Everybody strives for pleasure, happiness, joy or bliss throughout life. Why so; because that is the very nature of self or soul. Nobody can remain in pain, hatred, jealousy, or any other negative emotions for very long time. The mind settles ultimately in peace and happiness.
Festivals are occasions which bring happiness at all levels i.e. social, mental and spiritual. Apart from personal happiness and happiness at family & social levels, festivals have economic as well as political influences. In cities, we get to know our neighbours at the time of festivals. Festivals are centres of social development. Cohesive force of festivals has been used by political parties to win over people.
India is a land of festivals and celebrations. Most of the Indian festivals have religious origin. It helps in preserving religious practices and cultural heritage.
There is a long list of Hindu festivals which are celebrated in harvest seasons, to refresh various relationships, to offer great reverence to various deities etc. The most important
Hindu festivals are as under:
Festivals break monotony of routine life and elevate the mood & positivity thereby reducing the negativity. Festivals act as stress buster. We forget our worries and sway into celebrations of festivals.
This is an opportunity to reduce conflicts among friends and relatives and renew bond of love and affection. Misunderstandings and gaps are filled with joy of festivals. Giving gifts and sweets are sure way to convey our feelings and develop positive mental framework among our near and dear.
A few festivals are celebrated for special relationships with different family members viz. Haryali Teej (the daughter’s day), Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj (the day of brothers and sisters), Karva Chauth (the day of husband), Pitra paksh (the day to remember forefathers left) and Guru Purnima (the day to pay respect to Guru).
Indian festivals are auspicious occasions and have its root in religious legends. These connect younger generations to old traditions and religious practices followed. The religious messages include victory of good over evil, birth of great incarnations of almighty, appearance of almighty, etc.
Festival of reverence to various deities are Vasant & Sharad Navratri/Durga Puja, Vijay Dashmi, Deepavali (Diwali), Sri Krishna Janamashtami, Sri Ram Navami, Maha Shivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi and Diwali.
The different customs and spiritual practices help each individual in spiritual progress. Spiritual practices which are generally adopted include fasting (upavaasa), special prayer, japa, havan/Yajna, meditation, donation/daan, etc. These practices reduce indulgence in sensual pleasure & distractions of mind, improve focus & humility, remind high standards & morals followed by the deities worshipped and bring closeness to almighty & super consciousness.
Various festivals such as Ganesh Chaturdhi in Maharashtra, Durga Puja in West Bengal, Uttrayan in Gujarat etc. are being organised on community basis in big pandals. These festivals are also been organised in other parts of Bharat particularly in metros.
Celebrating festivals on community basis play a pivotal in social cohesion which brings peace, harmony and happiness. Mass entertainment programmes are being organised to bring feeling of togetherness and uplifting mood of people in general.
Festivals provide necessary impetus to economic growth. Sales are boosted on Diwali, Durga puja, Ganesh Chaturdhi etc. Many festivals fall around harvesting season of agriculture produce. Migratory workers visit to their home villages and collectively contribute in agriculture work and in celebrating festivals together. Festivals of Baisakhi, Onam, Vasant Panchami and Makar Sankranti are harvest festivals in many states.
During festivals, sales and purchases increase manifold having multiplier effect on economy in general and consumer industry in particular. Fairs and sales events are organised in big way on the festivals of Gudi Padwa, Ganesh Chaturdhi, Durga Puja/Navaratri and Diwali.
Hence, festivals increase not only personal happiness but also impact socio-economic-political development.