The day when the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra
separated. Celebrations are held mainly at Shivaji
A celebration of the birth of the prophet Muhammad,
Id-e-Milad is a Muslim holiday marked by prayer,
sweets, exchange of gifts and other festivities.
A celebration of love between brothers and sisters,
during which siblings offer each other rakhi,
special bracelets which symbolize their affection.
Public holiday. Marks the day in 1947 when India
gained independence from Great Britain.
Also known as Janmashtami, the occasion is the
birthday of Lord Krishna. Children form human
pyramids to reach and break pots filled with curd
and sweets hung from towers.
A festival dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed
god of wisdom and prosperity. Huge and elaborately
ornamented effigies of the god are immersed in
the sea at Chowpatty beach. The ritual was originally
promoted by freedom fighters to bypass British
antiassembly legislation, and it has easily become
one of Mumbai's biggest and most dramatic festivals.
This festival celebrates the defeat of the
monster king Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama. On
the final day, massive replicas of the 10-headed
Ravana are set alight and an exuberant melee of
festivities commemorates the legend. Mahalaxmi
Public holiday. Marks the birthday of Mahatma
Known as the "festival of lights," Diwali
celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya
after 14 years of exile. One of the biggest festivals
in the Hindu calendar, it includes spectacular
fireworks, prayers, sweets, gifts, feasting and
colorful oil lamps that adorn every household.
Diwali also honors Laxmi, the goddess of wealth,
and marks the start of the new financial year.
Marine Drive, Banganga Tank.
Month-long period of daylight fasting for Muslims.
In the evening, food stalls in the Muhammad Ali
Road area offer special meats and sweets. Concludes
International Film Festival
Non-competitive festival featuring more than 100
films by international directors. Screenings at
the IMAX Multiplex and the Y.B. Chavan Centre.
For information, call 22-2413-6571.
Public holiday. Events include midnight mass at
St. Thomas Cathedral, decorations of giant stars,
festive facades and appearances by Santa Claus.
Vocal and instrumental music festival held at
the Banganga Tank at Walkeshwar. For information,
A celebration of prosperity, mainly among the
Gujarati community, when sweets and fruits are
exchanged and kites are flown as a sign of happiness.
Republic Day: Public holiday commemorating the day in 1930
when Mahatma Gandhi called upon the Indian people
to work for independence from Great Britain.
Beating the Retreat (Navy
The Indian Navy marks the departure of the British
from India with a colorful ceremony, parade and
fireworks display. Gateway of India. For information,
call 22-2203-6713. Fax 22-2201-4496.
A two-day festival of classical music and dance
held on Elephanta Island. For information, call
This day marks the end of the 10-day fast that
commemorates the death of Muhammad's grandson,
Imam Hussain. Replicas of Hussain's tomb are carried
through the city roads to be immersed in the sea,
while Shia mourners beat their chests as a symbol
of grief for his martyrdom. Along Muhammad Ali
Also known as Rang Panchami, Holi is a colorful
Hindu festival celebrating the end of winter and
the start of a new farming year. On this day of
fun and lighthearted practical jokes, celebrants
toss colored powder and water bombs at friends
and passersby. Avoid venturing from your hotel
before the noon cease-fire.
The Parsi New Year, which coincides with the vernal
equinox. Celebrations include prayer at fire temples
and feasting with family and friends.
The beginning of the Maharashtrian New Year, the
festival is marked by sweets and the erection
of colorfully draped bamboo poles, topped by an
upturned drinking vessel.
The National Centre for the Performing Arts presents
concerts, plays and dance performances year-round.
Nariman Point. For information, call 22-2283-3737
or 22-2283-3838. For tickets, call 22-2282-4567.