June sees the hot and humid days of summer phase out as the southwest monsoon clouds roll in with plenty of rain to go around the country. With the days of scorching afternoons coming to an end soon along with the summer holidays for kids, everyone is clamoring for a quick getaway before the monsoon season arrives in earnest, drenching the country in rain and clogging the roads. Thankfully, there are a handful of public holidays in June 2017 to escape for a day or two and unwind. Here is the list of public holidays and some recommendations for how to use them well. ALSO READ: Festivals in June 2017 in India Also Read - Govt to Borrow Rs 4.88 Lakh Crore During April-September Financial Year 2020-21
Sant Guru Kabir Jayanti – Friday, 9 June
Kabir Das painting in Samadhi Mandir in the Kabir Chaura Math in Varanasi
Sant Guru Kabir Jayanti is a gazetted holiday recognized in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chhattisgarh. It honors the ancient poet and philosopher Kabir, who contributed much to the Sikh movement and its holy book, the Adi Granth. Since it falls on a Friday this time, residents in these four states will get a nice long weekend. Himachal Pradesh has plenty of places to explore in a long weekend; Kasol and Manali are popular destinations right now, as is Dharamsala. Amritsar in Punjab, Sultanpur National Park in Haryana and Chitrakot in Chattisgarh are other destinations worth exploring in the long weekend. Also Read - Coronavirus: Delhi Govt Marks Over 20,000 Houses as 'Home Quarantine' to Ensure Social Distancing
Pahili Raja – Wednesday, 14 June
Pahili Raja is an Odia festival that marks the beginning of the agricultural year with the first monsoon rains in the state of Odisha. The three-day festival starts on a Wednesday and continues for the week, and you can find several parts of the state celebrating. The festival is special for future mothers and unmarried women, given its symbolic origins as the annual menstrual period of the mother Earth. Women are given a break from their usual tasks and perform special rituals to mark the occasion. They wear the best of their clothes and special swings are built for them to play in. Folk songs are sung and special competitions are held to celebrate the festival. Also Read - US Open Tennis Site in New York Being Converted into Makeshift Hospital Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Raja Sankranti – Thursday, 15 June
Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
The second day of the Raja festival in Odisha is celebrated as Raja Sankranti. If you have these two days off from work, you can celebrate Raja with the rest of the community or explore the nearby villages to witness and take part in the local festivities. If you can take the Friday off, you can also get a nice five-day long holiday. Take this opportunity to explore the gems of Odisha, like the temple city of Bhubaneswar, the beaches and Jagannath temple of Puri, and caves of Khandagiri and Udayagiri, and the forests of Sambalpur. Or you could go to other destinations outside the state, like Vizaj and Kurnool down south or Darjeeling and Varanasi up north.
Jumat ul-Wida – Friday, 23 June
Jummat ul-Wida at Makkah Masjid, Hyderabad
Jumat ul-Wida marks the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim calendar. The day is a recognized public holiday throughout India, and you can take this opportunity, if you get it, to go out on a long weekend. To witness the rituals and festivities of Jumat ul-Wida, you can go to the main hubs like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow or Srinagar, where thousands will gather at their local mosques to offer their prayers on the occasion. Hyderabad, Delhi and Lucknow in particular are great places to see the festivities, especially at their most important mosques. The Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad and Jama Masjid in Delhi and Lucknow are where you should head to for the best experience.
Jagannath Rath Yatra – Sunday, 25 June
Rath Yatra celebrations
The day of the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha is a public holiday in the state and falls on a Sunday this time. So rather than heading out to a weekend getaway, why not head to ancient city and witness the grand celebrations in person. The experience of seeing the procession that goes from the Jagannath temple in Puri is unforgettable, with chanting and conch shells being blown as the gods make their way through the street. Thousands gather to get a glimpse of their gods and to take part in the activities. Firecrackers and music can be heard everywhere in the city, with a joyous atmosphere over it. If you have more than a day, spend some time at the Puri Beach to unwind from all the excitement at the Rath Yatra.
Eid ul-Fitr in Kerala – Sunday, 25 June
Mosque on top of red colored stones cliff in Varkala, Kerala
While Puri will be celebrating its Rath Yatra on Sunday, Kerala will celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. The festival falls a day earlier in the southern state than in the rest of the country, following the Shafi’i school of thought. But there are plenty of reasons to be here when the celebrations begin. Devotees come in large numbers to Kerala’s mosques to offer their special prayers for the day. They dress in new clothes and special delicacies are made to celebrate the end of a month-long fast. The feast served on this day is a foodie’s dream, from every kind of Pathiri to Arabian Majboos and kebabs, Sukhiyan and special street food made near mosques.
Eid ul-Fitr – Monday, 26 June
Eid ul-Fitr in Jama Masjid, Delhi
For the rest of India, Eid u-Fitr falls on June 26, and luckily that is a Monday. This means that you get a nice long weekend to celebrate the end of Ramadan and enjoy the festivities and special treats that are served. With a long weekend, you also get the opportunity to go out on a quick three-day getaway. Use this opportunity to scratch out one more place in your bucket list, but make sure that your destination has a few places where you can try out the local Iftaar snacks. You do not want to miss the chance of tasting some of the best dishes that will be made this year. ALSO READ: Ramadan 2017: Here are 7 best places to witness Ramadan celebrations in India
Eid ul-Fitr in Telangana – Tuesday, 27 June
The final public holiday of June is only recognized in the state of Telangana. Hyderabad would of course be the best place to be if you want to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr in the state. The festival is naturally celebrated with much fanfare and joy in the city of Nawabs, with the faithful flocking to the city’s iconic mosques for special prayers and sermons before heading out around the city in their finest dresses to enjoy the day. You can go shopping at the numerous stalls that open up to mark the festival, or munch on the delicacies served in street stalls across the city, especially near mosques and around the Charminar. NOW READ: Bank holidays in June 2017 to plan a short vacation
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