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Holidays and Cultural Observances: Hindu Holidays and Observances

Alphabetical listing of major observances

Descriptions taken from

Hindu Holidays and Observances

Diwali — Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. Gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals. Jain celebration of Lord Mahavira's day of final liberation. 

  Avoid scheduling major academic deadlines on this day. Individuals may require time away from campus for travel and observance. 

Dussera —  festival celebrating the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga and Lord Rama prevail over the demons.  Prayers for blessings and favor are offered.

Guru Purnima -- celebration of the ancient Gurus, in particular Sage Ved Vyas. A Guru is seen as a remover of darkness, a teacher. The date is the full moon of the month Asadha.

Hanuman Jayanti -- celebration of Hanuman who was an embodiment of Lord Rama. Devotion and selfless work are encouraged.

Holi — spring festival dedicated to the god of pleasure. It is observed in a colorful and boisterous manner. People shower each other with colored water and smear red and green powder on each other.


Krishna Janmashtami -- celebration of the birthday of Krishna. Nightlong prayers are held in the Temples. A two day observance.

  Avoid scheduling major academic deadlines on this day.

Maha Shivratri — festival in honor of Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. Ceremonies involving prayers and hymns take place mostly at night. Special foods are not used.

Navaratri — Festival of the divine mother honoring Durga, wife of Shiva, and seeking her blessings. Also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna.

   Individuals may require time away from campus for travel and observance. 

Raksha Bandhan  festival honoring the loving ties between brothers and sister in a family.

Ramanavmi - celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, hero of the religious epic poem, The Ramayana. The day involves telling of stories and going to the temple.

Vasant Panchami -- celebration dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of learning.

For more information


This guide is produced in partnership with the ASU Committee for Campus Inclusion (CCI), and The Council of Religious Advisors  (CORA).  The Committee for Campus Inclusion is an advisory group to the provost, promoting a positive, harmonious campus environment that celebrates individual and group diversity, promotes individualism, provides information to the campus community, and resolves issues in such a manner as to respect all persons and their dignity. For more information, please visit our website at Questions or additions to this resource can be submitted at

The Council of Religious Advisors is comprised of campus ministries and faith-based organizations that represent a diverse variety of faiths, traditions, and beliefs. Despite the differences in faiths that exist between them, the group works peacefully and diligently on behalf of the university community to provide religious services, spiritual counseling, education, support, and opportunities for involvement.

This page owes a great thanks to: 

Holly Hubenschmidt

Director, Library Instruction & Research Services

Webster University Libraries

Ms.  Hubenschmidt created the original LibGuide and template on which this guide is based. 


The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.