A current and comprehensive directory listing of all Official Holidays & Scheduled Closings for the Embassies of India & Indian Consulates located in the United States.
2018-2019 Holidays Calendar & Closures Schedule:
Embassy of India & Indian Consulates
in the United States
The following is the list of Closure Dates & Holidays to be observed in the U.S. by the Consulate General of India during the calendar years of 2018 & 2019:
Jan 1st Mon: New Year's
Jan 26th Fri: Republic Day
Mar 1st-2nd Thur-Fri: Holi
Mar 29th Thur: Mahavir Jayanti
Mar 30th Fri: Good Friday
Apr 30th Mon: Buddha Purnima
Jun 16th Sat: Idu’l Fitr
July 4th Wed: US Independence Day
Aug 15th Wed: India Independence Day
Sept 3rd Mon: Janmashtami/Labour Day
Sept 21st Fri: Muharram
Oct 2nd Tues: Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday
Oct 19th, Fri: Dussehra
Nov 7th Wed: Diwali (Deepavali)
Nov 22nd Thur: Thanksgiving
Nov 23rd Fri: Guru Nanak's Birthday
Dec 25th Tues: Christmas
Jan 1st Tues: New Year's
Jan 26th Sat: Republic Day
Mar 20th-21st Wed-Thur: Holi
Apr 17th Wed: Mahavir Jayanti
Apr 19th Fri: Good Friday
Apr 30th Tues: Buddha Purnima
Jun 4th-5th Tues-Wed: Idu’l Fitr
July 4th Wed: US Independence Day
Aug 15th Thur: India Independence Day
Aug 24th Sat: Janmashtami/Labour Day
Aug 31st-Sept 28 Sat-Sat: Muharram
Oct 2nd Wed: Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday
Oct 8th, Tues: Dussehra (Actual)
Oct 27th Sun: Diwali (Deepavali) (actual)
Nov 28th Thur: Thanksgiving
Nov 12th Tues: Guru Nanak's Birthday
Dec 25th Tues: Christmas
Jan 1st Wed: New Year's
If you are having an Indian visa application or any other legal documents submitted through the Embassy of India or an Indian Consulate location, you need to know the dates of closures & holidays. To accurately calculate processing time and know what dates are available for dropping off and picking up your documents or India visa application, UVC has you covered with a comprehensive up to date calendar of closure dates and holidays for the Embassy of India as well as all of the Indian Consulates located in the United States.
Mahavir Jayanti is the most important religious holiday in Jainism and is marked with prayers and fasting. It is celebrated on the 13th day of the waxing (rising) half of Hindu month of Caitra which usually occurs in either late March or early April in the Gregorian calendar. Mahavir Jayanti celebrates the birth of Mahavira, a contemporary of the Buddha, and the 24th and last Tirthankara (great sages).
Mahavira was originally known as Vardhamana and was born around 600 BC. The Digambar school of Jainism teaches that Lord Mahavira was born in the year 615 BC while the Swetambaras believe that he was born in 599 BC. Both sects however believe that Mahavira was the son of Siddhartha and Trisala. According to legend, Devananda, the wife of a Brahmin named Rishabhdeva, conceived Mahavira, but the gods transferred the embryo to the womb of Trisala. According to the Swetambara the expectant mother was believed to have seen 14 auspicious visions in her dreams. (According to the Digambara there were 16. Astrologers who interpreted these dreams predicted that the child would become either an emperor or a Teerthankar. For over a decade Mahavira was an ascetic wandering about begging for food and water and wearing rags. Then he found enlightenment, became a Tirthankara and taught for 30 years before his death.
The present-day ascetic religion of Jainism revers Mahavira as their key prophet. Practiced by over 3.5 million people around the world. They follow a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Some take it to extreme wear and face masks to prevent the chance of inadvertently killing an insect by breathing it in.
Maha Shivaratri is a famous Hindu festival celebrated each year in reverence of Lord Shiva. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on annually on the 13th day of Falgun month which is the last month of the Hindu calendar. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is customarily celebrated by offerings of Bael leaves to Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night spiritual vigil.
The word "Shivaratri" translates into english as the "great night of Shiva". According to Indian lore, Shivaratri is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya (dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction). It is additionally when Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva once again were married. Shiva is worshiped in the form of a lingam - a pillar often placed on a receptacle that represents female creative energy. Together it represents the union of organs, and the totality of creation. Offerings such as flowers & incense are made while all through the day devotees chant the sacred Panchakshara mantra dedicated to Lord "Om Namah Shivaya".
The festival of Holi is celebrated annually on the first day after the full moon in early March. Holi was originally a festival to celebrate the beginning of Springtime, fertility of the land and a bountiful harvest. The first mentions of Holi date back to a poem from the 4th century.
Holi is best known as a symbolic celebration of a legend from Hindu Mythology. According to legend, there was once a king who resented his son Prince Prahlada for worshipping Lord Vishnu. He tries to murder the prince on multiple times each attempt ending in failure. Finally after many such failures, the king's sister Holika, who according to the story cannot be harmed by fire, sits with the boy inside a fiery blaze. The prince however emerges from the fire unhurt while his aunt burns in the fire and dies. Holi commemorates this event with symbolic representation; huge towering bonfires are built and burnt on the eve of Holi. Fires are lit on street corners to cleanse the air of evil spirits and bad vibes as well as to symbolize the destruction of the wicked Holika after whom the festival was named.
Holi is marked by colorful parades, folk songs, dancing and an all around air of relaxed fun. It often is used as an excuse for young Indians to shed their inhibitions and ignore caste differences for a day of light-hearted fun & laughter. They spend the day flirting and misbehaving in the streets, where everyone is chasing one another around throwing brightly colored powder and water at one another other.
The festival of Holi is also associated with the eternal love of the Hindu Gods Krishna and Radha, and the tradition of throwing brightly colored powder and water is said to come from their love story. Krishna is famously depicted as having bright blue skin and according to legend it made him sad not to have a fair complexion like Radha. His mother suggested that instead of wishing for fair skin he should instead smear Radha with paint so she too would have coloured skin. Thus the tradition of trying to 'color' others as a sign of affection at during Holi festivities. The colors of the powders used for Holi each have symbolic meanings. Blue represents Krishna, Red represents love and fertility, green symbolizes spring and new growth and yellow is the color of turmeric, a spice native to India and a natural medicinal remedy.
Buddha Purnima is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the around the world. It is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar as well as the most important festival for the Buddhists. Every full moon is regarded as sacred in Buddhism, however, the moon during the month of Vaisakh has very special significance to the Buddism faith. It was on this day that Buddha was born and attained enlightenment (nirvana), and attained parinirvana (nirvana after the death of the earthly body) when he died. The exact date of Vesak is the first full moon in the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Gregorian calendar, but is typically in May.
Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism, was born in India approximately 3,000 years ago. There are many various opinions concerning the exact dates of the birth and death of Buddha. Some Buddhist scholars place his birth five hundred years later where as, according the Buddhist tradition, he is said to have been born on April 8 in the year 1029 BC and to have died on February 15 in the year 949 BC. Shakyamuni Buddha was the son and heir of the king of the Shakyas, a small clan whose kingdom was located at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains south of Nepal and fifteen miles from Kapilavastu. Shakya of Shakyamuni is taken from the name of this tribe and muni means sage or saint. His family name was Gautama (Best Cow) and his given name was Siddhartha (Goal Achieved) though some Buddhist scholars say this is a title bestowed on him by later Buddhists in honor of the enlightenment he attained.
Deepavali (deep - lamp, vali - array) is known as The Festival of Lights. All across India the streets and temples are decorated with spectacular light displays and colorful garlands. Families, friends and coworkers settle disputes and exchange gifts and sweets. All are encouraged to rid themselves of any hate, anger and jealousy. The festival is a time for rejoicing, harmony and renewal.
Inside their homes, people light small oil lamps which are called diyas. It is believed that deceased relatives return to visit their families on Earth during this Deepvali and the numerous lights are a way to guide the spirits home. Firecrackers are also common during the festival as the noise is believed to drive away evil spirits.
Deepvali takes place on the darkest night on the first night of the new moon which occurs during the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar.This is the name of the festival in Southern India and is how the festival is referred to in other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. In Northern India, it is more commonly known as Diwali, but they are all essentially the same celebration. For Hindus around the world, the celebration revolves around the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, and light over darkness. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals with over 800 million people across the globe people celebrating the festival in a Variety of ways.
Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama who, according to legend, was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, from a fourteen year exile. Diwali holds significance not only in Hinduism but also in Sikhism who celebrate the release of their sixth Guru (literal translation: teacher) Hargobind. To Sikhs, it is known as Bandi Chhor Divas. The Jains celebrate it as the day when Lord Mahaveer, the last trithankara, attained Nirvana or Moksha.
International Women's Day is a day each year when the world celebrates, recognizes and remembers women and the myriad of accomplishments they have made to society throughout time. In 1910 the International Women's Congress in Copenhagen proclaimed this date as International Women's Day to be observed annually. In 1977, the United Nations officially declared March 8th as International Women's Day. It is great that we have a day like Women’s day specifically in countries like India that are plagued by societal issues that specifically affect women such as rape, dowry, female infanticide, and exploitation of women at work place. Women’s Day in India is celebrated to make people aware of all the progresses that have been done up to now and the considerable amount of work that still needs to be done.
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