India’s Public Holidays in 2019

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India's public holidays 2019

The government has announced its holiday schedule for 2019. The schedule is divided across three classifications: gazetted, restricted, as well as state and union territory.

Many foreign human resource managers struggle with India’s holiday schedule. That is no surprise: the federal and state governments have acknowledged a number of holidays every month to accommodate over 1.3 billion people spread over 36 diverse states and union territories.

Although there are many ways to manage this schedule, most companies in India offer 10 to 14 public holidays depending upon the company’s past practices and industry norms, as well as the discretion of the concerned states.

Public holidays in India are governed primarily through the following laws:

  • The Weekly Holidays Act, 1942;
  • The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946;
  • The National and Festival Holidays Act, 1963;
  • The Negotiable Instruments Act 1981;
  • The Companies Act 2013; and
  • The Shops and Commercial Establishments Act.

Many businesses in India close offices on the gazetted holidays and grant employees several optional holidays that they may select to observe a non-gazetted holiday of their choosing. 

Other businesses simply mirror the holiday schedule observed by the management of their office building.

Out of the following list of gazetted and non-gazetted holidays, the three national public holidays – Republic Day; Independence Day; and Gandhi Jayanti are mandatory. Irrespective of the law a company, industry, or organization follows, or whether they are public, private organizations or MNCs, every entity must necessarily remain closed on these days.

Gazetted holidays for 2019

  • January 26: Republic Day
  • March 4: Maha Shivaratri
  • March 21: Holi
  • April 17: Mahavir Jayanti
  • April 19: Good Friday
  • May 18: Buddha Purnima
  • June 5: Id-ul- Fitr
  • August 12: Id-ul-Zuha (Bakri Id)
  • August 15: Independence Day
  • August 24: Janmashtami
  • September 10: Muharram
  • October 2: Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday
  • October 8: Dussehra
  • October 27: Diwali (Deepavali)
  • November 10: Id-e-Milad (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)
  • November 12: Guru Nanak’s birthday
  • December 25: Christmas Day

Non-gazetted holidays for 2019

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • January 13: Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday
  • January 14: Makar Sankranti
  • January 15: Pongal
  • February 10: Basant Panchami
  • February 19: Guru Ravidas’s birthday/ Shivaji Jayanti
  • March 1: Swami Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti
  • March 20: Holika Dahan
  • March 21: Dolyatra
  • April 6: Ugadi/Gudi Padava/ Chaitra Sukladi/Cheti Chand
  • April 13: Ram Navami
  • April 14: Vaisakhi/Vishu/Mesadi
  • April 15: Vaisakhadi (Bengal)/Bahag Bihu (Assam)
  • April 21: Easter Sunday
  • May 9: Guru Rabindranath’s birthday
  • May 31: Jamat-ul-Vida
  • July 4: Rath Yatra
  • August 15: Raksha Bandhan
  • August 17: Parsi New Year/Nauraj
  • September 2: Ganesh Chaturthi/Vinayaka Chaturthi
  • September 11: Onam
  • October 5: Dussehra (Maha Saptami)
  • October 6: Dussehra (Maha Ashtami)
  • October 7: Dussehra (Maha Navmi)
  • October 13: Maharishi Valmiki’s birthday
  • October 17: Karva Chouth
  • October 27: Naraka Chaturdasi
  • October 28: Govardhan Puja
  • October 29: Bhai Dhuj
  • November 2: Chhat Puja
  • November 24: Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day
  • December 24: Christmas Eve

Please note that this year most public holidays will occur over weekends, including: Ram Navami, Buddha Purnima, Janmashtami, Diwali, and Id-e-Milad.

State and union territory holidays

The list of state and union territory holidays is quite large. Please follow the hyperlink to review local holidays that apply to your place of business.

In addition to office closures, governments in the state and union territories often observe “dry days” or days when the sale of alcohol is not permitted, on gazetted and state and union territory holidays. Dry days also routinely occur on local election dates.

(For India’s Public Holidays List 2018 click here; and for 2017, here)

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India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write for more support on doing business in India