Festivals of India, October - 2016

Fairs / Festivals October 2016
Month Festival Place
1st to 9th October, 2016 Navaratri North India
7th to 11th October, 2016 Durga Puja West Bengal
October 10th, 2016 Ashwa Poojan Rajasthan
October 11th, 2016 Dussehra All India
October 12th, 2016 Muharram All India
October 13th to 17th, 2016 Rajasthan International Folk Festival Rajasthan
October 15th to 16th, 2016 Marwar Festival Rajasthan
October 19th, 2016 Karwa Chauth North India
October 28th, 2016 Dhanteras All India
October 29th, 2016 Kali Puja West Bengal
October 30th, 2016 Diwali All India
October 31st, 2016 Vishwakarma Pooja North India

India is a land of festivals, for the people of India believe in celebrating life. And October here can be described as the Queen of all months where festivals and fairs are concerned. Some of the major festivals in India normally fall in the month of October. Here is a list of the few important ones:



When: 1st to 9th, October

Navaratri, meaning the nine nights, is an important festival of India where Goddess Durga in her various manifestations is worshipped. The festival is celebrated all over India but can be mainly seen in Gujarat and Mumbai. It begins on the day of Mahalaya (new moon) and concludes on Dussehra.

Celebrations: During Navratri, people fast for nine long days and consume only satvik ( vegetarian food prepared without onions and garlic) food when they break the fast at the end of each day. In the evening and till late night the goddess is again worshipped in the form of dandiya and raas garba (dances of Gujarat), where everyone dressed in their finest traditional clothes dance all night long, in large areas arranged for the event.

Navaratri Related Links



Navaratri Calendar
Date Day Year
13 - 23 October Tuesday 2015
1 - 11 October Saturday 2016
21 - 29 September Thursday 2017


Durga Puja

When: 7th to 11th, October

Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals in India. Goddess Shakthi in the form of Durga is worshipped in various parts of India.

Celebrations:In North India the idols of Goddess Durga riding a tiger, as depicted in mythology, is placed in different localities and worshipped for 4 consecutive days. There is a lot of fanfare with loudspeakers blaring music and the streets lit up with colourful lights.

In West Bengal, Durga Puja is marked by the sound of the dhak (drum) and the conch shell reverberating through the air. The belief here is that Ma Durga (as the Bengalis address the goddess)after killing the demon Mahishasur, visits her parents’ place for 4 days, before heading back for Kailash, the abode of her husband Lord Shiva. The Bengalis welcome their Ma every year with great fervour. The idol of Ma Durga in the pose of killing Mahishasur along with the idols of Lord Karthik, Lord Ganesh, Goddess Saraswati, and Goddess Laxmi (who are considered to be Ma Durga’s children as per Bengali tradition) are placed in beautifully constructed pandals. The Puja begins on the sixth day of the new moon, and continues for four days with celebration of great fervour. There are many fairs all over Kolkata, with rides and food stalls, On The 4th day the idol is immersed in rivers symbolising the departure of Ma Durga for Kailash.

Durga Puja Related Links



Durga Puja Calendar
Date Day Year
12 - 22 October Monday 2015
7 - 11 October Friday 2016
26 to 30 September Tuesday 2017



When: October 11th

The tenth day of Navaratri is celebrated as Dussehra all over India. According to mythology on this day Lord Rama killed Ravana. It is basically symbolic of victory of the good over evil.

Celebrations North India: All over North India very big effigies of Ravana filled with firecrackers are erected in an open area. With very large crowds watching, these effigies are then set on fire. Normally someone in the costume of Lord Rama shoots a lighted arrow at the effigy. As the effigy burns and the firecrackers light up the night sky, there is great rejoicing and people wish each other a Happy Dussehra.

Kullu: Here Dussehra is celebrated to worship Goddess Hadimba, who according to mythology was the wife of Bhim and mother of Ghatotkacha.

Kota: Here a big mela (fair) is organised and artisans come from far and wide with their wares. All the villagers are dressed in traditional clothes and spectacular procession of decorated elephants, camels, horses, folk dancers is taken from the Royal Palace to the fair ground. Ravana effigy is also burnt.

