India’s Public Holidays in 2020
The government of India has announced its holiday schedule for 2020. 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.
India’s public holidays in 2020: Gazetted holidays
- January 26: Republic Day
- March 10: Holi
- April 2: Ram Navami
- April 6: Mahavir Jayanti
- April 10: Good Friday
- May 7: Buddha Purnima
- May 25: Id-ul- Fitr
- August 1: Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr Id)
- August 11: Janmashtami
- August 15: Independence Day
- August 30: Muharram
- October 2: Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
- October 25: Dussehra
- October 30: Id-e-Milad (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday)
- November 14: Diwali (Deepavali)
- November 30: Guru Nanak’s birthday
- December 25: Christmas Day
Non-gazetted holidays for 2020
- January 1: New Year’s Day
- January 2: Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday
- January 13: Lohri
- January 15: Makar Sankranti/Pongal
- January 30: Basant Panchami
- February 9: Guru Ravidas’s birthday
- February 18: Swami Dayananda Saraswati Jayanti
- February 19: Shivaji Jayanti
- February 21: Maha Shivaratri
- March 9: Holika Dahan/Dolyatra/Hazarat Ali’s Birthday
- March 25: Ugadi/Gudi Padava/ Chaitra Sukladi/Cheti Chand
- April 12: Easter Sunday
- April 13: Vaisakhi/Vishu
- April 14: Mesadi/Vaisakhadi (Bengal)/Bahag Bihu (Assam)
- May 8: Guru Rabindranath’s Birthday
- May 22: Jamat-ul-Vida
- June 23: Rath Yatra
- August 3: Raksha Bandhan
- August 16: Parsi New Year’s Day/Nauraj
- August 22: Ganesh Chaturthi/Vinayaka Chaturthi
- August 31: Onam
- October 23: Dussehra (Maha Saptami)
- October 24: Dussehra (Maha Ashtami)
- October 31: Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday
- November 4: Karva Chouth
- November 14: Naraka Chaturdasi
- November 15: Govardhan Puja
- November 16: Bhai Dhuj
- November 20: 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: Republic Day, Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr Id), Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Parsi New Year’s Day Dussehra, and Diwali.
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 in 2021, click here.)