Hinduism is a worldwide religion, with a variety of holidays and festivals celebrated across the lunar calendar. Hindu festivals are known by the Sanskrit word “Utsava”—which means to grow upward. They are celebrated with feasts, offerings, fasts, vigils, or offerings to deities—but all relate back to the Hindu pantheon.
Where did Hindu holidays come from?
Hindu festivals are inspired by lunar and solar events, the birth of key religious figures, mythological events, and agricultural watersheds. There are over 1 billion Hindus worldwide; 13 countries contain 500,000 adherents or more. The sheer scale of Hinduism means holidays are celebrated differently across the globe, according to local customs and beliefs.
Still, the major festivals—like Diwali and Holi—transcend nationality, and are even celebrated by some people outside the faith.
How to submit a Hindu holiday
Did we miss an important Hindu holiday? Drop us a line on our submissions page, and let us know a little bit about the festival's history and traditions. Thanks for helping us expand our calendar!