 4/13/2017, Thursday
  • Tamil New Year (Puthandu): 4/13/2017, Thursday
  • Chaitra Sankranti / Charak Puja: 4/14/2017, Friday
  • Vishu / Mesadi: 4/14/2017, Friday
  • Bohag Bihu: 4/14/2017, Friday
  • Vaisakhi Purnima: 4/14/2017, Friday
  • Bengali New Year (Poila Baisakh): 4/15/2017, Saturday
  • Vasanta Navaratri ends 4/16/2017, Saturday
  • Parasuram Jayanti: 4/28/2017, Friday
  • Akshaya Tritiya / Akhateej: 4/28/2017, Friday

May 2017

In May, Hindus celebrate deities and mystics important to the faith. The lion-faced deity Narasimha and Narada, the messenger of the gods, are both honored in May, as is the birthday of Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize for literature.

  • Gurudev Rabindranath Jayanti: 5/7/2017, Sunday
  • Narasimha Jayanti: 5/9/2017, Tuesday
  • Narada Jayanti: 5/11/2017, Thursday
  • Shani Jayanti: 5/25/2017, Thursday

June 2017

In June, Hindus honor the goddess Ganga, for whom the holy Ganges River is named. The faithful believe that those who die around this river reach the heavenly abode with all their sins washed away. The month concludes with the celebration Rath Yatra, when Hindus build and race elaborate chariots in celebration of the summertime travel of deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra.

July 2017

July marks the beginning of the three-month monsoon season in Nepal and northern India. During this month, Hindu women observe the holiday of Hariyali Teej, fasting and offering prayers for a happy marriage. Other festivals include Manasa Puja, which honors the snake goddess. Hindu faithful believe she has the power to cure illnesses such as chicken pox and aid in fertility.

August 2017

August is an important month in India becausein that month the nation celebrates its independence. Another major holiday, Jhulan Yatra, honors the deities Krishna and his consort Radha. The days-long festival is known for its spectacular display of decorated swings, song, and dance. 

    September 2017

    As the monsoon season comes to a close, Hindus celebrate several holidays in September. Some, like Shikshak Divas or Teacher's Day, are secular. This holiday celebrates Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a former president of India and educational leader. Other celebrations pay homage to Hindu deities, the most auspicious being the nine-night festival of Navaratri, which honors the Divine Mother Durga.

    • Onam: 9/4/2017, Monday
    • Shikshak Divas (Teacher's Day) / Radhakrishnan Jayanti: 9/5/2017, Tuesday
    • Ananta Chaturthi (Ganesha Immersion): 9/5/2017, Tuesday
    • Pitri-Paksha: 9/6/2017 to 9/19/2017
    • Vishwakarma Puja: 9/16/2017, Saturday
    • Mahalaya: 9/19/2017, Tuesday
    • Navaratri: 9/21/2017 to 9/29/2017
    • Saraswati Puja (part of Navaratri): 9/27/2017 to 9/30/2017
    • Durga Puja (Maha Saptami): 9/27/2017, Wednesday
    • Maha Ashtami: 9/28/2017, Thursday
    • Maha Navami: 9/29/2017, Friday
    • Vijaya Dasham / Dussehra: 9/30/2017, Saturday

    October 2017

    October is another month that is full of Hindu holidays and celebrations. Perhaps none is better known than Diwali, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. During this event, Hindu faithful hang lights, burn lamps, and shoot off fireworks to illuminate the world and chase the darkness away. Other important days in October include Mohandas Gandhi's birthday on Oct. 2 and a celebration of tulsi, known as Indian basil, at the end of the month.

    November 2017

    There are only a few major Hindu holidays in November. The most notable is Gita Jayanti, which pays homage to the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism's most important religious and philosophical texts. During this celebration, readings and lectures are held, and pilgrims make trips to the northern India city of Kurukshetra, where much of the Bhagavad Gita takes place.

    • Kartik Poornima / Guru Nanak Jayanti: 11/4/2017, Saturday
    • Gita Jayanti: 11/30/2017, Thursday

    December 2017

    The year concludes with a handful of holy days celebrating deities and other Hindu spiritual figures. At the start of the month, Hindus celebrate the deity Dattatreya, whose teachings describe the 24 gurus of nature. December concludes with a celebration of the life of Hindu holy man Ramana Maharishi Jayanti, whose teachings became popular with followers in the West in the early 20th century.

    • Sri Dattatreya Jayanti: 12/2/2017, Saturday
    • Balaji Jayanti: 12/10/2017, Sunday
    • Sabarimala Mandala Puja: 12/26/2017, Tuesday
    • Ramana Maharishi Jayanti: 12/30/22017, Saturday

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    Das, Subhamoy. "2017 Calendar of Hindu Festivals, Fasts, and Religious Events." ThoughtCo, Sep. 18, 2017, thoughtco.com/hindu-festivals-calendar-1770190. Das, Subhamoy. (2017, September 18). 2017 Calendar of Hindu Festivals, Fasts, and Religious Events. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hindu-festivals-calendar-1770190 Das, Subhamoy. "2017 Calendar of Hindu Festivals, Fasts, and Religious Events." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hindu-festivals-calendar-1770190 (accessed October 24, 2017).