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Festivals Celebrations Then and Now

04 Nov 2010

As the year draws to a close, it leaves us in grand style with many festivals for people of all religions to enjoy. When we talk of festivals the one thing all of us enjoy is the festivities and celebrations linked to it. Every festival has had a historical and/or religious origin while some are linked to seasonal changes but one thing common in all is it brings together people from all walks of life and offers a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups. It is this particular aspect of festivals that make the celebrations truly grand.

Back in our school days, festivals meant break from school, time to feast, get new clothes, toys and catch up with your near and dear ones. Diwali would be the time when our parents would be saving up to buy some new things for the house. Back then there was certain of kind of innocence linked to the way in which we celebrated all those festivals. It was more inclusive and even people with limited means could join in and enjoy the festivities.

As with everything else the passage of time, the advent of globalization and a booming economy has had an impact on the way of our festivals celebrations today. Today people have better pay and can afford to enjoy the luxury of buying new clothes, gadgets etc. throughout the year rather than wait for the festivals to make such purchases. Festivals have today become a time to flaunt your riches. Festivals celebrations have become more self centered and moving away from its tradition. It is more of instant gratification now. The traditional way of festivals celebrations is slowly taking a backseat now. The simple things that would give us pleasure in celebrating festivals back then no longer enthuse us now. Today the equation has shifted towards money. Money equals happiness. So for more happiness you need more money. For more money you need to work more. Today you wouldn’t be surprised to find people working on festivals and concentrating on their careers rather spend time with their families. It is this change that is unwelcome because at some point in future we would even forget the reason behind all these festivals. We would be celebrating all our traditional festivals similar to Valentine’s day, Father’s Day, Mother’s day, etc. all commercially driven.

The good old ways of festivals celebrations were far better than the ugly show of wealth that our festivals celebrations are getting transformed into.

They say that change is the only constant but some things are better unchanged.