India is a land of fairs and festivals. Our country is the land of diversity and different communities belonging to different religions live here, therefore many festivals are celebrated regularly every year. In India, festivals do not just offer people a temporary reprieve from their daily grind. These festivals are not just about celebration and fasting in fact imbued with deep inner significance, each festival is a multifaceted celebration. Each and every festival has a significance of its own. The day on which a particular festival is celebrated has a special astrological significance, and certain observances on these days yield manifold benefits. Among these festivals, some are religious; some are based on seasons while some are of national importance. All the festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and harmony in a colorful atmosphere, and are enjoyed by people from every religion.
Each festival that is celebrated in our country is also associated with a story from the Puranas that gives an insight into the deeper spiritual significance of every festival as well as the underlying the celebration. These are the part of common folklore and these stories reach out to ordinary people in a way that dry theological facts cannot. Diwali, Dussehra, Raksha Bandhan, Id-ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Zuha, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti, Gurunanak Jayanti, Ganesh Chaturhi etc. are few religious festivals of India that have significance of their own and some spiritual significance related with them. These festivals are celebrated by different communities but they are celebrated as a whole. We can see festive atmosphere as well as colorfulness everywhere in India. The festivals are not really for just holidays. Every festival has its own meaning and related beautifully to life and brings in lots of happiness, color and prosperity to our lives. Some of the benefits of festivals include:
Keeps us closer to our religion and tradition
Carrying the message of the past generations to the present and future
Festival celebrations promote communal harmony
We get to know about different religions
Helps preserving our culture and heritage
Gives a unique opportunity to gather and spend time with family, friends and community
Stress relieving from a hectic work season
Provides us a time to break out from normal routine and have a colorful time
Gathering of family members and friends
Breaks monotony of life
Since a lot of our festivals involve special offerings being prepared and offered to poor, it also brings happiness for them
Cultural exchange of views and celebrations
Build social relations and social communication which leads to unity among the people
Festivals in India
Festivals in India are very important part of the life of people and almost every month have at least one or two festivals that everyone celebrates with enthusiasm and religious fervor. In Hindu religion we are having lot of gods and goddess. More than that in our country the people from various religions is also living which leads to festivities from diverse religions being celebrated and enjoyed by people from every religion which also promotes unity among the people. So, each of them will celebrate their own festival for their spirituality in addition to other festivals along with the friends of different communities as well. It’s no doubt that every year a lot of festivals are celebrated in India. Each and every festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and is looked forward for with a lot of eagerness. These festivals are not just meant for celebration and feasting in fact these festivals also share different kind of rituals and beliefs. These rituals are very important in terms of the importance that is given to these festivals and the proper process that is followed for these festivals.
Every Indian festival has a significance of its own as well as different rituals and prayers that are followed in the celebration process. Every day of weekday have a different stories and different reason behind having these seven days according to Hindu mythology. Every religion in our country has festivals that are related to their beliefs as well as some mythological event and involves different kinds of rights and rituals being performed. Apart from just Hindu festivals there are also several Muslim festivals that follow rituals of their own and are known as Azzan and is performed when a child is born or after the new born baby is given its first bath. This ritual is followed and prayers are offered to god. This process is followed so that the first name that the child hears is that of the god. Every religion has its own beliefs and set of rituals.
Apart from religious festivals there are also harvest festivals, seasonal festivals as well as national festivals that are also celebrated across the country with a lot of enthusiasm and religious fervor. Holi, Baisakhi, Basant Panchami, Bihu, Pongal, Onam etc. are seasonal or harvest festivals. The spirit of Holi is color-rich and vibrant, flung into the air and smeared with immense joy on friends and dear once. Holi is celebrated in the whole country with a lot of enthusiasm and everyone like playing with color and water which is the most exciting part of the Holi. Holi marks the end of winter season and advent of bright days of summer. Yet another example is Baisakhi which is a harvest festival that is celebrated in North India, particularly in Punjab and Haryana, when the Rabi crop is ready for harvesting. In South India, during the same period, 'Pongal' is celebrated. The farmers worship the sun, the earth and the cattle as thanks giving for a bounteous harvest. And then there is Basant Panchami. It marks the arrival of sweet spring the season of pleasant breeze, flowers and fragrance. Hence people celebrate this festival with great zeal and excitement.
