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home  > about india index > bank holiday & festival dates 2008

Bank holiday and festival dates in India 2008

Go straight to list of public holiday dates for 2008

Creating an accurate list of Indian government holidays, festival dates and bank holidays isn't easy, as sources frequently offer contradictory dates for the same event. This list contains the calendar of dates for 2008 that were most consistent in various places, with extra kudos being given to listings published by the Indian government. Nevertheless public holiday dates may not be universally accurate, so don't plan your annual vacation or big trip to the bank around them without double checking elsewhere.

Dates marked with letters in the right hand column represent gazetted public holidays (p) and restricted holidays (r) for central government offices in Delhi (the state of Himachal Pradesh will be added shortly), but many of those marked will be applicable as public holidays in other Indian states. Dates with a coloured (p) are marked all over India. 'Restricted holidays' mean that government employees may take a choice of any two of the dates, while on public holidays most government offices and banks will be closed. Entries with no letter in the right hand column are not official holidays in Delhi, but may be in other Indian states.

The generous public holidays meted out to Indian Government employees has been taking a bit of a hammering, with the suggestion that all religious holidays marked on the calendar as "gazetted holidays" be replaced by a smaller number of "restricted" dates chosen by the employee. (See article in the Indian Express).

Events listed cover important dates for all of India's main religions; Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim. Apart from dates of Indian melas, events of cultural importance and public / govt holidays, we've added a few significant historical dates and anniversaries of general interest. If you think any important dates are missing (or have a list of dates for other states), please let us know.



01 jan   New Year's Day   r
05 jan   Guru Gobind Singh's birthday   r
08 jan   New Moon (5:07 pm - see note)    
13 jan   Lohri / Lohari (HP, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi)    
14 jan   Makar Sakranti (North India)   r
14 jan   Bhogi (1st day of Pongal)    
15 jan   Pongal (Surya Pongal, main)   r
15 jan   Makara Sankaranti (Bengal)   r
16 jan   Mattu Pongal    
16 jan   Thiruvalluvar Day (Tamil Nadu)    
19 jan*   Muharram (Islamic New Year)   p
21 jan-   start of Camel Festival (Bikaner, Rajasthan) till 22nd Jan    
22 jan   Full Moon (7:05 pm - see note)    
25 jan   Statehood Day (Himachal Pradesh)    
26 jan   Republic Day   p
26 jan-   Adivasi Mela (Orissa Tribal Festival) till 31st Jan    
31 jan   Guru Har Rai Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    


07 feb   New Moon (9:14 am - see note)    
11 feb   Basanta Panchami / Vasant Panchami / Shree Panchami / Saraswati Festival   r
19 feb   Sivaji Jayanti   r
21 feb   Lunar eclipse    
21 feb   Full Moon (9:01 am - see note)    
21 feb   Guru Ravi Dass birthday   r


02 mar   Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti   r
06 mar   Maha Shivaratri   p
07 mar   New Moon (10:44 pm - see note)    
20 mar   Maundy Thursday (Kerala)    
21 mar   Milad-un-Nabi / Id-E-Milad (Prophet Mohammed's birthday)   p
21 mar   Good Friday   p
21 mar   Holika Dahana (Dol yatra)   r
22 mar   Full Moon (12:10 am - see note)    
22 mar   Holi / Holika / Medin Poya / Dola Purnima (in Orissa)   p
22 mar   Hola Mohalla (Sikh)    
23 mar   Easter Sunday   r


01 apr   Utkal Diwas (Orissa)    
06 apr   New Moon (9:25 am - see note)    
06 apr-   start of Ramayana week - runs 6th - 14th April    
06 apr   Bikarami Samvat    
07 apr   Chaitra Sukhladi / Gudi Padava / Ugadi /
Cheti Chand
07 apr   Akshyaya Trutiya Festival (Orissa)    
13 apr   Baisakhi / Vaisakhi (birth anniversary of the Khalsa)   r
13 apr   Vishu   r
13 apr   Ram Navami (Smarta)    
14 apr   Ram Navami (Vaisnava)   p
14 apr   Dr B.R. Ambedkar's birthday    
14 apr   Mesadi   r
14 apr   Vaiskhadi (Bengal)/ Bahag Bihu (Assam)   r
15 apr   Himachal day (Himachal Pradesh)    
18 apr   Mahavir Jayanti   p
18 apr   Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    
18 apr   Guru Angad Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    
20 apr   Full Moon (3:56 pm - see note)    
20 apr   Hanuman jayanti    


01 may   May Day    
01 may   Maharashtra Day    
02 may   Guru Arjun Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    
05 may   New Moon (5:48 pm - see note)    
08 may   Rabindranath Tagore's Birthday see note   r
20 may   Full Moon (7:42 am - see note)    
20 may   Buddha Purnima   p
21 may   Rajiv Gandhi death anniversary    
23 may   Guru Amar Das Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    
27 may   Pandit Nehru death anniversary    


