If forgotten, dry days can be the ultimate party pooper. Whether you’re hosting a small get together at your house or just having a quiet night in with a bottle of wine, not having any access to alcohol can be frustrating. This can be simply avoided by making a note of all the dry days and prepping a day early with the booze selection of your choice. This is everything you need to know about dry days in 2021 because let's face it, we don't want any more disappointments in 2021-
What is a Dry Day?
Dry days are specific days when the government has restricted the sale of alcohol. This law is put into effect by most Indian states on most major national functions or holidays. A dry day is observed even during elections in India.
Why do we have dry days?
While you may be confused as to why exactly do states observe a dry day, the answer is usually a religious one. Most of the dry days observed in India are to honour a religious festival and pay respects to the religious sentiments of the people celebrating that festival. However, these days are also observed during election days. Although the sale of alcohol during these days is prohibited, one could freely drink alcohol at home without the fear of being arrested. In some states like West Bengal, drinking and serving alcohol in 5-star hotels, clubs and resorts is permitted. Only the open sale of liquor at restaurants, liquor shops and other permitted places is disallowed on those days.
However, in some states, a dry day is observed throughout the year. While this may sound unnecessary, the banning of the sale and consumption of alcohol could be due to a variety of reasons. Since Gujarat is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, his ideals about a strict ‘alcohol ban’ is observed to pay homage to him. He was part of a debate discussing the monetary gains one makes from the sale of alcohol he said “I venture to suggest to you that it is a matter of deep humiliation for the country to find its children educated from drink revenue. We shall deserve the curse of posterity if we do not wisely decide to stop the drink evil, even though we may have to sacrifice the education of our children.” Since then not only his birthday, October 2 is regarded as a dry day in India but it is also known as World No Alcohol Day since 2008.
In the state of this Bihar, dry days have been introduced because of the high rate of alcohol-induced violence that takes place in Bihar. Another argument in favour of dry days and alcohol prohibition, in general, is that it helps in reducing gender inequality. Several studies have shown how states which have stricter alcohol consumption laws in place report lower threats of violence against women.
Different types of dry days
While we all know that sale of alcohol is prohibited during a dry day, there are actually several types of dry days in India like -
State Dry Day – In this case, a dry day is observed only in the concerned state on a particular day. It is allowed for people in other states to consume alcohol and there are no restrictions on the same.
National Dry Day – A national dry day means drinking is prohibited for all the states and union territories on that particular day.
International Dry Day – In this case, the blanket ban on alcohol for a particular day increases to the entire world. Examples of this include the International Dry Day on October 2nd
Election Days - These dry days occur when an election is taking place. Election Dry days are enforced during the voting process as well as on the day the counting of votes takes place.
List of Dry Days In India 2021
In a country where religious festivals are celebrated very frequently, drinking enthusiasts may wonder about the number of dry days during that particular month. Thankfully, only 4 dry days can be observed in a single month. This is the list of all the dry days in 2021-
- 14 January, Thursday: Makar Sankranti
- 26 January, Tuesday: Republic Day
- 30 January, Saturday: Martyrs’ Day
- 19 February, Friday: Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahavir Jayanti
- 27 February, Saturday: Guru Ravidas Jayanti (dry day in Delhi only)
- 8 March, Monday: Swami Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti
- 11 March, Thursday: Maha Shivratri
- 29 March, Monday: Holi
- 2 April, Friday: Good Friday
- 14 April, Wednesday: Ambedkar Jayanti
- 21 April, Wednesday: Ram Navami
- 25 April, Sunday: Mahavir Jayanti
- 1 May, Saturday: Maharashtra Day (Maharashtra)
- 12 May, Wednesday: Eid ul-Fitr
- 13 May, Thursday: Eid ul-Fitr
- 20 July, Tuesday: Ashadi Ekadashi (Maharashtra)
- 24 July, Saturday: Guru Purnima (Delhi, Maharashtra)
- 10 August, Tuesday: Muharram
- 15 August, Sunday: Independence Day
- 30 August, Monday: Janmashtami
- 10 September, Friday: Ganesh Chaturthi
- 19 September, Sunday: Anant Chaturdashi (Maharashtra)
- 2 October, Saturday: Gandhi Jayanti
- 8 October, Friday: Prohibition Week (Maharashtra)
- 15 October, Friday: Dussehra
- 18 October, Monday: Eid-e-Milad
- 20 October, Wednesday: Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti
- 4 November, Thursday: Diwali
- 14 November, Sunday: Kartiki Ekadashi
- 19 November, Friday: Guru Nanak Jayanti
- 24 November, Wednesday: Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day (Dry days in Delhi and Punjab)
- 25 December, Saturday: Christmas
In addition to the above days, a dry day is observed on the following days too-
- Election Day
- Ram Navami
- Maha Shivaratri
- Eid al-Adha
- Eid al-Fitr
- Milad un Nabi
The chances of a special celebratory occasion falling on the same day as a dry day may be low but extremely frustrating. You could always visit these places that serve alcohol even during dry days !