July 2017 marks the start of the monsoon in many parts of the country and the end of the summer vacations. But don’t let the monsoon rains stop you from treating your case of vacation blues. There are a few public holidays in July 2017 that open up the opportunity to pack your bags and head off to a nearby destination, even if for just for a few days. Unfortunately, this month will see most of the holidays happening in North and Northeast India, except for one in Telangana. So folks in South India will have to wait out July if they were hoping to cash in on public holidays. For the rest of you, here is a list of public holidays in July 2017 in India to plan out your short outings. ALSO READ: Festivals and events in India in July 2017 that you must attend
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Kharchi Puja – Saturday, 1 July
Ujjayanta Palace, Agartala, Tripura
The first day of the month will be public holiday in the Northeastern state of Tripura on the occasion of Kharchi Puja. The celebrations are mostly concentrated in the capital city of Agartala. Kharchi Puja sees the folks of Tripura pay their respects to the fourteen gods that make up the dynasty deity of the state. The festival itself happens for seven days, with people of all castes and walks of life coming together to pay tribute to Mother Earth and seek her blessings. Festive dances take place, and there are some instances of animal sacrifice as well. If you are in Tripura, immerse yourself in the festivities over the weekend. Also Read - Telangana May Extend Coronavirus Lockdown Beyond April 14, Says CM K Chandrasekhar Rao
Bonalu – Monday, 10 July
Bonalu festival celebrations at Telengana
Telangana, meanwhile, will celebrate the Hindu festival of Bonalu on 10 July. The festival venerates the goddess Mahakali and you can see celebrations in Hyderabad, Secundarabad and several parts of the state. Bonalu involves special poojas for the goddess, with special meals being prepared as part of the celebrations. The goddess is worshiped in all her forms, with the celebrations beginning in Golconda Fort. This is followed by celebrations at the Ujjaini Mahakali Temple, Secundarabad and the Balkampet Yellamma temple in Balkampet. The festivities eventually move to the Matheswari temple in Old Hyderabad’s Lal Darwaza. Several other temples celebrate Bonalu as well. Also Read - Haryana Man Uses Bedsheets as Rope to Escape COVID-19 Test From Hospital, Falls and Dies
Ker Puja – Saturday, 15 July
We move back to Tripura for the Ker Puja, a festival that happens two weeks after the Kharchi Puja. Ker Puja venerates the Vastu Devata, a guardian god in Tripura’s dynasty of deities. And because this is the guardian god we are talking about, the festival involves demarcating a certain area as a way of guarding the people from outside aggression and calamities. Entrances to Agartala are closed during this time, and people are not allowed to dance, singe, light fires or wear shoes. Before the festival even begins, expecting mothers and the elderly and frail are moved to nearby villages. The idea is that once the area is drawn out, nobody can cross the boundary. Once the Ker Puja begins, you cannot shout, cry or poke fun at anyone. A loud bang can be heard in the morning of Ker, alerting the public. ALSO READ: Bank holidays in July 2017 in India
Teej – Wednesday, 26 July
The festival of Teej will be recognized as a public holiday in Haryana. Unfortunately, that holiday is going to fall on a Wednesday, which means that you cannot stitch up a long getaway unless you take a couple weekdays off. The best thing for you to do would be to simply enjoy the Teej festivities, and thankfully Haryana will see plenty of it. Teej is a festival for women to pray to the goddess Parvati and the god Shiva. You will find women dressed up in red and green clothes for the festival, which celebrates the purity of soul and the well-being of family. Teej usually lasts for three days; the first day, Dar Khane Din, sees the men preparing a feast for the women. The second day is a day of fasting and the third one sees women offering their prayers to the gods.
Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Udham Singh – Monday, 31 July
Jallianwala Bagh memorial, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
In Punjab, the final day of the month will be a public holiday to commemorate the martyrdom of Shaheed Udham Singh. The Indian revolutionary was executed on 31 July in 1940 for assassinating former Lieutenant Governor Sir Michael O’Dwyer, as revenge for the bloody Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. This year, the holiday will fall on a Monday, which will result in a long weekend for many folks in the state. With the monsoon expected to hit Punjab in a few days, this would be the perfect opportunity to go out and explore nearby monsoon getaways. The usual choices can include Amritsar for a spiritual journey or Parwanoo for an escape into the mountains. There is also Kasauli if you are near Chandigarh and Chail and Renuka Ji in Himachal Pradesh. NOW READ: 14 Punjabi delicacies and the best places to taste them!
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