India’s Colorful and Celebrated Harvest Festivals in 2023

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Experience the Vibrant Harvest Festivals of India:

India, known as the abode of vibrant festivities, is a nation where celebrations are bursting with vigor and joy. With 29 states, each having its own unique traditions, harvest festivals are celebrated throughout the year. The arrival of the first crop yield is a moment of delight for the people, transforming it into a cheerful extravaganza.

Assamese women and men dancing during Bihu festival

For travelers, festivals have always been the most cherished and memorable part of their journey across different countries and continents. When it comes to India, the harvest festivals are particularly enchanting, brimming with intriguing mythological legends and exuberant celebrations. These festivals reflect the incredible and diverse nature of the country and offer a captivating glimpse into Indian culture. However, due to the country’s climatic diversity, the dates for harvest festivals vary across different regions, be it the north, east, west, or south!

Calendar of Harvest Festivals in India

Given India’s rich cultural heritage, the list of harvest festivals is vast and diverse. Each festival offers a unique way of celebrating the harvest. Here, we present to you the dates and details of various harvest festivals celebrated in India. Take a closer look!

18 Harvest Festivals Unique to North India

If you are planning a vacation in North India, here is a fascinating list of harvest festivals that you would not want to miss. These festivals promise a vibrant and enriching experience. Explore the list below!

1. Makar Sankranti – A Holy Extravaganza for Hindus

Makar Sankranti, the oldest and most colorful harvest festival in India, is celebrated throughout the country. In North India, it holds a special significance and is considered the top harvest festival in Uttar Pradesh. According to Hindu mythology, this festival marks the end of an unfavorable phase and the beginning of a sacred era. In villages of Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Himachal, West Bengal, and Punjab, people celebrate the harvest of new crops with bonfires, carnivals, songs, dances, kite flying, and rallies. The grand Kumbh Mela is one of the key attractions during this festival. The festival extends over three months, with three significant dates when most pilgrims participate.

colourful kites in the sky during Makar Sankranti

Where is Makar Sankranti celebrated: Pan India, with unique regional traditions in the North

Key attractions of Makar Sankranti festival: Kumbh Mela and a delectable array of sweet dishes made of sesame and jaggery

Date: 14th January 2022 (Thursday)

2. Baisakhi – Revelry with Rhythms of Dhol and Bhangra

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The inhabitants of Punjab and Haryana rejoice in the festivities of the Baisakhi festival, also known as Vaisakhi, in the year 2022, as a gesture of gratitude towards God for the bountiful harvest they have received. This vibrant Indian harvest festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. It is a time when people adorn themselves in their finest attire, sing joyous melodies, and embrace the rhythmic beats of the Dhol. Undoubtedly, it holds a special place in the hearts of Punjabis as their treasured harvest festival. The celebration includes various attractions such as Baisakhi fairs that showcase acrobatics, wrestling, beautiful musical performances on instruments like algoza and vanjli, making it an enthralling experience for all.

Punjabi men and women dancing during Baisakhi

Location: Punjab and Haryana

Highlights of the Festival: Men showcasing their energetic Bhangra dance moves and women performing the graceful Gidda dance

Date: 14th April 2022

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3. Ladakh Harvest Festival – Blissful Reverence to Buddhist Traditions

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The Ladakh Harvest Festival has garnered global acclaim and admiration for its enthralling celebrations. As this harvest festival commences, the whole of Ladakh transforms into a magnificent spectacle of resplendent beauty. The region’s monasteries and stupas are adorned with stunning decorations, and pilgrimages to witness the Thangka of Kyabje Gombo are an integral part of this grand celebration. Additionally, the festival features captivating archery displays, time-honored social and cultural rituals, and showcases remarkable artistry and handicrafts. Travel enthusiasts from around the world are captivated by the exclusive experiences offered by the diverse festivals of Ladakh. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in this distinctive harvest festival when you visit this remarkable destination in India.

mask dance during Ladakh Harvest Festival

Location of Ladakh Harvest Festival: Ladakh, Zanskar, Kargil

Highlights of the Festival: Majestic dramas or ‘Chhams’ depicting the life and teachings of Buddha, along with various vibrant dance forms of Tibetan culture

Date: 3rd January

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4. Lohri – A Celebration of Punjabi Folklore

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people dancing around Lohri fire

Lohri, a Punjabi folk festival, is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. This festival is an opportunity for the Punjabi community to come together and rejoice in the spirit of unity. The festival signifies the winter harvest and is celebrated with traditional customs and rituals. People gather around bonfires, offer prayers, and engage in joyous singing and dancing. It is a time of sharing and spreading happiness among family and friends. Lohri holds a special place in the hearts of Punjabis as it is a testament to their rich cultural heritage and folklore.

