The month of April 2017 is an exciting one. It is the end of another gruelling academic year for many students, but there are also a lot of public holidays in the month to look forward to. With the end of another financial year, April is also when a lot of people will have extra cash in their wallets. So let’s use the opportunity to break away from the daily grind and enjoy the festivities or retreat to a calm and relaxing destination. Here is a look at the public holidays in April 2017 and how you can use them to quench your thirst for travel. Also Read - Unlock Phase I in Rajasthan: Hotels, Restaurant, Clubs And Shopping Malls to Reopen From Monday | Details Here

Odisha Day – Saturday, 1 April 2017

Odisha

Konark Sun Temple, Odisha



For all those who call Odisha their home state, 1 April is the day to celebrate your roots. This day is celebrated every year as Odisha Day or Utkal Divas, to commemorate the formation of a separate Odisha province back in 1936. You can enjoy the local fireworks that happen in many cities and towns across the state on this day, or simply take a walk down the various markets to see how all the shops are decorated in their own unique style to celebrate the day. Alternatively, you can spend the weekend at its beautiful beaches like Puri, Gopalpur or Paradip to celebrate the state’s birth. You could also explore the state’s rich history by visiting heritage destinations such as the Jagannath Temple and Konark Sun Temple. ALSO READ: 9 most mesmerizing beaches of Odisha
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Ram Navami – Tuesday or Wednesday, 4 or 5 April 2017

Ram Navami celebrations, Photograph courtesy: Rajesh Pamnani/Creative Commons

Ram Navami celebrations, Photograph courtesy: Rajesh Pamnani/Creative Commons



Depending on where you are, the festival of Ram Navami will be celebrated on 4 or 5 April 2017, which would be a Tuesday or Wednesday, respectively. The festival marks the birthday of Ram, one of the nine incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu and among the most venerated gods in India. If you can manage a leave on the weekday or two that falls in between, you could combine this public holiday with the first weekend of April and go for a 4-5-day trip to a destination of your choice. But if you would rather celebrate Ram Navami, the best place to be during the celebrations would be Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, considered the birthplace and kingdom of the legendary king. Down south, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu is a great place to celebrate the festival, and so is Bhadrachalam Temple in Andhra Pradesh. Also Read - We Have Named Her 'Priyanka Twitter Vadra': UP Deputy CM's Jibe at Congress Leader

Baisakhi – Thursday, 13 April 2017

Baisakhi fair

Baisakhi fair

April is the time of harvest for many parts of India and it is celebrated in different forms across the country. In Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana, the harvest is celebrated in the form of Baisakhi. The festival is falling on 13 April 2017, marked as a public holiday. You could take the Friday off and get a nice four-day vacation, or simply celebrate the festival, with the best place for this being the Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple in Amritsar, the centre of the Sikh religion in India.

Vishu – Friday, 14 April 2017

Vishu Sadhya

Vishu Sadhya

Vishu, the spring harvest festival of Kerala, is falling on 14 April 2017, and the long weekend is a perfect opportunity to explore getaways around Kerala. A public holiday in the state, Vishu is marked by firecrackers and grand festivities at the hundreds of temples in Kerala. You can spend the day at the temple or participate in the evening festivities with your own fireworks, but do not miss out on the sumptuous lunch feast served on a banana leaf. For the long weekend, you can explore the Western Ghats and the various hill stations on it, like Munnar and Thekkady, to take a break from the bustle of the city.

Bohag Bihu – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 14, 15 and 16 April 2017

Rongali Bihu Dance, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Rongali Bihu Dance, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

What is celebrated as Vishu down south and Baisakhi in the north is called Bohag Bihu, Rangali Bihu or Haat Bihu in Assam. Of the three types of Bihu festivals, Bohag Bihu is the biggest and most important one in Assam. The festival is a public holiday in the state, but it is celebrated in other parts of northeast India as well, by people of various communities and religions. From the initial Raat Bihu to the final Chera Bihu, this festival is a spectacle worth experiencing from start to finish. It is a rare window into the culture and traditions of the northeast and what ties the Seven Sister States together. You can enjoy the traditional Bihu dance and festivities that take place, and the various rituals that are conducted over the seven phases. ALSO READ: 5 wonderful facts you did not know about Assam

Bengali New Year – Saturday, 15 April 2017

Kolkata Book Fair

Tripura and West Bengal will also be celebrating the start of their new year or Pohela Boishakh on 15 April 2017. The festival is also celebrated by the Bengali diaspora in other parts of the country and the world. It is marked by a number of fairs that come up in the days before and after, with various handicrafts, toys and foods on offer. The weekend can be spent simply exploring these fairs and markets and indulging in the various festivities that happen on the day itself. Visiting the Bangla Sangeet Mela in Kolkata is an experience in itself. You can immerse yourself in the traditional dance and songs that take place at the Mela and other fairs around you. Clothing stores will be offering big discounts during this time, so you can get some shopping done as well. Or you could simply dig into the special food that is available during the festival.

Shab-e-Miraj – Monday, 24 April 2017

Sonmarg, Kashmir

Sonmarg, Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir will also be recognising Shab-e-Miraj on 24 April 2017 as a public holiday. Club it with the prior weekend, and you get a three-day getaway in Kashmir. You can engage in the local festivities or take the time to explore the beautiful state. The Tulip Festival in Srinagar would be in full swing, and the visual of a million tulips in blue would be well worth the trip. You can also use the long weekend to explore nearby destinations like Gulmarg and Sonmarg.

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