As more businesses outsource services to India, you may be in a position where you need to make frequent calls to the country. In a bid to save you time, money and stress, we outline some dates when making a call to India may be more difficult or impossible.

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Just like in the UK, India has public national holidays on which businesses and offices are often closed, therefore impeding the chances of getting through to someone. India has three major public national holidays.

Independence Day – 15th August

Independence Day is a holiday to celebrate India’s freedom from British rule which is held on 15th August. It includes huge celebrations and the Prime Minister’s speech which reviews and reflects on last year’s achievements, highlights important issues and looks ahead to the next year.

So, rather than fruitlessly trying to get your call through to India on this day, why not take a leaf out of India’s book and have a day of reflection and contemplation instead? Then you’ll be refreshed and raring to go the day after to do the hard-nosed businessman act.

Republic Day – 26th January

Another national holiday is Republic Day, held on the 26th January. It’s a holiday to celebrate the forming of India’s constitution post British rule. There are large military parades and festivals of dance both on and around this time.

Many businesses and offices won’t be open and so if you were planning on making a few business deals in India then today is probably not going to serve you well in that regard.

How about taking a trip to the shops to see if there are still any bargains up for grabs in the January sales? You might save yourself some additional money, on top of the time saved from avoiding fruitlessly hanging on the phone all day.

Gandhi Jayanti – 2nd October

The third national public holiday is Gandhi Jayanti held on the 2nd of October. It celebrates and commemorates the life of Mahatma Gandhi – the prominent figure of India’s independence movement and ardent proponent of peaceful, none-violent protest.

Again, many businesses will be closed out of respect. It is a day of peace. There are few things that fly in the face of peace and tranquillity more than hours of on-hold music and an automated operator telling you that “you’re call is very important to us, please hold.” This is what you’ll likely get if you call India on this day. So in honour of Mahatma Gandhi, give peace a chance and leave the calls for tomorrow.

Religious Holidays

In addition to these three national public holidays, it is also worth considering religious holidays. The most common religion in India is Hinduism which is followed by approximately 80 % of the population. The biggest Hindu celebration is Diwali.

The period of Diwali runs over five days. It does not occur on the same date every year; it is similar to Easter in that it is related to the moon’s cycle. This year it runs from 1st-5th November.

Diwali is known as the festival of lights, but chances are one of the things that won’t be lighting up over this time are businesses’ switchboards. It is recognised as an official holiday in many states; therefore it is likely that many businesses and offices will be closed over this period, especially on the day of Diwali itself, which is the fifth day.

Some businesses may also close on other religious holidays such as Christian holidays like Christmas, or Muslim events, which are dependant on the moon’s cycle. Bakri Id/Eid ul-Adha is a Muslim holiday on which many businesses are closed.

This year it falls on 16th October. Similarly, there is “the Profit’s Birthday, very much meant for prophets, not for profits, as many businesses are closed on this day. The next instance of this event is January 14th 2014.
The Muslim New Year falls this year on the 14th November. Businesses may also be closed on other Hindu festivals, such as Holi (17th March 2014), and Dussehra (13th October 2013).

Knowing these dates could really help you save time, stress and money – after all, “time is money” says the old maxim. Making cheap calls to India can be quite tricky, but knowing the holidays listed above, you should be able to save yourself a lot of on-hold stress. Call2Call, for example, offer low rates to call India.

Feel free to leave a comment below to share any further suggestions of dates when calls to India should be avoided.

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