It's been said often enough that Hindus celebrate everything. So they do. The birth of gods, death of asuras, victory of the gods, marriage of the gods, the new year, new months, full moons, new moons, harvests, birthdays, initiations, marriages, deaths, anniversaries - you name the event, and it is reason for music, dance, processions, and what have you.
And there is the religious bit lurking behind it all. The reasons for this lie deep, in the origin of Hinduism as an organic religion. Its followers have over time considered anything, animate or inanimate, to be sacred and aspects of divinity.
That is also why even secular events like harvests take on religious overtones, with the patron deity presiding over the festivities. As soon as something happens, there is a kind of thanksgiving to the divine that follows it.
The profusion of legends and the contradictions inherent in them is reflected in festivals too. Travel around the country, and you will hear people tell you a variety of legends involving different gods behind a single festival. Besides, you will also find versions of the same festival being celebrated under different names in different regions.
All this adds that facet of unending novelty and constant change to the strikingly colourful kaleidoscope that is India. You might end up thinking the thought: "The more things change, the more they remain the same", which is something often said about India and its magical agelessness.
With so many holy days and more than 20 major hindu festivals, the calendar should be liberally sprinkled with them. But it isn't so. There is a distinct festival season, which runs from late August through December. This is when there is a fever of celebrations, with a string of important festivals following one another in a rush.
But the major festivals are not the only ones that the people celebrate. Browse through the Hindu almanac, and you will find a mention of holiness or sacredness against almost every day of the year. Most of the lesser festivals are lesser because they have a private rather than public face. There are rituals for phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, days of the week, a person's auspicious star or zodiac sign
Hinduism is often described as a religion of fasts, feasts and festivals. Here's a date-wise list of Hindu festivals, including cultural and religious occasions for 2017 (Saka Era: 1938-39 / Vikram Era: 2074-75).
Sunday Jul 05, 2020 Guru Purnima
Saturday Jul 25, 2020 Nag Panchami
Friday Jul 31, 2020 Varalakshmi Vrat
Monday Aug 03, 2020 Raksha Bandhan
Tuesday Aug 11, 2020 Krishna Janmashtami
Saturday Aug 22, 2020 Ganesh Chaturthi
Monday Aug 31, 2020 Onam
Wednesday Sep 16, 2020 Vishwakarma Puja
Thursday Sep 17, 2020 Mahalaya Amavasya
Saturday Oct 17, 2020 Navaratri begins
Saturday Oct 24, 2020 Navaratri ends / Maha Navami
Sunday Oct 25, 2020 Dusshera
Friday Oct 30, 2020 Sharad Purnima
Wednesday Nov 04, 2020 Karwa Chauth
Friday Nov 13, 2020 Dhan Teras
Saturday Nov 14, 2020 Diwali
Monday Nov 16, 2020 Bhai Dooj
Friday Nov 20, 2020 Chhath Puja
Monday Nov 30, 2020 Kartik Poornima
Tuesday Dec 15, 2020 Dhanu Sankranti
Friday Dec 25, 2020 Geeta Jayanti