Festivals of Maharashtra, Maharashtra Festivals Information

by Surojit Palmal
Festivals of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is one of the liveliest states that you can find in India. After all, it is also the second most populated state in India. And when there are more people, the celebrations are even bigger. A cosmopolitan state, Maharashtra is like a city that is always on the go. People living here know how to get going. And that even reflects in the way the people here celebrate their festivals. Moreover, as cultured and traditional as the state is, they know how to keep their values closer. The festivals of Maharashtra are grand and mostly celebrated on a large scale.

Variety of people walk from all areas of their life to be a part of this state. The important festivals of Maharashtra, just brings everyone under one single roof. With ways of community bonding, following rituals and holding on to cultural beliefs the major festivals in Maharashtra need all the love. So read this article on the famous festivals of Maharashtra and you would know exactly why this state is so lively. With a variety of people belonging from different caste, creed and religion, the festivals of Maharashtra reflect cultural inclusivity and religious tolerance as well. If you are planning a trip to Maharashtra try to plan it around these festivals to enjoy the festive vibe of the state.

Festivals of Maharashtra

Ganesh Chaturthi

Festivals of Maharashtra

Certainly the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra don’t need any introduction. It is one of the festivals of Maharashtra that the people here celebrate on the grandest scale. People from outside the state and country also visit here at times to see the vibrant celebration. Lord Ganesha is the God of wisdom and the people here leave no stone unturned in celebrating him. The festival usually takes place in the months of September and August. This is the celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesha that the state celebrates throughout 11 days. Moreover the long 11 day festival is like a grand celebration here.

The people install larger than life pandals and Lord Ganesha is worshipped there. With grand procession, decorations and music this is a colourful festival. People go for pandal hopping and also visit the famous temples of Lord Ganesha as well. Usually the speciality of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra is the huge size of the idols. Everyone gets on to the streets of the state to catch a glimpse of Bappa. It is an 11 day long carnival that also involves varieties of cultural events and functions as well.

Lord Ganesha likes modak which is a special sweet and the people offer that to him. Daily rituals are followed here for 11 days. And finally on the last day of the festival Lord Ganesha bids farewell. However, even that is one of the most extravagant events. With a grand procession, song and dance the idol is taken for immersion. It is certainly one of the grandest festivals of Maharashtra. If anyone wants to enjoy the true essence of the state and its culture they should surely visit here during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa - Festivals of Maharashtra
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

This festival is basically the New Year celebrations in Maharashtra. Gudi Padhwa marks the beginning of a new year according to the Hindu calendar. On the first day of the Lunar Calendar this festival takes place. The people in Maharashtra consider this day as one of the most auspicious days ever. They celebrate the festival with much love, pomp and grandeur as well. All over the state the people decorate their homes really well with rangolis on the doorstep. They also use garlands and set up a Gudhi to welcome prosperity and well being in their lives. Basically Gudhi is like a symbol that symbolizes victory. It is a bamboo stick that the people wrap beautifully with a silken cloth. Furthermore they garland it with flowers and decorate with other things and offer sweets as well.

Further the people welcome the New Year through worshipping the Gudhi for a prosperous year ahead. They also later distribute prasad to other people in the community. This is a festival of grand feasting as well. Dishes like Basundi and Srikhand always come on top which is a favourite choice for many. Other than that there are some processions that celebrate the traditions of the states. Many people visit those locations to witness and also to be a part of the processions as well.

 Additionally the Saade Teen Muhurat of this day is one of the most auspicious days that is perfect for any new venture. A lot of people therefore start their new businesses or conduct puja on this day for their new home or even purchase some gold or a car or any other valuables. This is definitely one of the most celebrated festivals of Maharashtra which the whole state rejoices in.

Makar Sankranti

This is one of the festivals in Maharashtra that is not just celebrated here. However the festival of Makar Sankranti is something that many other states also celebrate. But there is definitely something special about the celebrations here. Here it is a 3 day long festival. Here are rituals like Haldi Kumkum that are meant for the ladies. The women take part in the festival and wear ethnic outfits and accessories. Then they exchange small gifts amongst each other and also apply haldi and kumkum on each other’s forehead. Another important part of this celebration is also kite flying that the people enjoy a lot here. Overall this is one of the cultural festivals of Maharashtra that the people enjoy to its fullest.



