India’s Public Holidays in 2021

Posted by Written by Reading Time: 3 minutes

India’s public holidays in 2021 will include gazetted and restricted days, as is the norm. Commercial establishments should note the schedule for the respective states where they are located.

The government of India has announced its holiday schedule for 2021. 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. Companies doing business with state and government authorities, however, must note their respective holiday calendars. For example, government offices in the National Capital Territory of Delhi will be closed for 33 days in 2021.

Overall, 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.

However, among these, The National & Festival Holidays Act is applicable to all establishments in the country, and mandates three holidays in India: Republic Day, January 26; Independence Day, August 15; and Gandhi Jayanti, October 2. 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. Organizations that need to work on those days need to take prior approval from concerned authorities.

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.

Gazetted holidays for 2021

January

January 26, Tuesday: Republic Day

March

March 29, Monday: Holi

April

April 2, Friday: Good Friday

April 21, Wednesday: Ram Navami

April 25, Sunday: Mahavir Jayanti

May

May 14, Friday: Id-ul-Fitr

May 26, Wednesday: Buddha Purnima

July

July 21, Wednesday: Id-ul-Zuha

August

August 15, Sunday: Independence Day

August 19, Thursday: Muharram

August 30, Monday: Janmashtami

October

October 2, Saturday: Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (Gandhi Jayanti)

October 15, Friday: Dussehra

October 19, Tuesday: Birthday of Prophet Mohammad

November

November 4, Thursday: Diwali

November 19, Friday: Guru Nanak’s Birthday

December

December 25, Saturday: Christmas Day

Non-gazetted / restricted holidays for 2021

January

January 1, Friday: New Year’s Day

January 13, Wednesday: Lohri

January 14, Thursday: Makar Sankranti/Pongal

January 20, Wednesday: Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday

February

February 16, Tuesday: Basant Panchami

February 19, Friday: Shivaji Jayanti

February 26, Friday: Hazrat Ali’s Birthday

February 27, Saturday: Guru Ravidas’s Birthday

March

March 8, Monday: Swami Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti

March 11, Thursday: Maha Shivratri

March 28, Sunday: Holika Dahan

April

April 4, Sunday: Easter Sunday

April 13, Tuesday: Chaitra Sukladi/Gudi Padava/Ugadi/Cheti Chand/Vaisakhi/Vishu

April 14, Wednesday: Mesadi Tamil New Year’s Day

April 15, Thursday: Vaisakhadi (Bengal)/ Bahag Bihu (Assam)

May

May 7, Friday: Jamat-Ul-Vida

May 9, Sunday: Guru Rabindranath’s Birthday

July

July 12, Monday: Rath Yatra

August

August 16, Monday: Parsi New Year’s Day (Nauraj)

August 21, Saturday: Onam or Thiru Onam Day

August 22, Sunday: Raksha Bandhan

September

September 10, Friday: Ganesh Chaturthi

October

October 12, Tuesday: Dussehra (Maha Saptami)

October 13, Wednesday: Dussehra (Maha Ashtami)

October 14, Thursday: Dussehra (Maha Navmi)

October 20, Wednesday: Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday

October 24, Sunday: Karva Chouth

November

November 5, Friday: Govardhan Puja

November 6, Saturday: Bhai Dhuj

November 10, Wednesday: Chhat Puja

November 24, Wednesday: Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom

December

December 24, Friday: Christmas Eve

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 2020, click here.)


About Us

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 to india@dezshira.com for business support in India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *