15+ Popular Festivals in Kolkata To Enjoy Culture & Traditions

Kolkata, the city of joy, is not just famous for its rich cultural heritage and delectable street food but also for its grand celebrations and festivals

festivals in kolkalta

From the colourful pomp of Durga Puja to the serene Saraswati Puja, Kolkata is a city that celebrates with zest and zeal. In this blog, we will take you through every popular festival in Kolkata that brings the city to life.

1. Saraswati Puja

saraswati puja

Kolkata, often referred to as the cultural capital of India, starts its festival calendar with Saraswati Puja. This festival Celebrated in late January or early February and it is dedicated to the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati. Students and artists worship her passionately, seeking her blessings for wisdom and creativity. The city comes alive with vibrant processions, beautifully crafted idols, and cultural programs in educational institutions.

2. Basanti Durga Puja

basanti durga puja

As winter bids adieu and spring arrives, Basanti Durga Puja marks the celebration of the goddess Durga in her Basanti form. Held during March or April, this festival is a precursor to the grand Durga Puja in the autumn. It's a time when the city starts to bloom with the vibrant colours of nature, and the spirit of festivity is palpable.

3. Poila Boishakh

poila boishakh

On the 14th or 15th of April, Kolkata celebrates Poila Boishakh, the Bengali New Year. The city dazzles with a traditional touch as people wear new clothes, exchange sweets, and indulge in cultural performances. Prayers are offered for prosperity, and you can savour mouthwatering Bengali dishes during this time.

4. Jamai Shoshti

jamai shosti

Jamai Shoshti, typically in June, is a unique festival where mothers-in-law honour their sons-in-law with a sumptuous meal. It's a heartwarming tradition that strengthens family bonds and showcases the city's warmth and hospitality.Jamai Shoshti, one of the most popular festivals in Kolkata, is also celebrated by giving gifts to the son in law from his in-laws. And being blessed by them with having a long and prosperous life ahead.

5. Durga Puja

durga puja

Durga Puja, the grandest of Kolkata festivals, showcases the city's vibrant spirit. In September or October, witness the artistic pandals, illuminated streets, and cultural performances, celebrating Goddess Durga's victory over evil. Amidst the fervour, share heartfelt Durga Puja wishes with loved ones, adding joy to this auspicious occasion.

6. Lakshmi Puja

laxmi puja

Kolkata continues its festive fervour with Lakshmi Puja, celebrated in late October or early November. Devotees worship the goddess Lakshmi, seeking blessings for wealth and prosperity. The city transforms into a spectacle of lights, with beautifully decorated homes and streets.

7. Kolkata International Cinema Festival

kolkata international cinema festival

Kolkata International Cinema Festival, often held in November, is a treat for cinephiles and filmmakers alike. This festival showcases diverse international and regional films, making it a haven for movie enthusiasts. The festival provides a platform for emerging talents and established directors to showcase their cinematic creations, from thought-provoking documentaries to gripping feature films.

8. Bhai Phota

bhai phota

Bhai Phota, also known as Bhai Dooj in other parts of India, is another heartwarming festival celebrated in Kolkata. Falling a day after Diwali in late October or early November, Bhai Phota is dedicated to the bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters apply a sacred mark on their brothers' foreheads, pray for their well-being, and exchange gifts. It's a day that celebrates cherished sibling love and adds another layer of warmth to Kolkata's festive tapestry.

9. Charak Puja

charak puja

Charak Puja, an intriguing and unique festival celebrated in Kolkata, usually falls in April. This festival is a testament to the unwavering devotion and faith of the local people. Devotees voluntarily subject themselves to painful rituals as an offering to the gods. They pierce their bodies with sharp objects and are hoisted up on a large wheel-like structure called the 'Charak.' This act symbolizes the cycle of death and rebirth and is believed to purify the soul.

10. Dum Dum Classical Music Festival

dum dum classical music festival

For those who appreciate the harmonious strains of classical music, the Dum Dum Classical Music Festival is a treat for the ears. Usually held in November, this festival gathers renowned classical musicians from across India to enthral music enthusiasts. The melodious ragas and soul-stirring performances create an atmosphere of sheer bliss, making it a must-visit event for anyone passionate about the classical arts. It's a testament to Kolkata's love for culture and its dedication to preserving its rich musical heritage alongside the grandeur of its other festivals.

11. International Foodtech Kolkata

international foodtech kolkata

Amidst the traditional celebrations, Kolkata also hosts the International Foodtech Kolkata event, usually in November. This culinary extravaganza brings together food enthusiasts, chefs, and entrepreneurs worldwide. It's a gastronomic delight where you can savor global cuisines, learn about food trends, and witness exciting culinary competitions. International Foodtech Kolkata adds a modern and international flavor to the city's festival calendar, showcasing Kolkata's evolving food scene and its openness to culinary innovations. Well, if the Foodtech festival has triggered your cravings, you can get a delicious cake via cake delivery in Kolkata and read ahead!

12. Dover Lane Music Festival

dover lane music festival

The Dover Lane Music Festival is a prestigious event that music connoisseurs eagerly await. Held annually in January, this classical music extravaganza brings together maestros and enthusiasts from all over the country. The festival's soulful renditions of classical music genres like Hindustani and Carnatic create an enchanting atmosphere, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to delve into the soothing world of Indian classical music amidst the vibrant tapestry of Kolkata's festivals.

13. Calcutta Book Fair

kolkata book fair

The Calcutta Book Fair, also known as the Kolkata International Book Fair, is a literary extravaganza in late January or early February. It's a haven for bookworms, where countless national and international publishers converge to showcase their literary treasures. Book enthusiasts from all over the city throng to the fairgrounds to browse through an extensive collection of books, attend author signings, and engage in intellectual discussions. The fair not only celebrates the joy of reading but also fosters a love for literature among people of all ages, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking the intellectual pulse of Kolkata.

14. National Theatre Festival

national theatre festival

Kolkata, known for its deep-rooted love for the arts, hosts the National Theatre Festival, celebrating theatrical brilliance. Usually held in the early months of the year, this festival brings together talented actors, playwrights, and directors from across the country. The city's historic theatres and auditoriums come alive with a diverse range of plays, showcasing the rich and dynamic theatrical heritage of Kolkata. It's a must-visit for anyone with a penchant for the performing arts, offering a unique perspective on the city's cultural tapestry.

15. International History & Heritage Exhibition

international history & heritage exhibition

Kolkata also hosts the International History & Heritage Exhibition, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the city's rich historical tapestry. This event typically takes place at various times throughout the year and showcases artifacts, art, and historical relics from different parts of the world. It's an excellent opportunity for history enthusiasts and culture lovers to explore diverse heritages and learn more about Kolkata's global connections. The exhibition adds an extra layer of cultural richness to the city's festival calendar, making it a must-visit for those seeking a deeper understanding of Kolkata's history and heritage.

16. Kali Puja

kali puja

Kolkata's festival calendar extends with Kali Puja, celebrated in October or November. This festival pays homage to the fierce goddess Kali, who symbolizes power and liberation. The city shimmers with illuminated pandals dedicated to the goddess, and enthusiastic devotees offer prayers and sacrifices. Kali Puja is an occasion to embrace the charisma and strength of the goddess while enjoying the cultural festivities that Kolkata is renowned for.

17. Dol Purnima

dol purnima

Dol Purnima, also known as Dol Jatra or Holi, is another colorful addition to Kolkata's festival calendar. Celebrated in March, this festival marks the arrival of spring with the playful splashing of colors and water. Devotees carry the idols of Radha and Krishna on elaborately decorated palanquins, known as dolis, and sing traditional songs. It's a day of joy, camaraderie, and vibrant hues, as people of all ages come together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of the season of renewal.

18. National Children's Theatre Festival

national children's theatre festival

Kolkata also takes great pride in hosting the National Children's Theatre Festival, which showcases the immense talent and creativity of young performers from across the country. Typically held in December, this festival provides a platform for children to showcase their acting, singing, and dancing skills. It's a heartwarming experience to witness the enthusiasm and energy of these young artists as they bring stories to life on the stage. The festival not only entertains but also nurtures the future stars of the Indian performing arts scene, making it a must-see for culture enthusiasts visiting Kolkata.

Kolkata's calendar is dotted with many festivals, each with its unique charm and significance. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, experiencing these festivals in Kolkata is an unforgettable journey into the heart of Bengali culture. So, next time you plan your trip to this vibrant city, make sure it coincides with one of these popular festivals to immerse yourself in Kolkata's celebrations' magic.