A Comprehensive List of Holidays for Indian Seafarers

Navigating the vast and unpredictable oceans is no easy task, and those who dedicate their lives to the sea deserve a well-earned break. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore a list of holidays specifically tailored for Indian seafarers.

List of holidays for Indian seafarers

Certainly, here’s an extended list of holidays for Indian seafarers:

  • New Year Celebrations
  • Makar Sankranti
  • Holi – The Festival of Colors
  • Diwali – Festival of Lights
  • Christmas
  • Eid-ul-Fitr
  • Eid-ul-Adha
  • Independence Day
  • World Maritime Day
  • Day of the Seafarer
  • Republic Day
  • Gandhi Jayanti
  • Navratri and Dussehra
  • Pongal
  • Janmashtami
  • Lohri
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti
  • Onam
  • Baisakhi
  • Raksha Bandhan
  • Mahashivratri
  • Buddha Purnima
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Saraswati Puja
  • Easter
  • Maha Navami
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
  • Durga Puja
  • Labour Day
  • Children’s Day

Certainly, here’s a more detailed explanation of each of the holidays for Indian seafarers:

New Year Celebrations:

For Indian seafarers, New Year’s celebrations hold a special place. Away from families and the vast ocean, the New Year offers a beacon of hope. It’s a time for reflection, acknowledging accomplishments, and setting new goals. Onboard, crew members unite to mark the occasion.

Makar Sankranti:

Makar Sankranti, celebrated in January, is a cherished festival. Seafarers eagerly anticipate it, even at sea. Kite-flying takes center stage as the ship’s deck transforms into a lively arena. Colourful kites fill the sky, and friendly competitions ensue. Seafarers indulge in “til-gul” sweets, symbolizing goodwill.

Holi – The Festival of Colors:

Holi, the “Festival of Colors,” is a jubilant celebration. For returning seafarers, it’s a highly anticipated moment. Vibrant colours, water balloons, and playful revelry define Holi. Families and friends come together, marking the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring.

Diwali – Festival of Lights:

Diwali, the “Festival of Lights,” is a grand celebration. Seafarers cherish this time of year. Homes shimmer with lamps and rangoli. Families gather for prayers and offerings to seek blessings. Sweets and snacks symbolize life’s sweetness. Gift exchanges strengthen bonds.


Christmas is a universally celebrated holiday, and even at sea, it brings joy and festivity. Ships transform into festive wonderlands with decorations, twinkling lights, and Christmas trees. Special meals are prepared, often featuring traditional dishes. Crew members exchange gifts, spreading cheer throughout the ship.


Eid-ul-Fitr is a significant Islamic festival that holds deep religious importance. It marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and spiritual reflection. Seafarers observe this holiday with devotion, beginning the day with special prayers at the mosque. After a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, they come together for lavish feasts, symbolizing the end of the fasting period.


Eid-ul-Adha, another important Islamic festival, involves the ritual of Qurbani or sacrifice if circumstances permit. Seafarers maintain their religious traditions even while at sea. If conditions allow, they perform the Qurbani and distribute the meat among family, friends, and those in need.

Independence Day:

Indian seafarers take immense pride in celebrating their nation’s independence, even when they are far from home. Ships are adorned with the national flag, creating a patriotic ambience. Crew members gather to sing the national anthem and patriotic songs, fostering a sense of unity and national identity.

World Maritime Day:

World Maritime Day is a significant occasion for seafarers to acknowledge the vital importance of their profession. On this day, events and activities are organized to recognize and celebrate the maritime industry’s contributions to global trade and the world economy.

Day of the Seafarer:

The Day of the Seafarer is dedicated to seafarers worldwide, highlighting their indispensable role in facilitating global trade. On this day, seafarers receive tokens of appreciation and gratitude from maritime organizations and authorities, recognizing their dedication and hard work.

Republic Day:

Republic Day celebrated on January 26th, is a historic occasion in India. It commemorates the adoption of the Indian Constitution, marking the nation’s transition to a republic. Parades, ceremonies, and cultural events are held across the country to honour this momentous day.

Gandhi Jayanti:

Gandhi Jayanti, observed on October 2nd, commemorates the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation. It’s a day of deep reverence and reflection on Gandhi’s principles of non-violence and peace. Seafarers, often away from home, honour his legacy, embracing the ideals of justice and equality.

Navratri and Dussehra:

Navratri is a nine-night festival dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. It’s followed by the celebration of Dussehra, which signifies the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. Seafarers who are home during this time join in the festivities, participating in prayers, dances, and cultural performances.


Pongal is a joyous harvest festival celebrated with great enthusiasm in South India. The highlight of the festival is the preparation of a special dish called “Pongal,” made from freshly harvested rice and lentils. Seafarers enjoy this unique culinary experience when they are home.


Janmashtami is a joyful Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. The festivities begin at midnight, the supposed time of Krishna’s birth, with devotees engaging in prayers, devotional songs, and readings from the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text.


