Buddhism in India

Public Holidays

2007 Holiday Name
Jan 1 Idu'l Zuha/Bakrid (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Jan 20 Muharram (Islamic New Year)
Jan 26 ** Republic Day
Feb 16 Mahashivratri
Mar 31 Mahavir Jayanthi
Apr 1 Milad-Un-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet)
Apr 6 Good Friday
Apr 9 Easter Monday
May 2 Buddha Purnima
Aug 15 ** Independence Day
Sep 4 Janmashtami
Oct 2 ** Mahatma Ghandi's Birthday
Oct 13 Id ul Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Oct 21 Dussehra (Vijaya Fashami)
Nov 9 Deepavali or Diwali (Festival of Lights)
Nov 24 Guru Nanak's Birthday
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day
* Dates to be confirmed. 


(a) ** Only the secular holidays of Republic Day, Independence Day and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday are universally observed. Public holidays in India tend to be observed on a strictly regional basis. The above dates are Government of India holidays, when government offices will be closed nationwide. In addition, there are numerous festivals and fairs which are also observed in some States as holidays, the dates of which change from year to year.

(b) Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking.

(c) Although not government official holidays, Christmas Day (25 Dec) and New Year's Day (1 Jan) are widely observed nationally.

Background Information

There are many festivals and special events in India, but only three of these are full national public holidays. They are Republic Day on January 26, Independence Day on August 15, and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday on October 2.

In addition to the above three national public holidays, the other ones that tend to be observed by most, among the ones listed, are: Islamic New Year (Muharram), Maha Shivaratr, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti, Milad un Nabi (The Prophet's Birthday), Good Friday, Buddha Purnima (Buddha Day), Janmashtami, Ramazan (End of Ramadan), Guru Nanak Jayanti, Bakrid (Feast of Sacrifice), and Christmas Day. "Jayanti" means birthday.

Other than the first three national public holidays listed above, all others are either regional or religious holidays and not recognized as national public holidays. In some areas workers have the option of choosing from a list of possible public holidays. In most areas, depending on the industry or company, employees may choose at least 2 other holidays (and sometimes up to 6 or 9) from a list that is usually referred to as Restricted Holidays. In India General Holidays usually mean Government Holidays, and Public Holidays are holidays that are usually observed by everyone in the area, banks, government, and schools included.

The public holidays listed here tend to be the ones that are most recognized by most states. There are 28 states and 7 federal territories. No two have the same list.. Although some holidays may be listed as restricted holidays in some states, they are nevertheless observed by the greatest number of people.

Some holidays are celebrated a day earlier in some areas. This happens usually more in the south but isn't limited to that area.

Despite the great number of public holidays, the work ethic in India is such that business meetings may be scheduled during a holiday if needed.

In recent years, the Hindustan State Government has followed a policy of declaring public holidays for many minorities (or changing their status from restricted to full public holiday), often at the last minute, and usually in an electoral context. Recently, it declared Friday, January 5, 2007, a public holiday for Guru Govind Singh Jayanti, but it has also promised public holidays to the Brahmin community, the Vaishya community and the Sindhi community.


While every effort has been made to present an accurate list of 2007 bank holidays, legal
holidays and public holidays for India, we cannot accept any responsibility for any error or omission in the data presented above. Some of the bank holidays, legal holidays and public holidays for India are based on calendars whose determination is inherently approximate, as described in the footnotes below, which we strongly urge you to read. In addition, in many parts of the world, holidays are subject to arbitrary, last minute, changes by the local authorities and you are therefore advised to verify the above dates with the embassy or consulate of India, before planning any trip to India.