Important Hindu Festivals As Per Hindu Calendar
List of some major Hindu Festivals as per Hindu Calendar
1) Diwali

Deepavali which means "row of lights/lamps" in Kannada and Telugu and Marathi and Sanskrit it is called "Diwali" in North India, Deepa means lamp and in Hindi a lamp is mostly called a Diya or Di. The festival is celebrated on the occasion of Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama killing a demon named Narakasura. Another story says the festival is celebrated for the return of Rama and Sita to the kingdom Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. Rama was exiled to the forest for 14 years, his devoted wife Sita and humble brother Laxman decided to join him, after 14 years the whole village knew he was returning and so they lighted lamps or 'divas' to guide him, his wife and brother home. So every year lamps are lit to represent Rama finding his way back home after the harsh punishment of being sent to exile in the forest for 14 years

2) Holi

DHoli or Phagwah is a popular spring festival. Holi commemorates the slaying of the demoness Holika by Lord Vishnu's devotee Prahlad. Thus, the festival's name is derived from the Sanskrit words "Holika Dahanam", which literally mean "Holika's slaying". The festival is called Shigmo and Shimga in Goa and rural Maharashtra respectively. The following morning kicks off with people smearing coloured powder on each other

3) Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivaratri is the great night of Lord Shiva, during which followers of Lord Shiva observe religious fasting and the offering of Bael (Bilva) leaves to Lord Shiva. Mahashivaratri Festival or ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in Phalgun (February - March). Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva. To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in the river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water etc. On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Jaagran (Nightlong vigil) is also observed in Shiva temples where large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee break their fast by partaking prasad offered to the deity

4) Krishna Janmashtami

Lord Krishna has a prominent place in Hindu folklore. Krishna Janmaashtami is the Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna. It is called as Krishna Jayanthi. The date falls not only on the eighth day of the waning moon of Bhadrapad, but always on Rohini Nakshatra. Janmashtami. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in Bhadon. Lord Krishna is considered as the one of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. He was born around 5,200 years ago in Mathura. The sole objective of Lord Krishna's birth was to free the Earth from the evilness of demons. He played an important role in Mahabharata and propagated the theory of bhakti and good karma which are narrated deeply in the Bhagwat Geeta.. The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Lord Krishna is believed to be born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and violence of his uncle, Kansa. All over India this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas, arti and rocking the cradle of baby Lord Krishna. Janmashtami celebration of Mathura and Vrindavan, the places where Lord Krishna had spent his life, are very special. On this day temples and homes are wonderfully decorated and illuminated. Night long prayers are offered and religious mantras are sung in the temples

5) Makar Sankranti

In the Hindu calendar, the sun enters the Makara (Capricorn) part of the zodiac mostly on 14 January every year. Surya (the Sun God) is also worshipped all across the country with unparalleled devotion on this day. Although this day is popularly known as Makar Sankranti, the nomenclature varies from state to state, as do the corresponding customs. Tamils call it Pongal, Assamese celebrate it as Bihu and most North Indians call it Lohri. Makar Sankranti is a festival made unique by its celebrations, ranging from kite-flying to bonfires and riverbank rituals. Makar Sankranti too has a host of signature delicacies prepared exclusively to celebrate the auspicious festival. In fact, til and gur are much more than just festive ingredients as they have a strong cultural and significant link with Sankranti celebrations. Til, gud ghya ani god god bola', is a common expression used to greet family and guests in Marathi households during Sankranti celebrations. The expression literally means "Eat til and gur and speak well." Til and gur are two of the most commonly consumed foods in winters. Til and gur are also prized in Ayurveda as two of the most winter-perfect foods that helps to keep the body warm and also increases the immunity at the same time

6) Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals in the country due to its eccentricity. Ganesh is the son of Lord Shiva, the destroyer. Yet Ganesh is at odds with his father in his convictions and appearance. His face resembles that of an elephant, while his witty and playful temperament inspires devotion from people of all age groups. Ganesh Chaturthi commemorates the birth of Ganesh with the formal offering of prayers to an idol of the deity. The idol is later immersed in a body of water on the last day of the festival amid further festivities

7) Navratri

Navratri, (Sanskrit: “nine nights”) also called Durga Puja, in Hinduism, is a major festival held in honour of the divine feminine. Navratri occurs over 9 days during the month of Ashvin, or Ashvina (in the Gregorian calendar, usually September–October). It often ends with the Dussehra (also called Vijayadashami) celebration on the 10th day. In some parts of India, Dussehra is considered a focal point of the festival, making it effectively a span of 10 days instead of 9. Additionally, as Navratri depends on the lunar calendar, in some years it may be celebrated for 8 days, with Dussehra on the 9th. There are four similar festivals, also called Navratri, which are held at various stages of the year; however, the early autumn festival, also called Sharad Navratri, is the most significant Navratri is celebrated differently in India’s various regions. For many people it is a time of religious reflection and fasting; for others it is a time for dancing and feasting. Dances performed include Garba, especially in Gujarat. Typically the festival’s nine nights are dedicated to different aspects of the divine feminine principle, or shakti. While the pattern varies somewhat by region, generally the first third of the festival focuses on aspects of the goddess Durga, the second third on the goddess Lakshmi, and the final third on the goddess Sarasvati. Offerings are often made to the goddesses and their various aspects, and rituals are performed in their honour. Among some followers of the goddess Durga, who are particularly predominant in Bengal and Assam, the festival is known as or coincides with the Durga Puja (“Rite of Durga”). Special images of Durga commemorating her victory over the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura are worshiped daily, and on the 10th day (Dussehra) they are taken in jubilant processions to nearby rivers or reservoirs for immersion in water. In some regions Dussehra is collected into Navratri, and the entire 10-day celebration is known by that name. Whether throughout the festival or as the 10th day, Dussehra is a time to celebrate the triumphs of good over evil, such as Durga’s victory over Mahishasura. In some parts of India, Dussehra is associated with the victory of the god Rama over the demon-king Ravana. In North India the Ram Lila (“Play of Rama”) is the highlight of the festival. On successive nights different episodes of the epic poem the Ramayana are dramatized by young actors elaborately costumed and masked; the pageant is always climaxed by the burning of huge effigies of the demons. Athletic tournaments and hunting expeditions are often organized. Some celebrate by erecting bonfires and burning effigies of Ravana, sometimes by stuffing them with fireworks. In many regions Dussehra is considered an auspicious time to begin educational or artistic pursuits, especially for children

8) Ram Navami

Ram Navami is the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama. Ram Navami is the day on which Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, incarnated in human form in Ayodhya. He is the ardha ansh of Lord Vishnu or has half the divine qualities of Lord Vishnu. The word “Ram” literally means one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others, and one in whom the sages rejoice. Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the bright fortnight in Chaitra (April/May) and coincides with Vasant Navratri or Chait Durga Puja. Therefore, in some regions, the festival is spread over nine days. This day, marking the birthday of Lord Rama, is also observed as the marriage day of Rama and Sita and thus also referred to as Kalyanotsavam. In Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, a huge fair is held with thousands of devotees gathering to celebrate this festival. The fair continues for two days, and rathyatras, carrying the Deities of Ram, his brother Laxman, his wife Goddess Sita, and his greatest devotee Mahavir Hanuman, are taken out from almost all Ram Temples. Hanuman is known for is his devotion to Rama, and his tales form an important part of the celebration. In Andhra Pradesh, Ram Navami is celebrated for 10 days from the Chaitra Saptami to the Bahula Padyami in March/April. Temples re-enact the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita to commemorate this event, since this day is also the day they got married