New Years Day: January 1
The first day of the year is an official public holiday, with most shops and offices being closed. Although traditionally not celebrated with a lot of hoopla, New Years Eve is now marked by droves of urbanites attending lavish eve parties in bars, nightclubs and farmhouses. One of the most popular New Years destinations is Goa. With the perfect weather, vast beaches and wild parties ending at the break of dawn, Goa is the place to be!
Republic Day: January 26
The Republic Day commemorates the date on which the Constitution of Independent India came into force on January 26, 1950. The day is celebrated with a parade of military might in New Delhi, where the president and special guests view the parade. Security on this day and on other political public holidays is extremely tight. The best seats to watch the parade will be at the India Gate, where the action takes place live!
34th Kalachakra Festival: Bodh Gaya ( Bihar ) 14 to 25 January 2016
For followers or lovers of Buddhism, it is a special event . For 10 days the teaching of Kalachakra will be initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the 5th time since 1974 , this time in the small holy town of Bodh Gaya famous for being the place where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and is considered the birthplace of Buddhism . The Kalachakra tradition revolves around the concepts of time (Kala) and cycles (Chakra): from the cycles of the planets, to the cycles of the human breathing, it is a practice of working with the most subtle energies within one’s body, in order to attain enlightenment. The Kalachakra teaching is one of the most important events of the Buddhist world; it takes into account all aspects: body, mind, and everything around us, from the cosmic to the astrological. The event announcement is intense and many pilgrims from around the world will be present and it promise a great spiritual and human gathering.
Camel Fair Bikaner: Rajatsthan, 22 and 23 January 2016
For 2 days, Bikaner becomes a mecca for festivals. Desert dwellers meet to exchange, sell and buy their camels and livestock. This is an opportunity to discover local crafts and traditional dances of the city in the desert.
India Art Fair: Delhi, NSIC Exhibition Ground, from 28 to 31 January 2016
This excellent art festival, created in 2008, is one of the most visited in the world; nearly 100 exhibition spaces and nearly 1,000 artists from around the world will present their work. A major event in the world of art, where artists, gallery owners, collectors, museum directors, curators and art lovers find themselves each year.
Lohri: Punjab and Haryana, January 13, 2016
The peak of winter and harvest season in North India is celebrated by bonfires, singing and dancing. The date of this festival is not fixed but typically takes places around mid-January every year. Lohri’s origins are linked to Punjab and the festival is celebrated with the most gusto here. To witness the vibrant celebration of a new harvest, head to the land of Punjabis!
Makar Sankranti (Kite Festival): Northern India, January 14, 2016
Participants of all ages come together on their roofs with colourful kites that dot the sky. Kite fights are organized on this occasion, and they can become so competitive that kites are coated with glue and broken glass to turn them into lethal weapons for opposing kites.
Jaipur Literature Festival: Jaipur (Rajasthan), 21 to 25 January 2016
From national literature to international literature, this festival is an important literary affair in Asia. Lectures, debates and discussions take place, while interactive performances showcase the culture of Rajasthan.
Dover Lane Music Conference: Calcutta (West Bengal), 22 to 25 January 2016
The Dover Lane Music Conference has been one of the biggest festivals of music and Indian classical dance for over 50 years. This festival spans six days in December or January depending and brings together both young and old generations of Indian classical musicians.
Nagaur Fair: Nagaur (Rajasthan), 2016 dates to come
Nagaur Fair is one of the largest livestock markets in India. For several days, there are thousands of camels, horses, cattle and beautiful white oxen changing hands. This huge market is held under the patronage of Ramdeo, considered an incarnation of Vishnu. It is also an opportunity to attend many shows: camel races, dances, local songs, etc.
Beating Retreat Ceremony: Delhi, January 29, 2016
An impressive ceremony, which takes place at sunset at the foot of Raisina Hill marking the end of the Republic Day Celebrations. Foot-tapping beats of drums, sing-along martial tunes and calming chimes reverberate in the air.
Cochin Carnival, Fort Cochin: Kerala, January 1, 2016
The colorful parade of the Cochin Carnival is not to be missed. The participants, on foot or on floats, wear their imagination to make the characters they portray real. You can also participate!
Annual Feast of the Three Wise Men at Church of Reis Magos: Goa, 6 January, 2016
The Reis Magos church is famous for the annual feast that is held on 6th of January and is dedicated to the Three Wise Men.
Kerala Village Fair, Kovalam (Kerala) 2016 dates to come
For 10 days a reconstituted Gramam (village), where visitors will discover the traditions and culture of rural Kerala spotlighting cooking demonstrations, crafts and dance shows, theater, martial arts, etc. showcasing a truly diversified and authentic Kerala.
Malabar Mahotsavam: Calicut (Kerala), 13 to 16 January 2016
Every year from January 13th to 16th, the city’s annual art and cultural extravaganza presents a range of art and literary events. Eminent performers in music, entertainment and literature attend the four-day event.
Pongal Tamil Nadu, 14 to 17 January, 2016
The celebration of the end of the harvest of rice is the most important festival in South India. In Tamil Nadu, it is the most picturesque four days of celebrations that begin with cleaning houses, while cattle and cows are painted and women draw the kolam (patterns drawn with rice) on their doorstep. On the day of Pongal ("boiling"), the first course of the new crop of rice is cooked in a pot with sugar cane and turmeric – and according to tradition, the more the rice bubbles and overflows, the better the next harvest will be. The next day, the cows are decorated and garlands are hung from their painted horns. Cattle races are held throughout the villages, led by young men.
Mamallapuram Dance Festival: Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu) - 2016 dates to come
The Mamallapuram dance festival is organized every year for four weeks from early January to early February. Various classical dances are presented such as Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Mohiniattam, Odissi and Kathakali.
Banganga Festival: Mumbai (Maharashtra), January 1, 2016
An Indian classical music festival held each year for two days by MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation), at the historic Banganga Tank from the 13th century.
Thyagaraja Music Festival : Thiruvaiyaru (Tamil Nadu), 2016 dates to come
A Carnatic Music Festival which takes place every year in January for eight days in honor of the saint Shri Thyagaraja Swami.
Hampi Utsav: Hampi (Karnataka), 2016 dates to come
The Hampi Festival is organized every year by the Government of Karnataka. A cultural festival in all its excellence, it showcases dance, theater, music, puppet shows, and processions in one of the most magical places in India.