Why do Hindu festivals fall on different dates every year?

How festivals are determined?

  • 3
    It's because the Hindu calendar and the Gregorian (i.e. Western) calendar aren't the same. The Hindu calendar is lunisolar whereas the Gregorian calendar is solar. So even if a holiday occurs on the same day every year according to the Hindu calendar, that may lead to it occurring on a different day every year according to the Gregorian calendar. Sep 13, 2017 at 13:08
  • Also because I think it's the alignment of celestial bodies that plays a major role in deciding which festival occurs on which day
    – Just_Do_It
    Sep 13, 2017 at 14:04
  • Well Hindu Festivals actually fall on the very and very same day each year. Each year, when a Hindu festival comes, it falls exactly on the day when the Moon and Sun are in the very position that they were in the beginning of that Festival origin. Gregorian dates are different. Do not compare them and Hindu dates.
    – user9392
    Sep 13, 2017 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


They do not fall on different dates. It appears as falling on different dates only if we are not following the Hindu calendar.

How festivals are determined?

They are determined by Hindu months and Tithis etc.

For example this is how when to celebrate Navaratri festival is determined:

6-8. O king! The people are very much afflicted with various terrible diseases in these two seasons autumn and spring and many lose their lives during these portions of the year. Therefore the wise should unquestionably worship with great devotion the Chandikâ Devî in these auspicious months of Chaitra and Âs’vin.

9-11. On the day previous to the commencement of the vow, when the Amâvasyâ tithi commences, one should collect the materials that will be required in the worship and should eat only once in that tithi what is called Habisyânna (sacred food, boiled rice with ghee)


12-17. One should invite then, those Brâhmins, that observe fully the customs and usages, who are self restrained and versed in the Vedas and Vedângas, especially those who are skilled in the ceremony of worshipping the Devî. Next, in the Pratipad tithi (the first day of the bright half), one should take one’s morning ablutions in a river, or in a lake, tank or a well or in one’s own residence, according to rules, and one should perform one’s every day practices of Sandhyâ Vandanam.

From Devi BhAgavatam Book 3, Chapter 26.

So, in the month of Aswin or Chaitra, the preparations for the festival must begin on the Amavasya Tithi and the actual celebrations should start from the Pratipada Tithi and then continue for nine subsequent days.

So, in this way, each year these dates remain the same as per the Hindu calendar. Now, if we are following some other calendars, then obviously the dates will vary with year.

The same argument holds for any other festivals. For, example, the MahAshivarAtri falls each Hindu year on Krishna Chaturdashi of the Magha month. Now, this day will appear as falling on different dates only if we are following calendars other than the Hindu calendar.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .