India is a country of, "7 vaar - 9 tyohar". These are not meaningless or uncoordinated festivals; no each festival has significance. Gods, grains, fire, forest, river, farm helper animals, changing seasons, Constellations of the transition period, relations that stays even after after-life, dead ancestors, pen-ink bottle, books, every relationship, even crops and weather patterns gets a place as a festival. This is why one festival is named after one God and the other on some other. Karwachaut is for husband, Raksha-Bandhan for brother, Teej for sisters and daughters, Navratri puja for the girls, Ahoi fast for sons. Bachrabas for calves, Govardhan Pooja for animals who assist in agricultural. Festivals for Peepal and such. A festival on every crop sowing and harvesting. Even the different festivals in different regions, tribals who have their own festivals and fairs. Festivals are source of enthusiasm in our life. Those who are weighed down by the burden of life-behavior get the chance to be comfortable and take in little free breath in the festive season.
There is no use of celebrating these festivals with extreme indifference or thinking them as merely ritual festivities; a festival is truly meaningful when we celebrate it by understanding the significance behind its feelings and mystery. The great poet Kalidas had once said - "Utsav priya: maanva".
Human by nature is a festive-lover. The main purpose of festivals is the get-together that fights away the misery.
For Indians the way of living is - festivals; life's philosophy is - festivals. In the Indian Calendar, we have more festivals than the dates. From birth to death, we are always celebrating one or the other festival. Indians love their festivals and always manage to find all possible excuses to 'Celebrate' life.
India's rural culture is very diverse, so there are many festivals. The more we celebrate the festivals close to nature the more we will remain attached to our land. Just as tribal celebrate; hunting or harvesting grain, marriage or childbirth; they all gather around all dressed up and imitate nature. They dance, sometimes like a peacock, a deer or a tiger. We cannot celebrate a festival by staying away from nature, by staying from all those gatherings. We cannot feel the joy of nature. Those little festive traditions of localities and villages; Kua pujan, ghura pujan, jaljhulni gyaras, govardhan pooja, sheetla sampatti, naag panchmi.. Ever since festivals such as these have became rare, our sacrament of believing nature as our mother has almost disappeared. Goverdhan pooja is now only celebrated within the cattlemen and in villages. Our livestock is much neglected today than it had ever been. The growing population and outspoken professionalism have worsened the condition of the animals. People ignore those cows that are dying by the roadside because of eating poly-bags, but they cause uproar when those cows are sliced in slaughterhouses.
Festivals these days no longer hold truthfulness and joy. There is no reality in today's festivals. Now everything has turned into a commercial version. Diwali, the Festival of Lanterns has turned into a festival of colorful glittering lights. One cannot even understand if its festival decorations or a wedding!
That enthusiasm of newly stitched dresses, the homemade cosmetic bath for every festival, hand-made home dishes and sharing those dishes in the neighborhood. Many traditions such as these has almost disappeared. Instead of the crowd that used to play and shout all around on Holi, all we see are bikers speeding up on the raids. It seems as though festivals these days are only celebrated to show off.
Festivals are losing their true color because two reasons.
1) A new trend has started where in festivals such as Diwali, government officials, businesspersons and contractors share sweets-nuts, or other precious gift in from of indirect bribe. These sacred festivals have turned into the day of wrongdoings.
2) Festivals these days seem politicized. Today Muslims and Hindus are hesitant in celebrating each other’s festivals because politicians, vote-grasper and the so-called socialists have crossed a line between the hearts. Whether one has to smash a pitcher on Janmashtami or has to worship Ganesh on Ganeshutsav; instead, festivals of the streets these have turned into something one celebrates at a party or a day when “Leaders” choose to show their political strength in their areas.
Despite all this, even today in the interiors of India and ancient cities, a festival of any religion will remain above politics; everyone celebrates it together and gives other best wishes. At many places, Hindus still make Tajia and Muslims make brocade dresses for hindu gods. The aim of the festival is to share happiness and joy, not to go melancholic. When we are away from the public and nature, only the noise and the need to show off remains, as a result our soul is impaired.
The truth is that we have gotten so busy and business minded that we have turned needy, not observant and enthusiastic.