Why are festivals losing their importance?
I am not sure if most people are aware that festivals weren’t random celebrations – they were, in fact, scientific and have great significance in the calendar.
Mahashivratri – A festival that offers a powerful possibility of spiritual growth
Makar Sankranti – A harvest festival and day when there is a significant movement in the zodiac – a day of the arrangement of earth dial around the sun
Diwali – Festival of lights to eradicate any darkness
Dusshera – Each of the 10 days has significance on how they bring success and victory in our lives
Eid – It means breaking of the fast and also is in sync with the lunar cycle
So on and so forth.
There was a time when every new harvest was celebrated as it brought joy and prosperity and other festivals were in association with the moon cycle that had its impact on us.
These festivals and celebrations brought families together, was an opportunity to buy new clothes and eat special food. Festivals in that sense are really special. I remember as a kid I waited for Raksha Bandhan to meet my cousins and get a gift that I would cherish all year! Diwali would be going to restaurants I didn’t go otherwise as they were expensive and meant only for such occasions.
I’m sure you have similar memories too! But it is losing its main essence now – the new generation doesn’t see it with as much enthusiasm as the older generation saw it and there are a couple of reasons for it:
- Social media – yes sadly it is so because festivals are less about the meaning and more about putting the right picture in the right outfit so that we get many likes and comments – in fact, this also brings anxiety in some who can’t really afford the right outfit that their peers would appreciate!
- Resources everywhere! – We aren’t any longer waiting for festivals and occasions to buy new clothes or go to that restaurant – we do that all year long! There is nothing special about it that can create excitement and joy, unfortunately.
- Privacy intruded – With nuclear families becoming the reality and getting a lot of private space, we do not see families meeting for occasions as interfering with our privacy – we don’t really look forward to it – we rather get that time to surf the net!
- High budget needed – Due to social pressure, a celebration of festivals doesn’t have the simple meaning it did right? If one needs to have a social gathering, it has become about ‘what people will say and think?’ Our focus is more on that, which can make this affair an expensive one! This pressure has gotten people to look at festivals differently.
- Deeper meaning – Is anyone interested in this anymore? Why do we celebrate it? What is the deeper meaning? How can it benefit us? The newer generation doesn’t want to engage in this conversation so the essence of why we celebrate is slowly blurring.
The question, therefore, we need to ask is how can we revive the essence so that it can make sense for generations to come? To me, that answer is – giving its scientific significance and making it a part of the education system – so that even if we change how we celebrate it, we know it’s coming from our roots and god’s nature that will always be a part us.
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