Difference Between Festival and Celebration

Few terms are misunderstood or used interchangeably, which can be quite justifiable to an extent, but they are not the same. For example, festivals and celebrations both are celebrated to express happiness or for enjoying.

Both are celebrated with their loved ones (friends, relatives, families). Due to all of these reasons, many people get confused between them, they can be similar in some cases (as festivals can be consider as celebrations always but not vice versa) but not the same.

It is important to understand how they can be differentiated and for that following differences are important to know.

Festival vs Celebration

The main difference between festival and celebration is that festivals are celebrations, but not all celebrations are festivals. This means the celebration is a relatively broader term that includes occasion, festivals, parties, etc. festivals are celebrated by comparatively more people always, people following the same tradition, religion or anything come together to celebrate the festival on a decided date whereas celebration can be more personal sometimes that may be celebrated between two or three people. The reason for the celebration of a festival is chosen or specific, while for celebration in general, it may or may not be chosen or specific. Other than these terms, they can be differentiated based on planning, relations, and meaning.

Festival vs Celebration

Festival is an occasion celebrated due to some sentimental, religious, cultural reasons. On festivals it is national and local holidays in different states or countries. It is a public occasion celebrated by several people together.

There are specific things that are done at a festival. It can be dressing up, cooking, or anything. There is always a reason of meaning behind every festival to be celebrated. Examples of some festivals are Diwali, Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Etc.

Celebration is a term derived from the word celebrate. This means to enjoy, or feel joyful or just celebrate with friends and friendly.

It is a broader term that includes occasions, important events, festivals, etc. it can be done in two people or as a whole country, meaning they can be both public and private. It is not important to celebrate for a particular reason; it can be done just to lift the mood of a person.

Comparison Table Between Festival and Celebration

Parameters of ComparisonFestivalCelebration
EventComparatively less broadBroader
TypePublic occasionIt can be both public and private
ReasonSpecificMay or may not be specific
PlanningPlanned from earlierPlanned when some achievement or other things happen
Related toCustom, tradition, or religious reasons.Any occasion such as victory, custom, achievement, etc.

What is Festival?

Following are the reasons to celebrate festivals:

  1. Create Harmony: festivals bring harmony to the busy and hectic life of a person. Harmony is important to keep the patient and mental peace as in the absence of it human brain won’t function normally.
  2. Spread Friendliness and Faith: when people come together to celebrate a festival, it spreads and brings friendliness among them, they dance together, eat together, etc., and all this friendliness also creates faith among all of them.
  3. Economic Development: indirectly celebrating festivals can also contribute to economic development. For example, when you buy things or stuff for celebrating a specific festival, it contributes to the growth of the economy.

Different countries, religions, customs have different festivals that are based on some incident or on some values. They represent the values of society.

It is important to make children understand the religious and other values of their festivals as it builds strong character. For example, Diwali is a festival celebrated in India. It is a festival of light that teaches the importance of light in darkness.

What is Celebration?

Following are some of the reasons or occasion that is celebrated worldwide by people:

  • National Holidays: there are some nationals holidays in countries; these are celebrating to remember the incident on what the holidays are celebrated, for example, founder’s day, independence day, etc. 
  • Festivals: these are the most celebrated occasions; they are different in different countries, while some of them are celebrated worldwide, for example, Christmas and New Year. Festivals like Holi or Easter are mainly celebrated in their particular countries.
  • Victories or Achievements: any little or big victories or achievements are also celebrated to make the moment memorable and share the happiness with others, some of them are celebrated with friends while some in celebrated in whole nation for example when Indian cricket won the match.
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries: they are also among the most celebrated occasion worldwide. Every person celebrates their birthday and anniversary with their loved ones every year to count the blessings and memories they have earned.
  • Other Occasions: there are other little occasions that are celebrated, for example, when a person buys a house or car.

Main Differences Between Festival and Celebration

  1. If festival and celebrations are compared. Celebration is a broader term, and the festival is relatively less broad. For example, the celebration is used for an event or occasion that needs to be celebrated due to any reason. It also includes festivals as it is an event of happiness and joyfulness while the festival is a type of celebration due to some reason.
  2. Both of them can be of different types, the festival is mostly a public occasion such as people from a particular place or with anything common such as religion, custom, etc. celebrate together their common festival whereas celebration can be both public or private, such a celebration of something national or more common such as festival is public while some achievement or victory of a person is a private celebration.
  3. They can be differentiated on the basis of reason. The festival is celebrated for specific reasons on specific dates. They can be due to religion, custom, tradition, etc. While celebration may or may not be for specific reasons, it can be for immediate reasons, sudden victories, achievement (not specific), or birthdays, anniversaries (for specific reasons).
  4. Compared in terms of planning, festivals come on specific dates and therefore planning is started earlier from months, people plan several things such as place, dress, etc. that are decided or fixed every time whereas celebrations are not fixed or planned for a longer period, it can be due to some immediate or sudden reason.
  5. Festivals are celebrated every year on the same date for the same reasons they can be sentimental, emotional, religious, traditional, etc. whereas celebrations can be celebrated on a fixed date or different dates, for example, birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated every year on the same date, they are celebrations but not festivals.
Difference Between Festival and Celebration


Therefore, it is clear that there is a thin line between both of them. It is important to celebrate every celebration and festival, as they create a very healthy and happy environment and release all tensions people can get from a hectic schedule.

Every people have a different way and opinion related to how to celebrate different celebration or festival a person may prefer to celebrate them with many people (full house party, etc.) while some may consider it to celebrate it with their closed ones.

It may be because every person has a different way of getting happy and some might be introvert while other may be extrovert. Every little occasion should be celebrated with people individual prefer the most.


  1. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=208086
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10548408.2017.1350618
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.17104/1611-8944_2006_1_60
  4. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26300892
  5. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1974444
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