Most South Indian festivals are celebrated in Salem. Some major festivals here are:
- Pongal – A harvest festival celebrated in the month of January.
- Aadi Perukku – A festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi (mid-July to mid-August).
- Varsha Pirappu (or Tamil New Year’s Day) – Beginning of a new year according to Tamil Calendar; this is celebrated in April.
- Navarathri – A 9-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga; where people organize plays etc and display dolls in the form of Golu (in steps); and pray for destruction of evil.
- Deepawali – The festival of lights (celebrated between Sep to Nov).