National festivals like Independence Day, the Republic Day and Gandhiji's birthday are celebrated in Karnataka. In addition to these, because of Karnataka's multi-religious population, many religious festivals are celebrated harmoniously.
The pride of Karnataka's festivals is Dussehra. It is a celebration that lasts for ten days. The rulers of Vijayanagara Empire used to celebrate Dussehra with remarkable brilliance. The rulers of Mysore continued the tradition. The Maharaja of Mysore used to hold a Durbar for 9 days and on the 10th day went in a procession on a caparisoned elephant. With the ending of the royal rule, a picture of Bhuvaneshwari, the patron goddess of Karnataka, is taken out in procession. It is a unique and significant festival of the Hindus.
The Kannadiga New Year day Yugadi that falls on late March or early April is celebrated with devotion and delight. Usually the festival dinner starts with jaggery and neem leaves symbolic of joys and sorrows interwoven in life.
Karaga is celebrated on the full moon day of Chaitra, the first month of Hindu Calendar. It is a unique festival in honor of Draupathi, the heroine of Mahabharata. The celebrations start at the Darmaraya Temple in Bangalore.
The formation of the Karnataka State is celebrated on the 1st of November. This is a state festival
Makara Samkramana, Sri Ramanavami, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Deepavali are other Hindu festivals celebrated in devotion together with other regions of the country.
Like other regions of the country, Muslims celebrate religious festivals with congregational prayers. The important festivals celebrated are Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Milad-un-Nabi and Moharrum.
Christian festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday etc are also celebrated along with the rest of the nation.
Buddha Poornima and Mahaveera Jayanthi are celebrated in certain regions of the State.