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Lohri, a well-known festival in Punjab that highlights traditional dances and songs, is a celebrated harvest event. To ward off the winter chill, families and neighbors gather around a bonfire, singing together and offering grains, corns, and nuts as a sign of respect for the bountiful harvest of sugarcane crops.

School kids celebrating Basant Panchami

Location of Lohri celebration: Punjab

Main attractions of the Lohri festival: The popular Punjabi folklore Sunder Mundriye sung by everyone

Date of celebration: 13th January 2022 (Wednesday)

5. Basant Panchami – Commemorating the Birth of Goddess Saraswati

Basant Panchami, one of India’s most popular harvest festivals, marks the beginning of the spring season. Celebrated in various states of Northern India, it holds great religious significance. This festival is associated with the color yellow, symbolizing spirituality. The vibrant mustard fields in rural areas, particularly Haryana and Punjab, showcase the arrival of spring.

Main attractions of Basant Panchami festival: Traditional Indian dishes like Meethe Chawal, Maake ki Roti, and Sarso Ka Saag

Assamese women and men dancing during Bihu

Locations of Basant Panchami celebration: Eastern parts of India – West Bengal & Bihar

Date of celebration: 16th February 2022 (Tuesday)

Harvest Festivals Of North-East India

Here is a compilation of the harvest festivals in North East India that will offer a heartwarming experience while exploring the country. Explore the list below!

6. Bhogali Bihu – A Celebration of Bliss and Cheerfulness

Every January, the entire state of Assam comes alive with enthusiasm and joy during the celebration of Bhogali Bihu. Assam’s farmers celebrate and appreciate their hard work in cultivation and enjoy the rewards of their labor. The festivities begin with Uruka, a community feast held on the eve before Bihu. On the day of Bihu, clay and hay pavilions known as mejis are set ablaze. Local women adorn themselves with beautiful mukhlas and participate in group singing and dancing. Also known as Magh Bihu, it stands out as an exotic and vibrant addition to the collection of India’s harvest festivals.

Women of Meghalaya dancing during Wangala festival

Location of Bihu celebration: Assam

Main attractions of Bihu festival: Bihu dance, bullfight, bird fight, and delicacies like Sunga Pitha, Til Pitha, and Laru

Date of celebration: 15th January 2022 (Friday)

7. Wangala – Rhythmic Beats and Melodies Fill the Air

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Wangala showcases the exuberance of 100 drums as they echo through the Garo tribes of northeast India. It is a popular festival of abundance in India that heralds the arrival of winter. During this festive occasion, the Sun God is worshipped with unparalleled devotion and enthusiasm. The women adorn themselves in vibrant traditional attire and dance gracefully, while the men create a rhythmic symphony by tapping their fingers on the traditional drum pads.

women and girls dressed for Ka Pomblang Nongkrem festival

Where Can You Find Wangala: Meghalaya and Assam.What Makes Wangala Festive: A musical extravaganza featuring drums, flutes, and gongs.Date: 13th November 2022 (Saturday)

8. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem – The Festive Dance of Meghalaya

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The denizens of Khasi hills dedicate their worship to Goddess Ka Blei Synshar and commemorate the bountiful harvest with fervor and exhilaration. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem brings boundless joy and happiness to the community. The festivities encompass animal sacrifices and the Nongkrem dance, where participants hold a sword in one hand and a yak hair whisk in the other. Unlike other distinctive Indian festivals, this celebration holds immense popularity among the people of Meghalaya and is widely embraced.

sand art promoting Nuakhai festival

Where Can You Experience Ka Pomblang Nongkrem: Meghalaya.What Makes Ka Pomblang Nongkrem Special: The Pemblang ceremony and the Ceremony of Tangmuri.Date: 2nd or 3rd week of November.

Festivals in the East and the West of India

Here is an assortment of the harvest festivals of East and West India in 2022, which will allow you to immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry of the country and provide a captivating experience for your soul. Let’s explore!

9. Nuakhai – The Reverence for Nature’s Bounty

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Nuakhai is an age-old agrarian celebration in Odisha. “Nua” means new and “khai” means food in the local language. This not only stands as a popular harvest festival in India, but also symbolizes bidding farewell to the past and embracing the new and beautiful with open arms. The festival is also known as Nuakhai Parab or Nuakhai Bhetghat.