The birth of Lord Shri Krishna, Janmasthatmi is yet again one of the most colourful festivals in Maharashtra. Another name of this festival is Gokul Ashtami and this is the celebration of the birth anniversary of Lord Shri Krishna. Other than the puja and the ritual, what makes this festival more attractive is how the people celebrate the festival.

A special programme called Dahi Handi is one of the major attractions of this festival. Here a group of youngsters forms a huge human pyramid by climbing on top of each other until they can reach the Handi or pot that is hung in a great height. After much trials and failures finally one of them hits the pot and breaks it open and the butter filled in it pours all over them. This ritual is almost like a tribute to how lord Krishna used to get Makhan when he was a child along with his friends. Today this is a way of having fun that the people in Maharashtra give a lot of importance to. This is one of the events that makes the festival even more joyful. It is one of the most vibrant festivals of Maharashtra that you should witness at least once.


Shivaji Jayanti

Festivals of Maharashtra
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

This is the festival that celebrates the great ruler Shivaji Maharaj ji. This is one of the festivals in Maharashtra that the people of the state hold close to them. It is the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj which holds a lot of relevance here. Through various precessions and narrations of his great deeds the people celebrate this festival in Maharashtra.

Nashik Kumbh Mela

This is a sacred festival and is one of the four Kumbh Melas. Nashik Kumbh Mela or Trimbakeshwar or Trimbak Kumbh Mela holds a lot of importance for the people in Maharashtra. Millions of devotees from all over the world visit the location during this time. Also the festival takes place only once in every 12 years. According to belief this festival cleanses people from all their sins when they take a holy dip here. Furthermore this festival reflects the cultural and religious site of Maharashtra.


Ellora Festival

This festival is one of the biggest festivals of Maharashtra that celebrates the great site Ellora through dance, art and culture. Moreover the Ellora festival takes place in the backdrop of the Ellora Caves. Renowned artists from all over the country perform at this festival on the huge stage here. It is one of the festivals in Maharashtra that holds a special position in the hearts of the art lovers. It can be one of a kind experience to witness this extravagant festival on spot.

Nag Panchami

This is one of the important festivals of Maharashtra that the people here celebrate to honour the Snake God. On the fifth day of the month of Shravana the state celebrates the worship of Shesh Nag. However, 2 reasons are related to this festival. According to mythology, the main abode of the snakes is the Patal Lok. For the well being of a family, they seek blessing from the Nag. Along with that the snakes are responsible for keeping the crops safe from rats and other animals. Therefore the farmers worship the Nag Devta so that they can have a good harvest. They also offer their prayer to God as a thanksgiving ceremony. People worshipping God offer him sweets and milk. They make cobras made of clay for their worship.

Moreover the snake charmers carried the snakes in their baskets and made them dance to his tunes. In return the people make offerings to him as a part of paying respect. Also many people visit the temples of Nag Devta as well as temples of Lord Shiva as Nag Devta is related to Lord Shiva as well.

Wrapping Up!

As a state Maharashtra has different shades to it. And that can be most precisely observed through the festivals of Maharashtra. These important festivals of Maharashtra are very close to the people here. And as joyful and lively the state is, the famous festivals of Maharashtra reflect just that. For any person who is willing to explore Maharashtra in its truest sense, you need to explore the festivals here. Through the ways of celebrating the traditional and cultural values comes out. Maharashtra is rich when it comes to its traditions. And one thing that makes them richer is the grand showcase during their festivals. The people here prefer celebrating in full swing and that’s why most of the major festivals in Maharashtra are grand.

If you are planning to visit the state make sure you visit during any of these festivals. Or if you are already there then this is your calling to explore the state well. Let me know if this article on festivals is helpful for you. Also don’t forget to let me know which of these festivals you wish to attend.

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