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New Delhi Events and Festivals

Festivals in New Delhi offer visiting tourists plenty of things to do, with many major Hindu festivals taking place each year. Many of the most popular events in New Delhi include concerts and theatrical performances, which often take place at the Pragati Maidan, along Mathura Road and close to Delhi Zoo, which is amongst India's best exhibitions venues.

Also taking place on a weekly basis in New Delhi, the Nizamuddin's Qawwali is held on Thursday evenings outside of the Nizamuddin Auliya shrine and features Muslim songs, while each Sunday within Nehru Park, you can expect classical music concerts amongst the flowers and trees, known as the 'Morning Ragas'. The main festivals are shown below.

New Delhi National Seasons
  • Magha (January / February)
  • Phalguna (February / March)
  • Chaitra (March / April)
  • Vaisakha (April / May)
  • Jyaistha (May / June)
  • Asadha (June / July)
  • Sravana (July / August)
  • Bhadra (August / September)
  • Asvina (September / October)
  • Kartika (October / November)
  • Aghan (November / December)
  • Pausa (December / January)

New Delhi Events and Festivals in January

  • Indian Food and Wine Show - mid-January, a popular gastronomic event which regularly attracts crowds of foodies, who come to New Delhi to enjoy the innumerable food stalls, local dishes and wine tasting
  • Pongal / Makar Sankranti - mid-January, festival lasting four days, marking the end of the harvest
  • Kite Flying Festival - mid-January, held each year on Makar Sankranti Day at a number of central venues, with colourful kite-flying demonstrations being amongst the highlights
  • Lohri - mid-January, a festival with a range of local celebrations, culminating in a series of large bonfires
  • Republic Day Parade - January 26th, public holiday, based in the Rajpath area of New Delhi and attracting enormous crowds, which include both the President and also the Prime Minister. Expect to see processions of elephants, horses and other animals, together with military displays, music and dancing
  • Beating of the Retreat - January 29th, officially marking the end of New Delhi's Republic Day celebrations and festivities
  • India International Trade Fair - late January / early February, a prominent trade event lasting around two weeks and held in the Pragati Maidan area
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New Delhi Events and Festivals in February

  • Garden Tourism Festival / Flower Show - early February, a three- / four-day horticultural event known for its colourful flower displays and competitions, based within New Delhi's Talkatora Gardens
  • Delhi Book Fair - February, an important literary event run by the India Trade Promotion Organization and attracting crowds of literally thousands, who come to enjoy the discounted prices and genuine bargains
  • Surajkund Crafts Mela - early to mid-February, a two-week long arts and crafts fair held in Surajkund and attracting hundreds of local traders. Expect to find a good selection of antiquities, ceramics, textiles and food stalls, together with folk dancing and other entertainment
  • Mahashivratri - mid-February, this day of fasting involves offerings and religious celebrations at various temples and venues around New Delhi and beyond

New Delhi Events and Festivals in March

  • European Union Film Festival - March, an annual film festival first held in the mid-1980s, this has become a major event in New Delhi and regularly showcases a selection of the latest films, at the Siri Fort Auditorium and other venues
  • Bungee Jumping - March, perfect for thrill seekers visiting the city, taking place on the southern side of New Delhi, close to Bhikaiji Cama Place and the Ring Road
  • Holi - mid-March, a truly unique national Indian festival, where locals in New Delhi throw and smear coloured powder over each other, whilst enjoying music, dancing and consuming local delicacies
  • Ram Navami - late March, a religious occasion held in the city centre and in particular, around Connaught Place, with costumed parades and fasting

New Delhi Events and Festivals in April

  • Baisakhi Festival - mid-April, celebrated all over New Delhi and throughout northern India by Muslims, with traditional dancing marking the forthcoming harvest of the Rabi wheat crop
  • Summer Theatre Festival - May / June, a series of plays hosted at the Kamani Auditorium and performed by students of the city's acclaimed National School of Drama

New Delhi Events and Festivals in May

  • Buddha Jayanti (Triple Blessed Festival) - early May, celebrating the birth of Buddha

New Delhi Events and Festivals in June

  • There are no significant festivals in New Delhi during the month of June

New Delhi Events and Festivals in July

  • Mango Festival - mid-July, one of New Delhi's most popular and famous events, celebrating everything about mangoes, featuring an array of competitions, dancing and plenty of mangoes to go around, based at the Talkatora Gardens and Stadium
  • Naga Panchami - late July / early August, snakes are worshipped and lots of impressive snake charmers performer around the city

New Delhi Events and Festivals in August

  • Independence Day - August 15th, a particularly significant and historic date in Indian history, marking the day in 1947 when India was separated from the British Empire. This event is a public holiday throughout India and features celebrations at New Delhi's Red Fort, attended by the Prime Minister himself

New Delhi Events and Festivals in September

  • Janmastami - early September, the anniversary of the birth of Krishna, where followers fast until midnight

New Delhi Events and Festivals in October

  • Gandhi Jayanthi - October 2nd, public holiday celebrating the birth of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, with prayer at Delhi's Raj Ghat, the temple where he was cremated
  • Kalkaji Mandir / Navratri (Festival of Nine Lights) - mid-October, lasting nine days and attracting hoards of pilgrims, who make their way to the historic Kalkaji Temple on Nehru Place
  • Ram Lila - mid-October, the life of Lord Rama is remembered by theatrical performances and elaborate costumes
  • Durga Puja - mid-October, the Festival of the Goddess of Power, with drumming, singing, praying and parades
  • Dussehra Festival - mid-October, featuring countless statues of the evil King Ravana, who was defeated by Lord Rama. The statues are destroyed with arrows and explosives, much to the delight of the onlooking crowds
  • Diwali / Deepavaali (Festival of Lights) - October / November, the perfect way to spend a winter's evening, when the streets throughout New Delhi are illuminated and decorated with strings of lights and colourful candles
  • Qutub Festival - October / November, a cultural event held at the Qutub Complex on Mehrauli Road, with traditional Indian dancing and musical performances

New Delhi Events and Festivals in November

  • Phoolwalon ki Sair - November, a colourful festival of flowers, with a parade of flowers, displays in a number of prominent temples, live music and countless flower stalls, lasting eight days and based in the Mehrauli area of New Delhi

New Delhi Events and Festivals in December

  • Urs Of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia - late December, honouring the local saint Hazarat Nizamuddin Aulia and featuring music known as 'Qawwalis', based along Mathura Road
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