It's widely believed that most people eat vegetarian food during festivals. That is just not true. I have watched episodes of Joe Rogan more believable than that. See, people in different parts of the country eat what is easily available to them. If you live near coastal areas, seafood will be your staple diet, festival or not.
Dusshera and Durga Puja in East India, primarily in West Bengal and in parts of Odisha means fast food stalls around every corner. Every kid who loves meat, gets to gorge on delicious rolls and chowmein and pakodas among other things. West Bengal, as a matter of fact really dials those options up to 11. So, if you're visiting during these festivals, give it a go. It's everywhere.
2. Gatari Amavasya
Gatari Amavasya is a festival observed on No Moon Day, especially by Marathi people in parts pf Maharashtra. Many people don't eat meat or consume alcohol during the Shravan month and so for them, this is a license to feast.
This one's personal because my family does it every year. It's celebrated in Western Odisha and one of the staples of this festival is the mutton curry, meant to be eaten with the new rice. It's the one day of the year, I get scolded for not eating enough and I eat a lot.
Meat is a given since villagers symbolically go on hunting in teams. You are not gonna hunt grass. That's called gathering. I mean, you don't have to, if you don't to. It's not like we are gonna shut all the vegetable shops nearby.
5. Mattu Pongal
A lot of people don't eat meat on Pongal, but Mattu Pongal is different. Some really delicious meat and fish are prepared and eaten with a lot of love. The fact of the matter is, you can eat meat even during the festival and nobody will really tell you to stop, because you know, freedom to eat and all that
6. Kali Puja
East Indians, especially Bengalis celebrate Kali Puja with a lot of fervour. They love it. In a lot of temples, as a matter of fact, animals are sacrificed to the deity and their meat is served as remnants. It's amazing!
Chhadakhai is a ritual of Odisha celebrated on the next day of Kartik Purnima. A lot of people don't really consume meat during the month, so for them, this is the time to gorge. Any place in the state, if you wake up in the morning and go to the local market, you will find long lines outside meat and fish shops, even when the rates have gone up by two to three times. Alternatively, you can also eat meat during the month and nobody will actually care.
This Odia festival celebrates women and like everybody else, women like eating. From deserts to delicious curries, it's all for the taking. Now, no one can force you to eat meat, as nobody does. But if you want to, you are more than welcome. You could walk through a small lane or a gali and you can actually smell all the different food people are cooking.
Ah yes, say what you want about the Malayali folks, they know how to cook some good meat and boy, do they love eating! Now, a lot of people stick to vegetarian food. But historically and still in a lot of parts of the state of Kerala, fish and meat are served for the feast.
Alright, so marking the months and the dates on the calendar. Time to move around the country a bit during these festivals.