Punjabi seafarers celebrate Lohri with great enthusiasm, making it a lively festival, especially among them. They mark the end of winter and the onset of longer days by actively lighting bonfires. Families and communities actively gather around these bonfires, singing traditional songs and engaging in dancing.

Guru Nanak Jayanti:

Guru Nanak Jayanti is a significant Sikh festival that honours Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Devotees begin the day with prayers and hymn recitations at gurdwaras (Sikh temples). Processions, known as Nagar Kirtan, are organized, where the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy scripture) is carried with great reverence.


Onam is a grand harvest festival celebrated with immense fervour in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It spans ten days and features a dazzling display of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. Traditional dance forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam are performed, and the famous Snake Boat Races draw enthusiastic crowds.


In Punjab, Baisakhi holds special significance as it actively marks the Sikh New Year and the harvest season. The day actively begins with prayers at gurdwaras, and joyful processions, known as Nagar Kirtan, follow.

Enthusiastic performances of Bhangra and Giddha, traditional Punjabi folk dances, actively take place. Communal meals, known as langar, are actively prepared and served to all, embodying the Sikh values of equality and sharing, regardless of caste or creed.

Raksha Bandhan:

Raksha Bandhan is a heartwarming festival that celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters tie rakhi threads on their brothers’ wrists as a symbol of love and protection. In return, brothers offer gifts and a promise to safeguard their sisters.


Mahashivratri is a deeply spiritual Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction and transformation. Devotees observe a strict fast, and many stay awake all night, engaged in prayers and meditation. Temples are adorned with flowers, and the sound of ringing bells fills the air.

Buddha Purnima:

Buddha Purnima is a significant Buddhist holiday that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. Devotees visit Buddhist shrines and offer prayers and meditation. Acts of kindness and charity are encouraged, reflecting Buddha’s teachings of compassion and non-violence.

Ganesh Chaturthi:

Ganesh Chaturthi is a vibrant Hindu festival that honours Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity believed to remove obstacles and bring good fortune. The festival begins with the installation of Ganesha idols in homes and public places.

Cultural performances, music, and dancing add to the festive spirit. Ganesh Chaturthi is a time for communal devotion, artistic expression, and the joy of seeking blessings for a smooth journey through life’s challenges.

Saraswati Puja:

Devotees dedicate Saraswati Puja to Goddess Saraswati, the embodiment of knowledge, arts, and learning in Hinduism. On this auspicious day, students and artists come together to seek her blessings for wisdom and creativity. Devotees adorn temples and homes with flowers and worship Saraswati idols with devotion.


Christians celebrate Easter as a significant holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On ships, seafarers from diverse backgrounds actively come together to observe this holy day. They actively hold church services onboard, where they actively retell the resurrection story and actively sing hymns.

Maha Navami:

Maha Navami is the ninth and penultimate day of Navratri, dedicated to Goddess Durga. It’s a day of special significance, marked by elaborate prayers, bhajans (devotional songs), and cultural events. Maha Navami serves as a culmination of the nine-day worship, emphasizing the triumph of good over evil and the devotion of the worshippers.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday:

On October 2nd, people observe Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as a day to honour the life and principles of the iconic leader. They organize special events, including seminars, exhibitions, and discussions about Gandhi’s philosophy of peace, non-violence, and civil disobedience.

Durga Puja:

Durga Puja is one of the most significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with immense grandeur, especially in West Bengal and other regions of India. The festival spans ten days and honours Goddess Durga’s triumph over the demon Mahishasura. Temporary temples called pandals are actively adorned with elaborate decorations.

Labour Day:

Labour Day, also recognized as International Workers’ Day, is a global holiday actively celebrating the accomplishments and rights of workers, including seafarers. On this day, seafarers actively participate in the worldwide labour movement, observing their contributions to society.

Children’s Day:

In India, people celebrate Children’s Day on November 14th, marking the birthday of the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. On this day, schools and communities actively organize special activities and events dedicated to children.


In conclusion, the list of holidays for Indian seafarers is not just a calendar; it’s a lifeline to balance and happiness. These moments of respite, surrounded by family and cultural celebrations, are essential for those who brave the open sea. So, whether you’re a seafarer or someone waiting for their return, these holidays are a time for unity, joy, and reflection.


How can seafarers celebrate festivals at sea?

Seafarers often celebrate festivals onboard with decorations, special meals, and camaraderie among crew members.

Are there any specific rituals seafarers follow during Diwali?

Diwali rituals onboard may include lighting lamps, offering prayers, and exchanging sweets.

What measures are in place to ensure seafarers can participate in festivals while on duty?

Many ships have designated rest periods and facilities for celebrating festivals, ensuring seafarers can observe these important occasions.

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Henry Stewart
Henry Stewart

Meet Michelle Koss, the list enthusiast. She compiles lists on everything from travel hotspots to must-read books, simplifying your life one list at a time. Join the journey to organized living!.

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