1. Lohri

Men and women dancing during Lohri celebrations - the liveliest among winter festivals of India

When: 13th January 2022

Now, this one is a ‘must attend’. One simply can’t miss the colors, celebrations, dance, music, and pomp of Lohri. Also known as Gurmukhi and Sanmukhi, it is the harvest festival of the Punjab state of India. It is also believed that it is a commemoration of the winter solstice – shortest day and the longest night. One of the best festivals in India celebrated in the winter season, Lohri is marked by a bonfire where the entire family gathers, worships and then celebrates the spirit of togetherness. There is music, there are colors, and there is dance – all putting up a spectacular show of rich traditions of Punjab.

2. Bihu Magh

The colorful folk dance Bihu during the Bihu Magh Festival

When: 15th January 2022

So, January translates to magha in the Lunar calendar and the people of Assam in India welcome their harvest by celebrating Bihu. One of the best winter festivals in India, it would be only fair to say that it is the Assam celebration of Sankranti, just lasting for a week. The highlights of this festival are feasts and bonfires. Makeshift huts made of bamboo and thatch leaves are erected to prepare the food for the feast. The festivities also include traditional Assamese games like Takeli Bhonga(pot breaking) and buffalo fighting.

3. Makarsankranti and Gujarat Kite Fest

Makarsankranti is celebrated by flying kites in several parts of India

When: 14th January 2022

With the new harvests coming home, the Hindu farmers in India celebrate the changes in Solar movements. Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn(Makara rashi). In Gujarat and some other places, it is also celebrated as the kite festival where big, bright and colorful kites take up the skies to welcome the believed arrival of spring in India, making it a prominent addition to the list of winter festivals in India.

4. Thai Pongal

Servings during Pongal in South India

When: 14th to 17th  January 2022

After Bihu in the east, sankranti in the centerl and the west, and Lohri in the north, Pongal is from the South of India. Since this also is a harvest festival, the reasons behind celebrations are pretty much the same as that of the Bihu and Sankranti. Besides, it’s a 4 days long festival highlighted by the traditional sweet dishes, rangolis and boat races. It is one of the most revered festivals celebrated during winter in India.

Cultural Fests In India

India is a country with rich culture and heritage and each Indian state has a role to play in it. Enjoy good music, dance, and art at these fests in India.

5. Nagaur Fest

A cultural performance during Ngaur fest

When: 6th to 9th February 2022

So what if you missed the Pushkar fair of November. The Nagaur fest, also known as Ramdeoji Cattle Fair is the second largest cattle festival in India and one of the most vibrant festivals celebrated in winter season. As massive as 80,000 cattle are exchanged in this festival while they are clad in colorful and ethnic Rajasthani clothes at one of the most vivid festivals of winter seasons. Besides, not a single day at the fest is sans music and dance. The colorful folk dances and songs of Rajasthan take the extravaganza to a whole new height. The fair also organizes activities like tug of war, camel races, bullock races, juggling, puppetry, cockfights, campfires, and storytelling. It is another of the festivals celebrated in India during winter.

6. Jaisalmer Desert Fest

Colorful folk dance during Jaisalmer Desert Fest

When: 14th to 16th February 2022

Another one on the list of winter festivals in India is the Jaisalmer Desert Fest, a complete cultural extravaganza. It was started to attract foreign tourism on the sands of Thar and has flourished rightly so. The 4 day long festival witnesses the maximum footfall of foreign revelers and tourists amidst the most explicit display of Rajasthani folk, culture and traditions. The highlights include turban tying competition, moustache competition, folk dances, camel rides, and authentic Rajasthani cuisine.

7. Bikaner Camel Fest

Decorated camels at Bikaner camel fest

When: 12th and 13th January 2022

Camel races, camel milking, fur cutting, camel dance, camel bands, camel beauty pageants and mouthwatering traditional Rajasthani cuisine — Bikaner camel fest is the most colorful animal festival in India. Kicked off by a march of brightly adorned camels from Junagarh fort, it centers all its actions in the Polo Ground near the fort during the most prominent winter season festivals.

8. Manali Winter Carnival

Gathering durng the Manali Winter Carnival in 2015

When: 2nd to 6th January 2022

Fun, festival, joy and jubilation – this is what the organizers of Manali Winter Carnival bank upon. Organized for the first time in 1977, this celebration of Himachali culture and winter sports has seen many a changes and has evolved into a fantastic carnival, thus making it to the list of winter festivals in India. Folk performances, cultural competitions and winter sports like skiing and skating on snow has made this carnival in Manali a much sought after carnival in India. So much that it is the best time and the most happening place to try skiing in India.

9. Kutchh Rann Mahotsav

A cultural performance during the Rann Mahotsav

When: 1st November 2021 to 20th February 2022

Kutch nahin dekha to kuchh nahin dekha” — this tag line of the Rann Mahotsav in Kutch of Gujarat sums up the values of this festival. Spread over almost three months and some 7,000 sq miles of white sand, this is among the best festivals celebrated in winter season and the celebration of Gujarati folk and culture is just epic. 400 luxurious tents to stay in, vast expanse of white sand to enjoy the serene moonlit nights and live cultural performances along with authentic Kutchhi cuisine – one can’t ask for more. It is one of the most popular winter season festivals in India.

