India Announces 2015 Holiday Schedule
DELHI – The Indian government has recently released its holiday schedule for 2015. The schedule differs in several instances to 2014’s calendar, with a number of restricted holidays changing status to become gazetted (public) holidays, and vice-versa.
Understanding India’s holiday system is important for both domestic and foreign firms operating in the country. Businesses in India must allow their employees to have gazetted holidays off, whilst an employee is legally allowed to choose two days from the year’s list of restricted holidays.
Below, we highlight the gazetted and restricted holidays for 2015:
Milad-Un-Nabi or Id-E-Milad (Birthday of Prophest Mohammad)
- Jan 4
This holiday is known as both Milad-Un-Nabi and Id-E-Milad, and it commemorates the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
- Jan 26
Republic Day commemorates the date that the Constitution of India was promulgated in 1950.
- March 06
Holi is also called the festival of colors.
- March 28
Ram Navami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Rama. The festival commemorates the birth of Rama, who is remembered for his prosperous and righteous reign.
- April 02
Mahavir Jayanti is an auspicious occasion for the Jain community. Followers visit temples and offer a ceremonial bath, known as ‘abhishek’, to Mahavira’s idol. The temples are lavishly decorated with flags to mark the anniversary of Lord Mahavira’s birth.
- April 03
Many Christians in India observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It is one of the major days of the Christian season.
- May 04
Buddha Purnima (Buddha Jayanti) is a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha’s birth. It falls on the day of the full moon..
- July 18
Idu’l Fitr (Eid) is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal.
- August 15
India celebrates the day it became an independent nation on August 15, 1947, every year.
- September 05
Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. According to the Hindu calendar, this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami (the 8th day of the dark fortnight) of Krishna Paksh.
- September 25
Also called Eid al-Adha, this is an Islamic holiday which celebrates Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his promised son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of submission to God. During this festival, many make special efforts to pray and attend a sermon at their mosque.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
- October 2
Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday is a national Holiday in India. This year marks the 146th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, popularly known as the Father of the Nation.
- October 22
Dussehra celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the evil Ravana and also the triumph of Goddess Durga over the evil Mahishasura.
- October 24
Muharram refers to the first month of the Islamic Calendar. According to Islam, the full month of Muharram is sacred. Muslims visit mosques and shrines and offer their condolences to the martyr Imam Hussain.
- November 11
Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights. It is common for people to light small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil within an individual. Several Indian businesses may start their financial year by opening new accounting books on the day of Diwali for good luck.
Guru Nanak’s Birthday
- November 25
Guru Nanak’s Birthday is extensively celebrated as Gurpurab across India. It is an auspicious festival in Sikhism and celebrated to remember the philosophy of Guru Nanak.
- December 25
Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed cultural holiday in India.
The list of restricted holidays for the coming year is as follows:
- January 01: New Year’s Day
- January 14: Makar Sankranti
- January 15: Pongal
- January 24: Basant Panchami/Sri Panchami
- February 03: Guru Ravidas’s Birthday
- February 14: Swami Dayananda Saraswati Jayanti
- February 17: Maha Shivaratri
- February 19: Shivaji Jayanti
- March 05: Holika Dahan
- March 21: Chaitra Suldadi/Gudi Padava/Ugadi/Cheti Chand
- April 05: Easter Sunday
- April 14: Vaisakhi/Vishu/Masadi
- April 15: Vaisakhadi (Bengal)/Bahag Bihu (Assam)
- May 03: Hazarat Ali’s Birthday
- May 09: Guru Rabindranath’s Birthday
- July 17: Jamat-Ul-Vida
- July 18: Rath Yatra
- August 18: Parsi New Year’s Day/Nauroz
- August 28: Onam
- August 29: Raksha Bandhan
- September 17: Vinayaka Chaturthi/Ganesh Chaturthi
- October 20: Dussehra (Maha Saptami)
- October 21: Dussehra (Maha Ashtami)
- October 22: Dussehra (Maha Navmi)
- October 27: Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday
- October 30: Karaka Chaturthi (Karva Chouth)
- November 10: Deepavali (South India only), Naraka Chaturdasi
- November 12: Govardhan Puja
- November 13: Bhai Duj
- November 17: Pratihar Sashthi/Surya Sashthi (Chhat Puja)
- November 24: Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day
- December 24: Christmas Eve
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