South India: Dussehra is a major festival of Mysore. According to the mythology in Karnataka, on this day Goddess Shakti, in the form of Chamundeshwari, killed the demon Mashishasur. The festival is celebrated on a grand scale, and the highlight is the Mysore Palace, illuminated with nearly 1 lakh light bulbs. There also various cultural programmes all over the city.


Dussehra Calendar
Date Day Year
22 October Thursday 2015
11 October Tuesday 2016
30 September Saturday 2017


Ashwa Poojan

When: October 10th

As the name suggests, this festival is to worship horses.

Celebrations: This festival is celebrated by the Mewar Royal family and is unique to Rajasthan. The festival is symbolic of the special relationship that a warrior and his horse share. Horses are worshipped. The highlight of the festival is the gastronomic delights of Rajasthan cuisine.

However, it can also be seen that on this day all over India people worship their modes of transport by offering flowers and tika (vermillion)


Ashwa Poojan Calendar
Date Day Year
3 October Friday 2014
22 October Thursday 2015
10 October Monday 2016



When: 28th October

Celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of the month of Karthik as per the Hindu calendar, this festival is popular in Northern and Western parts of India. This auspicious day is dedicated to worshipping Goddess Laxmi and Lord Kubera who are the Gods of wealth.

Celebrations: Business premises are renovated and decorated to welcome the Goddess of Wealth.
The festivities begin in the evening with prayers and bhajans (devotional songs) Traditional sweets are offered as prasad.
It is considered auspicious to purchase gold, silver or steel articles on this day. The shops selling these items do the maximum business of the year during this festival. In villages people worship cattle.


Dhanteras Related Links


Dhanteras Calendar
Date Day Year
9 November Monday 2015
28 October Friday 2016
17 October Tuesday 2017



When: 30th October

Diwali or Deepavali is the Festival of Lights, and one of the most important festivals of India This festival has several connotations including the beginning of a new year for many in North India, return of Lord Rama after 14 years of exile, the killing of Narakasura by Lord Krishna, and the yearly Kali Puja for the Bengalis.

Celebrations: Preparations for Diwali begins many days in advance with the spring cleaning of the house and preparation of a variety of homemade sweets and savouries.

For the people of South, Diwali is on Chathurdasi, which is the day before the new moon or Amavasya. People get up before sunrise, have an oil bath and wear new clothes before lighting firecrackers.

In Bengal, Assam and Orissa, Diwali is celebrated in the form of Kali Puja. The puja begins after midnight on Amavasya, and continues through the night. People fast the entire day and break it only after the puja is over. The unique feature of Kali Puja is the Tantric ceremonies that take place in some temples and also the offering of meat and liquor to Kali Mata by some devotees.

In North India, Diwali ushers in the New Year. People sporting new clothes worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi. People all over India light up their houses with electric lights and earthen diyas (lamps). Rangolis and candles adorn the houses. The sky is lit with firecrackers.



Diwali Calendar
Date Day Year
11 November Wednesday 2015
30 October Sunday 2016
19 October Thursday 2017



When: 1st to 31st October
This Islamic festival commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet. This day is observed by Muslims across the nation.

Rituals: Muharram is a very sombre affair for the Muslims where they mourn the killing of Imam Hussein ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala. During the period of mourning Muslims beat their chests, and some even whip themselves with the belief that the blood flowing out will rid them of any evil thoughts that they have.


Muharram Calendar
Date Day Year
October,24 - November,23 Friday 2014
October,13 - November,12 Tuesday 2015
1 - 31 October Saturday 2016



Rajasthan International Folk Festival

When: 13th to 17th October

This festival, showcasing the deep rooted cultural heritage of fine arts of the vibrant state of Rajasthan, is a myriad of cultural and educational events, stage performances, and late night jam sessions where musicians perform, and story tellers from the rural areas narrate regional stories through a puppet show. It is held in the spectacular location of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort.

Marwar Festival

When: 15th to 16th October

This 2 day long festival is held to honour the medieval heroes of the state of Rajasthan. The myths and legends of the era gone by seem to come alive as artists perform the classic folk music and dance. This festival reflects the culture of the Marwar region and is held in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.