Along with other festivities national festivals are also celebrated with the same enthusiasm and fervor as our religious and other festivals. The Independence Day, The Republic day and the Gandhi Jayanti are our national festivals and are celebrated by all communities throughout the country. The Independence Day celebrated on 15th August every year reminds us those numerous freedom fighters that made the Britishers leave the country. They gave us our long-cherished freedom and remind us of their contribution and sacrifices that were made to attain freedom. There are several functions that are organized to mark the celebrations also parade and flag hoisting ceremonies are organized around the country. The Republic day, which falls on 26th January is also a national festival and is observed with national feeling. Republic day is celebrated to mark the day when our constitution came to force. This festival fills us with pride that now we live in a sovereign democratic republic country with a constitution of our own. On this day colorful parade starts from Vijay Chowk which ends at the Red Fort.
Similarly Gandhi Jayanti that falls on 2nd October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Nation is also celebrated nationwide. Mahatma Gandhi who played an important role in our freedom struggle and also promoted message of peaceful co-existence is remembered on this day, whole nation pays heartiest tribute to our revered soul, who lived and died for the country. The festivals make our life colorful and enthusiastic. Festivals also provide us a break from our monotonous schedule and bring people together. These festivals come every year to make us forget all ill-will and communal hatred ad in fact these festivals strengthen the feeling of oneness among the people, without any malice. People meet one another and wish for bright future. Thus, festivals are very important and they must be celebrated with pomp and show by all.
Importance of Festivals
We are becoming more and more modernized and our left out with no time for leisure and recreational activities, so celebrations are good excuse to break the monotony of work and spend some quality time with family and friends. There are many kind of celebrations some of them are funny and interesting; some are traditional or religious whereas some are national. No matter what they are, celebrations play an important role in our lives and give us an opportunity to break out of normal routine and enjoy life. Without celebrations, we can’t enjoy this life fully. Festivals play an important part in the life of people. Human being would dream for happiest moment in their life which can be possible through festivals and celebrations. Everyone would pray for god to handle the difficult situation and make festival cheerful as well as enthusiastic. In festival, the entire family member can assemble together at a place and celebrate the festival.
Festivals are an important tool to bring all people together even though if they are residing at different place. Festivals also lead to interaction among people from diverse religions. Festival is good model of making people happy and fills our lives with colors and joys. There is no word to explain importance of festival and these plays an important part of life and need to be cherished to the best by every individual. Festival also helps in developing good relationship among people and promotes interaction among people. Happiness would be shared between human due to festival. Festival would increase unity in people and also serves to remove all enmities and misunderstanding between people and gives a divine message to all human being. Without festival the life of human would be incomplete.
Festivals also serves to give a break from normal routine, these days everyone in so involved with their own work/study that there is no time left for family interaction and spending time together. Festivals serve to act as events that you celebrate with your family and friends and also get to spend quality time with them. The celebrations, joys and feasting during festival tend to take away all your mental tension and freshens you up. You get a sneak out of your boring work/study routine and in addition you also spend quality time relishing sweets and foods that make you feel even more amused. Since most of our festivals are related to religious beliefs these are also followed by prayers and rituals which also leads to peace of mind and brings in prosperity for the family. If these rites and rituals are performed with full devotion these can help creating a positive atmosphere in your home and keep away all the bad deeds from your family.
Celebrations also remind us of important days, or great time in the year and give us an opportunity to celebrate and cherish those moments. For example, our Independence Day, which is almost the greatest day in a year and is celebrate with lots and lots of enthusiastic people around the country and even by our Indian people around the world. This is the time for people to recall those who laid their lives struggling for independence and gives us an opportunity to pay tribute to them and be proud of our history. Another important celebration is New Year’s Day when people all over the world celebrate the first day of the New Year. This day remind them that one year has passed and the new one is coming with brand-new things.
It has also been noted that festivals promote charity and feeling of giving out and helping poor. It is during the time of festivals that we all also contribute our hand towards the weaker sections that do not have enough sources. This is the basis of every religion. Even in the Muslim religion charity is promoted during the month of fasting and everyone makes room for charity during the holy month and in Christianity Santa giving away gifts to poor also promotes the feeling of giving out. Thus it also gives an opportunity for poor to smile.
Festivals play an important role in the cultural development of an individual as well as provide us with healthy rejuvenation. Our festivities also bring us closer to our religion and also help us to understand culture of others. Celebrating festivals from diverse religions also promotes communal harmony and also leads to effective socialization. We also get a time out of our normal routine and provide us with a refreshing change from routine. It is very important to know about your culture and past, festivals in one way or the other serves the purpose to teach us about our past and civilization. For an individual festival is not just a day off in India but is a lot more than that in our culture, hence we should enjoy our festivities to the fullest and should also try to understand the deep thought behind celebrating it and the message that every festival gives us.