Nuakhai Festival: A Delightful Celebration in Orissa

Location: Orissa

Main Highlights: Indulging in the scrumptious delight of Arsaa Pitha (mouthwatering sweet pancakes)

Date: 11th September 2022 (Saturday)

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10. Gudi Padwa – Embracing the Springtime Spirit


Gudi Padwa is a magnificent Maharashtra harvest festival that welcomes the advent of a prosperous New Year. During this festivity, homes are adorned with vibrant rangoli designs and handcrafted dolls, complemented by fragrant flowers. Loved ones gather to exchange heartfelt wishes, while women display their culinary skills by preparing delectable treats like Puran Poli, Shrikhand, and Sunth Paak.

a couple worshipping during Gudi Padwa

Location: Maharashtra

Main Highlights: Creating and hanging a Gudi (a bamboo doll) embellished with mango and neem leaves at the entrance as a symbol of auspiciousness.

Date: 13th April 2022 (Tuesday)

11. Nabanna – an Extravaganza Celebrating the New Harvest

Nabanna, a remarkable agricultural festivity of India, has gained widespread recognition for its grandiose celebration of the rice harvest. This time-honored tradition is deeply cherished in Bengal, where the joyous act of reaping new rice is accompanied by its abundant storage in households. With utmost exuberance, the farmers of Bengal actively participate in this harvest ritual during the month of Agrahayan in the Bengali calendar. Expressing their gratitude for all the blessings bestowed upon them, they offer the first grains to the revered Goddess Lakshmi. Welcoming tourists from all corners of the country, the West Bengal Tourism has stepped forward to promote this vibrant event.

Decoration during Nabanna festival

Where does Nabanna take place: West BengalKey highlights of the Nabanna festival: The delectable Payesh (Kheer) prepared from the freshly harvested rice and the captivating Nabanna fair.Date: To be announced soon

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Reveling in the Harvest Festivities of South India

Explore the fascinating history and culture of South India through a compilation of the harvest festivals celebrated in 2022. Delve into a journey of discovery!

12. Onam – India’s Bountiful Harvest Extravaganza

men dancing wearing mask during a Onam festival

The renowned harvest festival of Kerala known as Onam is embraced with immense enthusiasm in various parts of the state. Spanning across a period of 10 days, this festival symbolizes the glorious return of Mahabali. To commemorate the abundant yield, the people of Kerala embellish their doorways with vibrant floral rangoli, don traditional attire, indulge in gastronomic delights, and revel in the enchanting melodies and classic dance forms.

When and where does Onam take place: Certain regions across KeralaKey highlights of the Onam festival: The traditional culinary treasures of Kerala, including Rasam, Payasam, Avial, brown rice, and parippu curry, are graciously served to guests on traditional green leaf plates. The festival also features thrilling events like snake boat races and mesmerizing tiger dances.Date: 23rd August 2022 (Monday)

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women cooking Pongal during Pongal festival

13. Pongal – A Heartfelt Tribute to Mother Earth

Makar Sankranti, also known as Pongal, is commemorated during the same period in various cities of Tamil Nadu. This festive occasion serves as a heartfelt expression of gratitude towards mother nature for the year’s bountiful produce. Pongal stands out as one of India’s most vibrant celebrations of the harvest, spanning four joyous days. It takes its place as one of the most highly regarded festivities in Tamil Nadu.

The initial day is dedicated to Bhogi Festival, a time to honor Lord Indra for providing ample rainfall. On the second day, people cook freshly harvested rice and milk outdoors and offer it in reverence to the Sun God. The third day centers around the worship of cattle, while the fourth day involves the presentation of Pongal, a traditional dish of multicolored rice combined with turmeric, betel leaf, and betel nuts.

Where is Pongal celebrated: Tamil Nadu Key features of the Pongal festival: Eye-catching Kolam designs adorning homes, thrilling bull-taming contests, bonfires made from agricultural waste, and prayers for the prosperity of one’s family. Date: 17th January 2022 (Sunday)

neem leaves and species for Ugadi festival

14. Ugadi – A Celebration of Gratitude to the Divine

Ugadi serves as a regional New Year observance for the residents of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This harvest festival symbolizes an auspicious beginning for new endeavors and ventures. On this day, locals take an oil bath, dress in traditional attire, adorn their homes with earthen lamps and rangoli patterns, and perform the Ugadi puja within their households.

Where is Ugadi celebrated: Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Key features of the Ugadi festival: The festival features delectable dishes like Ugadi Pachadi, Pulihora, and Bobbatlu, prepared with raw mango, jaggery, neem, and tamarind. Date: 13th April 2022 (Tuesday)

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Kids preparing for Vishu festival

15. Vishu – Honoring Lord Krishna

The Vishu festival encompasses grand worship of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna, a lavish family lunch, evening prayers, and mesmerizing fireworks. This captivating harvest celebration takes place on the first day of the Malayalee New Year. Women in every household prepare Vishukkani, an array of traditional delicacies offered to the Gods, including rice, golden lemon, golden cucumber, jackfruit, yellow konna flowers, and betel leaves.

