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Festivals Of Pondicherry

First January

New Year is celebrated in real spirit - full of songs, dance and champagne. Many shops, particulary bars, will be open till midnight.

January 4-7

International Yoga Festival, organised by the Department of Tourism Pondicherry every year during January 4th to 7th. This festival attracts Yoga enthusiasts, novices and experts from all over the world.


Bohi, Pongal, Mattu Pongal, Karinal. Being festivals associated with the harvest season, the rural side will wear a festive look with cows being painted, decorated and paraded.


This is the time when houses are cleaned and old clothes are set afire.


Pongal, a dish made of rice and jaggery is distributed to friends and neighbours.

Mattu Pongal

Cow horns are painted and the animals are bathed and decorated to be paraded in the neighbourhood./P>


Elders give money to youngsters on this day. Non-veg dishes are prepared and people go to the movies and the beach.

January 26

Republic Day.

Februay 21

Ashram Darshan Day


During Masimagam, idols from various temples of Pondicherry and Tamilnadu are brought to Kurichikuppam Beach and given a sacred bath. Thousands of devotees assemble here on this occasion.


Masquerade or Mask festival of Pondicherry is celebrated in March or April and is a direct influence of the long French rule in the region.

It reflects a French sense of humor and showcases various beautiful masks and fancy costumes. People march through the streets clad in these costumes and masks and perform a tricky dance to the beats of the trumpets. Fun and joy are the moods of the festival.


Around the middle of May, the exact date depending on appearance of the full moon, the decorated car of the Thirukameswara Temple is taken out in a procession, pulled by hundred of devotees.


Bastille day: On July 14, the Bastille Day, Pondicherry witnesses Indo-French pageantry. Donning their uniforms, war veterans march through the streets singing 'Marsellaise'. More interestingly, the French flag can be seen flying alongside the Indian flag on many housetops.


French Food Festival, 'Gourmet', a Food Festival to celebrate the great French cuisine, is organised by the Tourism Department every August.

Virampattinam Car Festival, This is the grand car festival of Pondicherry when the decorated temple car is pulled in a procession, with the Lieutenunt Governor participating in the ritual.

August 15

1) Independence Day

2) The birth anniversary of Sri. Aurobindo, is a holy day in Sri. Aurobindo Ashram. On this day, thousands of people from all over the World come to the Ashram to pay their homage to the great sage, poet and philosopher of the twentieth century and also visit his personal quarters.

August 16

Pondicherry Independence Day

August - September

Vinayaka Chathurthi is a famous North Indian festival of Lord Ganesa, whose idols are immersed in the sea at the end of this festival.


1). Ayudha & Saraswathi Pooja :

On this day people put vermilion and flowers on vehicles and equipments and perform pooja. Moreover they clean their shops and paint them. Most of them will start their business on that particular day. At home, women decorate the floor with kolam(colourful floral designs).

2). Deepawali

The most important festival for Indians. People wear new dresses, distribute sweets and wish everyone. Moreover the festival of lights will witness crackers being burst from morning to till night.

December 25

Christmas, holy festival for Christians.

Other festivals or fairs celebrated in Pondicherry include Putha Lanthira, Mandolilthira, Pandokuloththira, Koyodan Korothithra, Vishnutheertham, Mandalam Vilakku and Swamikalyanam. However, the Mahe district of Pondicherry celebrates festivals similar to Kerala such as Onam, Vishu and Sri Krishna Jayanti.