A dry day can be the ultimate party pooper. You may be set to party all night but a dry day can splash cold water on all those plans. Especially in metropolitan cities, where the pub culture and nightlife has seen a rise over the years, dry days can prove to be quite problematic for everyone involved.
Bar owners lose business, clubs don’t see that much footfall and alcohol lovers don’t get their favourite liquor. That is if you’re one of those that doesn’t maintain an emergency stock of booze at home.
To make sure your party plans or drinking escapades don’t get cancelled last minute, it is important to know the list of dry days. In a city like Mumbai where pubs, breweries and bars are aplenty, knowing whether a particular day is a dry day becomes even more important.
What Is A Dry Day?
A dry day refers to a particular day of the calendar when the sale of alcohol is banned. This not only includes liquor shops but also bars and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol. Multiple events can result in a dry day, such as national or state elections, festivals etc.
Not only the sale of alcohol, In India, a “dry day” is one where even consumption of alcohol is banned in public places.
While dry days are only restricted to a particular day in most cases, they make have different durations when an election takes place. The election commission imposes a ban on alcohol sale 48 hours ahead of the closing of polls in the voting constituency.
Why Do Dry Days Happen In India
Dry days in India happen for a variety of reasons.
They are declared mainly to respect the patriotic or religious sentiments of the public. While some dry days are commonly known, such as Independence Day or the Republic Day, dry days aren’t only restricted to these national holidays.
For example, the day our Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was born is also regarded as a dry day. This is because he was a strong proponent of total prohibition. This is also the reason why alcohol is banned in the entire state of Gujarat. The state enforces alcohol prohibition as a homage to Mahatma Gandhi’s values.
He views on alcohol are widely known. Once, when 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.”
Therefore, not only October 2 is regarded as a dry day in India, but it is also regarded as World No Alcohol Day since 2008.
Some states, such as Bihar also practice prohibition. 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.
Additionally, during elections, dry days are held because in the past it has been found that alcohol has been used to bribe voters in the rural areas. During the elections, reports are widespread of liquor and cash being seized by the election commission. A report by the election commission showed that as much as Rs192.067 crore (about $28 million) worth of alcohol intended for bribes has been seized so far by the authorities. Therefore, the concept of a dry day is used when elections are around the corner, to ensure that liquor is not used as an incentive to create a vote bank and the purity of the democratic process is maintained.
List Of Dry Days In Mumbai This Year
Not that you know everything you possibly could about the history and context of dry days in the country, here’s a complete list of dry days being observed in the city this year. Read it, save it and send it to all your friends to make sure you know when the dry days in your city are!
January 15: Makar Sankranti
January 26: Republic Day
January 30: Shaheed Diwas
February 18: Swami Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti
February 19: Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti
February 21: Maha Shivratri
March 10: Holi
April 2: Ram Navmi
April 6: Mahavir Jayanti
April 10: Good Friday
May 1: Maharashtra Day
May 7: Buddha Purnima
May 25: Eid Ul Fitr
July 1: Ashadi Ekadashi
July 31: Bakri Eid
August 12: Janmashtami
August 15: Independence Day
August 22: Ganesh Chaturthi
August 29: Muharram
September 1: Ganesh Visarjan
October 2: Gandhi Jayanti
October 25: Dussehra
October 31: Valmiki Jayanti
November 25: Kartik Ekadashi
November 30: Guru Nanak Jayanti
Thankfully, the months of December and June don’t have any dry days listed, so drink away all you want!
So that’s the full list of dry days Mumbai is going to see in 2020. Keep this in mind to make sure there aren’t any unplanned surprise when you reach the club or bar you’ve been dying to go to. Because who likes to see a drinking sesh get spoilt because of a dry day? Happy drinking!