10. Goa Carnival

The Goa carnival is a must attend winter festival in India

When: 26th February 2022 to 1st March 2022

What is a carnival for if it does not involve revelers from all castes, creeds, communities and colors and genders? This one, with a past of some 300 years, got its modern version in 1961. Initially celebrated by the Portuguese, the Goa carnival is one of the best winter season festivals and has taken place in every Goan home. Singing, dancing, feasting, guitar strumming, acrobatic performances, clowns, fire performers and what not – the Goa carnival is a nonstop festivity of some 72 hours. But this is not the only fun Goan fest; there are some absolutely crazy festivals in Goa you must attend!

11. Konark Dance Festival

A colorful dance perfromance during Konark Festival, 2015

When: 19th to 23rd February 2022

In the backdrop of Konark Sun temple, this mega event in the temple city of Orissa hosts dancers from all over India. This famous winter festival in India is a celebration of the rich classical and traditional dance forms of India. The performances are organized under the sky on the Chandrabhaga Beach and almost all the major classical dance forms of India — Manipuri, Kathakali, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Chao, and Kuchipudi feature among the main performances. An exclusive crafts fair is organized to promote the traditional handicrafts and sculptures from south India.

12. Mount Abu Winter Festival

Boat race competition being held at the Nakki Lake in the Summer Festival in Mount Abu

When: 30th – 31st December 2022

Away from all the royalty of Rajasthan, in the serene hills of Mount Abu, is this 3 days long celebration of India’s cultural diversity. It is a milieu of folk music and dance, live concerts, fireworks, fire performances, fairs, and a food fest. With a footfall of some one lakh revelers every year, The Mount Abu Winter festival gets its performers from all over India. It is truly the winter season festivals in India. 

13. Hornbill Festival

A war dance performer in action during Hornbill Fest in Nagaland

When: 1st to 10th December 2022

In the extreme east of Indian Territory, Nagaland celebrates cultures and traditions of some 16 resident tribes of the state. The Hornbill festival is a perfect fusion of music, dance, food and color. Amidst the serene green valleys and rustic mountains, this festival named after the state bird, is a surprise for many with the diversity of events it hosts. Drum beats, folk songs, performances of war dances, head hunting rituals, car and bike adventures, fashion shows, and the very popular chilli eating contest — Hornbill covers all for a carnival sort of revelry. To know more about the best of winter season festivals, see here.

14. Magnetic Fields Festival of Rajasthan

An ongoing performance during the Magnetic Fields Festival in Rajasthan

When: TBA

Music with every possible blend of royalty– this is Magnetic fields Festival of Rajasthan. This music festival is held in a 17th century palace-turned-hotel in Shekhavati and is among the most vibrant festivals celebrated in winter season in India. Accommodations in palace suites with antique furniture, alternative and electronic dance music to groove to, pop up parties, morning yoga sessions and an array of food stalls to keep you from all the other distractions of world, the Magnetic fields festival truly holds you firm while you are here.

15. December Music Festival

The December Music Fest Chennai is a monthlong celebration of South Indian artforms

When: 15th December onwards every year

So this is a month-long celebration of finest South Indian music and dance. Started in 1929, this is among the quirkiest festivals of winter seasons and is locally known as Kutcheri Session and most of the concerts are held in the most pleasant months of Chennai – December and January. The main attractions of the fest are instrumental and vocal Carnatic music while the traditional performances are spread across various locations in the city.

Suggested Read: 15 Uncommon & Unusual Festivals In India That You Should Attend In 2022

16. Baisakhi


When: 13th – 14th April

Baisakhi is is one of the famous harvest festivals celebrated in India with great fun and enthusiasm to mark the beginning of the new spring. Also called as Vaisakhi, the festival signifies the end of harvest season in India. The festival is celebrated by different names in different states of India – Pohela Boishakh in West Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bohag Bihu in Assam, Bihu in Uttarakhand, Maha Vishuva Sankranti in Odisha, Pooram Vishu’in Kerala, and Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

17. Onam

decorated elephants

When: 30th August to 8th September 2022

Onam, a religious and cultural Indian winter festivals 2022 is celebrated in God’s own country. During this time of the year, many tourists travel to Kerala to experience the amazing vibe of this festival of togetherness – trumpets, boat races, art, floral decorations, rituals, elephants, lights, drums, and of course the delicious Onasadya. Don’t miss out on this great festival celebration spanning over a period of 10 days.

18. Basant Panchami


When: 5th February 2022

Also known as Vasant Panchami, Basant Panchami is a Hindu harvest festival that highlights the coming of spring. It is either celebrated in January or February. Dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Saraswati, the festival takes place in the states of Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. People wear yellow and eat yellow as this colour holds significance importance for this celebration. To celebrate the yellow festival with full fun, the Sikhs conduct Langar while Rajasthan people wear jasmine garlands.

19. Nuakhai

sand art promoting Nuakhai festival

When: 1st September 2022

Nuakhai is an annual harvest festival in Odisha celebrated to welcome the new rice of the season. It is observed a day after Ganesh Chaturthi and is the most important social festival of Western Odisha. If you want to experience the vibe of this amazing festival, the best places for you to visit are districts of Kalahandi, Balangir, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Nuapada and Boudh.