Where is Vishu celebrated: Kerala and Karnataka Key features of the Vishu festival: The Kani Kanal, representing the first sacred sight of Vishnu, and the Sadya, an extravagant mid-day feast. Date: 14th April 2022 (Wednesday)

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Agera festival paddy field

16. Agera – Renowned as The Thanksgiving Sunday

Agera is one of India’s crop festivals that is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people of Mumbai. It takes place on the first Sunday of October in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, and Vasai, marking the harvest season of Maharashtra. During Agera, Catholic locals express gratitude to God for the abundant blessings received. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Thanksgiving Sunday’ and is characterized by a vibrant procession to the nearest paddy field, where a priest offers blessings to the farm and collects a few sheaves. The procession is accompanied by music and dance. Outside churches, various food stalls are set up, where the blessed paddy is eventually brought before being distributed among the participants.

Where is Agera celebrated: Mumbai

Key Attractions of Agera festival: One of the priests bestows blessings upon the field and harvests a few rice stalks, which are then taken to the church accompanied by the sounds of the village band in a palki.

Date: Yet to be announced

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Dree Festival Arunachal Pradesh

17. Dree Festival – A Prominent Celebration of the Apatani Tribe

The Dree Festival is one of the most renowned festivals in Arunachal Pradesh as it carries great significance for the Apatani tribe, marking the harvest season. This festival, celebrated on the 5th of July every year in the Ziro district of Arunachal Pradesh, is characterized by sacrificial offerings and prayers.

People from all walks of life participate in the Dree Festival with utmost joy, dressing up in traditional attire. The locals perform traditional dances and music while others indulge in a feast of tangy rice and millet beer. Moreover, the three-day festival features various games and sports for the entertainment of both the locals and onlookers. The entire ritual is performed to seek blessings from the four Gods – Tamu, Harniang, Metii, and Danyi – for a bountiful harvest season.

Where is Dree festival celebrated: Arunachal Pradesh

Key Attractions of Dree festival: The festival entails traditional singing and dance, during which the five main deities such as Tamu, Medvr, Metw, Mepin, and Danyi are worshipped.

Date: Yet to be announced

18. Holi: Celebration of Colors and Water

Holi is a vibrant harvest festival celebrated in India with great enthusiasm and spirit. It represents the essence of India and its vibrancy, as it is celebrated with grandeur and splendor. Holi is renowned for its colors and water, making it one of the most famous harvest festivals in the country. The festival spans over two days, with the first day dedicated to a bonfire commemorating Holika’s sacrifice, and the second day filled with people playing with colors and water, celebrating Holi with immense vigor and joy. The best place to experience the true essence of Holi is in Mathura.

Where is Holi celebrated: Barsana, Mathura & Vrindavan

Key Attractions of Holi festival: The festival involves playing with a wide array of vibrant colors.

Date: 29th March 2022 (Sunday)

You should attend at least a few of India’s harvest festivals in different states. You will be amazed by the diversity of this beautiful land. Visiting these Indian states during their harvest festivals will provide you with a deep understanding of their rich culture, heritage, and traditions. So, why wait? Plan your trip now!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Harvest Festivals In India

Is Diwali a harvest festival?

No, Diwali is not categorized as a harvest festival.

Which is the harvest festival of Bihar?

The harvest festival of Bihar is known as Makar Sankranti.

Why do we celebrate harvest festivals?

Harvest festivals are celebrated to honor and appreciate the abundance of food grown on the land. They mark the culmination of efforts put into sowing and nurturing crops throughout the year.

What is the harvest festival of Rajasthan?

The harvest festival of Rajasthan is called Gangaur. It is a vibrant and significant festival celebrated during March/April, dedicated to the worship of Gauri by women.

What is special about the Wangala dance?

The Wangala festival features the Wangala dance, which is a celebratory dance performed to rejoice in the harvest season. It involves singing and dancing as a tribute to God.

Which are the famous harvest festivals of South India?

The famous harvest festivals of South India include Pongal, Onam, and Ugadi. These festivals offer insights into the rich culture of South India.

Which states in India celebrate Ugadi festival?

The states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana celebrate the Ugadi festival with great enthusiasm.

What country celebrates the harvest festival?

Various regions engaged in agriculture celebrate their respective harvest festivals. Some countries that celebrate harvest festivals include Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand, Israel, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

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