03 jun   Savitri Utshav (Orissa)    
04 jun   New Moon (12:53 am - see note)    
13 jun   Ganga Dashami    
14 jun-   Raja Festival (Orissa) till 16th June    
16 jun   Guru Arjun Dev Sahib's Martyrdom Day    
18 jun   Full Moon (11:01 pm - see note)    
18 jun   Snana Yatra / Birthday of Sri Jagannath (Puri, Orissa)    


03 jul   New Moon (7:49 am - see note)    
04 jul   Rath Yatra   r
05 jul   Guru Hargobind's birth anniversary (Sikh)    
17 jul   Hazrat Ali's birthday   r
18 jul   Full Moon (1:29 pm - see note)    
18 jul   Guru Purnima (Vyas pujan)    
23 jul   Guru Harkrishan Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    


01 aug   New Moon (3:42 pm - see note)    
11 aug-   start of Jhulan Festival. Till 17th August    
15 aug   Independence Day   p
16 aug   Lunar eclipse (partial)    
16 aug   Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi   r
16 aug   Avani Avittom (Kerala)    
17 aug   Full Moon (2:46 am - see note)    
19 aug   Parsi New Year (Shahenshahi) see note   r
24 aug   Janmashtami (Smarta & Vaishnava) / Sri Krishna Jayanti   r
31 aug   New Moon (1:28 am - see note)    


01 sep   First Parkash Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh)    
03 sep   Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi - main   r
04 sep   Ganesh Chaturthi (2nd day)    
12 sep   Onam (thiruvonam) - main Onam   r
15 sep   Full Moon (2:43 pm - see note)    
16 sep-   start of Pitr-paksha (runs till 29th September)    
26 sep   Jamat-Ul-Vida   r
29 sep   New Moon (1:42 pm - see note)    
30 sep-   start of Navaratri (runs till 8th October)    


02 oct   Gandhi Jayanti (Mahatma Gandhi's birthday)   p
02 oct*   Id ul Fitr (Eid - end of Ramadan / Ramzan)   p
06 oct   Saraswati Puja (part of Navaratri)    
06 oct   Dussehra / Durga Puja (Maha Saptami)   r
07 oct   Dussehra / Durga Puja (Maha Ashtami)   r
08 oct   Dussehra / Durga Puja (Maha Navami)   r
09 oct   Guru Ram Das Sahib's birth anniversary (Sikh)    
09 oct   Dussehra / Durga Puja (Vijaya Dashami) - main day   p
09 oct - TBC  

1st day of Kullu Dussehra (HP). The Gods parade from the Palace at Sultanpur to Dhalpur ground for the 'running of the Gods'.

14 oct   Maharishi Valmiki's birthday   r
15 oct   Full Moon (1:32 am - see note)    
18 oct   Karva Chauth    
20 oct   Guru Granth Sahib Holy Scriptures installation    
26 oct   Dhan Teras    
27 oct   Deepavali (South India) / Lakshmi Puja   r
27 oct   Naraka Chaturdasi   r
28 oct   Diwali (Deepawali)   p
28 oct   Bandi Chhor Divas    
29 oct   New Moon (4:44 am - see note)    
29 oct   Govardhan Puja   r
30 oct   Bhai Duj   r


05 nov-   Pushkar Camel Fair, runs till 13th November    
13 nov   Full Moon (11:48 am - see note)    
13 nov   Guru Nanak's birthday (Parkash)   p
24 nov   Guru Teg Bahadur's Martyrdom day   r
27 oct   New Moon (10:25 pm - see note)    


09 dec   Gita Jayanti    
09 dec   Idu'l Zuha / Id ul Zuha /Eid ul Adha (Bakrid - Feast of the Sacrifice) Note   p
12 dec   Full Moon (10:08 pm - see note)    
24 dec   Christmas Eve   r
25 dec   Christmas Day   p
27 dec   New Moon (5:53 pm - see note)    

* Note: Id ul Fitr subject to change; one day earlier or later depending on sighting of the moon.

Note on Tagore: For some reason the government have designated this as 8th May - the actual anniversary of Tagore's birth is is 7th May.

Note on Parsi New Year: From what I have read, the Parsi New Year used by the Indian Government as a holiday date seems to bear no relation whatever to any of the dates given by the various calendars in use. If anyone can explain why this is so , I'd be grateful!

Lunar dates note: Dates and times for lunar cycles are based on New Delhi as the location. 'New moon' is the 'astronomical' new moon, i.e. when the moon is dark, rather than the sighting of the first crescent, as used in some religious calendar systems

Holiday dates for previous years are on this page.

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