Events and Festivals in October in India

“Tempus fugit.”

The last quarter of the year is around the corner and nobody nearly noticed.

In case you missed out on the previous festivals and events of the year, we provide to you a fresh list of upcoming festivals for the month of October. Make sure you do not miss on the sanctity, importance and the fun of these Indian festivals.

1. GANDHI JAYANTI (2nd OCTOBER)

2nd October, every year, is observed as a National Holiday in India to celebrate the occasion of the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as the “Father of the Nation“. This day is also celebrated as the International Day of Non-violence according to the declaration of the resolution adopted by United Nations General Assembly on 15th June, 2007.

The birthday is celebrated by offering prayers and services all over India, especially in Rajghat, Gadhiji’s memorial in New Delhi, where he was cremated.  Schools, colleges and other government institutions hold prayers and conduct essay writing, slogan writing and painting competition on themes of peace and non-violence. Gandhiji’s favourite song “Raghupati raghav raja ram” is also sung in his memory.

School children celebrating Gandhi Jayanti
School children celebrating Gandhi Jayanti | thehindu.com

2. NAVARATRI (13th to 22nd OCTOBER)

The word Navaratri originates from two Sanskrit words, Nava meaning nine and Ratri meaning nights. Navaratri is a nine day Hindu festival celebrated in dedication to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga/Amba(the power). It is celebrated four times in a year, but Sharad Navaratri (September-October) is considered as the most important one. Over this period of nine days, rituals are performed along with dance and music. The festival is celebrated as follows:

Navaratri Day 1 Pratipada : Ghatasthapana Shailputri Pujan

Navaratri Day 2 Dwitiya : Chandra Darshan Brahmacharini Pujan

Navaratri Day 3 Tritiya : Sindoor Tritiya Chandraghanta Pujan

Navaratri Day 4 chaturthi : Varad Vinayaka Chauth

Navaratri Day 5 Panchami : Upang Lalita Vrat Skandamata Pujan

Navaratri Day 6 Shashthi : Saraswati Awahan Katyayani Pujan

Navaratri Day 7 Saptami : Saraswati Puja Kalaratri Pujan

Navaratri Day 8 Ashtami : Durga Ashtami Mahagauri Pujan Sandhi Puja, Maha Ashtami

Navaratri Day 9 Navami : Ayudha Puja Durga Visarjan, Maha Navami

The 9th day is celebrated as Mahanavami and begins with Mahasnan. On this day, the goddess is worshipped as Mahishasurmardini(annihilator of the buffalo demon).

3. DURGA PUJA(18th to 22nd OCTOBER)

Durga Puja is one of the major festivals celebrated in West Bengal along with other parts of the country. It is a 4-5 days festival celebrated towards the end of the Navaratri period. In this period of 4-5 days, huge Pandals and grand idols of Goddess durga are open for visitors. The Pandals are decorated gorgeously in hudreds of colours. These idols are later immersed in water, known as Visarjan. The grand festival of Bengalis showcases their beautiful culture full of grand Pandals, delicacies and Dhunachi dance.

Grand durga puja pandal
The grandeur of Durga puja celebrations in Bengal

College square Durga Puja

4. DUSSEHRA (22nd OCTOBER)

Dussehra(Vijaydashmi) is celebrated to mark the victory of Good over Evil, of Goddess Durga over Mahishasur and of Lord Rama over Ravana. Dussehra is celebrated as a culmination of Navaratri on the 10th day after Navami. however, this year, according to the Lunar calendar, both Navami and Dussehra are to be celebrated on the 10th day i.e. on 22nd October. On this day, people offer offerings to gods at home and outdoor celebrations including fairs and effigy burning of Ravana is held. Ramlila performances take place along with bonfires and fireworks. Dussehra celebrations in Kullu, Mysore and Kota take place at large scales and with different customs.

Dussehra celebrations in Kota
Dussehra celebrations in Kota | Source: top-10-india.com

5. MUHARRAM (24th OCTOBER)

The word Muharram meaning forbidden is derived from the word haram meaning sinful. It is the first month of the Islamic Calendar, starting on 15th October this year. It commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet and the 10th day is celebrated by Shia Muslims as Mourning of Muharram, where they take taziyas (coffins of the dead in memory of Hazrat Imam) out in procession during the evening.

muharram procession
muharram procession | Source: udaipurtimes.com

6. VALMIKI JAYANTI (27th OCTOBER)

Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Maharishi Valmiki, also known as Adi Kavi(the first poet of Sanskrit language). This great sage is the author of the Great epic Ramayana. After the banishment of Devi Sita by Lord Ram, she found shelter at Valmiki’s ashram and gave birth to her twin sons Lava and Kusha.

7. KARWA CHAUTH (30th OCTOBER)

Karwa/Karak chauth is celebrated as a fasting day by married Indian women for the long life of their husbands. women worship Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha and break the fast only at the sight of their husband’s face and the moon through a sieve. The Moon is then offered prayers to ( known as argha)  with a Karwa(an earthen pot) which is later given as daan to Brahmins or some other married woman. the fasting is a strict procedure with no intake of food and water on this day and women dress up in red.

karva-chauth-celebrations
Married women ready to perform Karva Chauth rituals | Source: mykundali.com

Other lesser important festivals and events for the coming month are:

  • Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti 13th October
  • Ashwa Poojan 22nd October (Rajasthan)
  • Madhavacharya Jayanti 23rd October
  • Rajasthan International folk Festival 23rd-27th October (Rajasthan)
  • Marwar festival 26th-27th October (Rajasthan)
  • Meerabai Jayanti 27th October

Make sure you do not miss to enjoy these festivals!

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