The beauty of Indian culture and diversity lies in the heart of festivals. Importance of festivals is that they depict the unique and rich traditions, lifestyle of people in a particular region. Irrespective of class, gender, caste and particularly status, festivals brings a big smile on the faces of people in entire family.
Importance of Festivals
Albeit busy nature of people with their packed schedule, they never miss a chance to take part in the celebrations. Particularly in recent times the importance and prominence of festivals grew to a great extent. It is mainly because those days will provide them an opportunity to an individual to share and enjoy his time with his family members, relatives and finally friends. Festivals will help an individual to keep aside all his worries and to have a relaxed state of mind under god’s shelter.
History behind Celebration
There is no proper evidence to conclude regarding the time of origin of a particular festival. The practice of celebrating a particular day is prevailing in India since Vedic ages, this particularly with Hindu religion. Initially people used to worship nature as the almighty. Later on the practice of installing and worshiping idols of god was started. The thing that was unaltered at any point of time was the devotion and belief in god by the people. Therefore to commemorate certain auspicious things festivals are celebrated. Other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism taught humans only one moral i.e. “Service to Mankind is Service to God”. Therefore during festivals almost every person donates alms to needy and poor. Festivals are not just meant to bring happiness in a family through materialistic things, but it reminds the moral duty of an individual towards society. It teaches a person how to find happiness in others happiness.
Types of Festivals
Every religion has got its own set of festivals based upon Mythology, birth of a great saint or to signify the arrival of a particular season. Here are some of the famous festivals in India and their history
- Ganesh Chaturthi– This the most popular festival in Hindu religion, celebrated length and breadth of the country. It is usually celebrated for a period of 10 days, marking the occasion of mystical god Ganesha. In almost every street in India an idol of Ganesha will be placed. People will be gathering there during evening time and participate in Bhajans and other prayers. Thus this festival brings everyone under one roof and to have a state of bliss for at least for a certain period of time.
- Diwali – Diwali or festival of Lights is celebrated to signify the truth “Truth and just sustains over bad and evil”. In southern India it was celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakasura. While in Northern India it is celebrated on the occasion of Rama’s return to Ayodhya after vanavasam.
- Sankranthi and Holi– Sankranthi a popular festival in Southern Indian and Holi in Northern India, share a common factor in the reason behind their celebration. That is both of them were celebrated during the harvest season in farms.
- Ramadan or Ramzan – It is the Islamic month of fasting, where Muslims shun drinking, eating during daylight. This festival is aimed to direct the moral compass of a musalman towards ideals like patience, spirituality etc. It is celebrated to mark the event of “Revelation of first verses of Quran to Prophet, Mohammad”.
- Buddha Purnima – It is celebrated by Buddhists, particularly by people of Mahayana sect in remembrance of Gautama Buddha birthday. Legend says that Gautama Buddha was born, enlightened and died on the same day i.e. on Buddha Purnima.
Scientific Reason behind Festivals
It became a common thing and in fact a necessity to know the scientific reason behind every action. Religion and Festivals are no exception to this. Even such tendencies need to be nurtured, instead of teaching about festivals to kids as tales. It is essential to tell them the scientific reasons behind celebrating festivals. Here are some of the scientific reasons behind celebrating festivals
- Diwali – Crackers were burnt on a large scale on this day. This was done not to waste money or pollute environment. Instead to prevent communicable diseases, sound and smoke that comes out of burning crackers would kill mosquitoes and other insects. This was celebrated during particular time because it was monsoon season and will be most ideal for breeding grounds to Mosquitoes. Another reason is that sound nullifies the negative energy around us. The negative energy will be displaced and it beefs up with positivity and idealism. This would help us to move ahead in our future.
- Ganesh Chathurthi – Many of the actual principles were not followed in celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi nowadays. Actually Ganesh idols should be made of clay rather than Plaster of Paris. Due to rich elements in clay, it is said that when it is mixed in water, it would increase rate of water purification. Similarly the leaves that were used in Poojas were said to have a positive implication on our health. Even the prasadams which were prepared during this festival are more digestive-friendly.
- Ramzan – The practice of fasting during the months of Ramzan had sound scientific explanations. Fasting actually helps in enhancing the functioning of several body organs like Pancreas, Liver, and Heart etc. It helps our body to eliminate toxic waste form our body. Scientific researches proved that fasting can aid in curing severe diseases like Alzheimer’s, Diabetes.
Thus in every practice and tradition of ours, there lies a proper reason behind. Instead of complaining about the tradition with misconception, we need to explore the scientific path behind it.
Festivals re-unite people with their friends and distant relatives; it enables them to lead a proper sociable life. It helps a person to be freed form excessive work stress and anxiety. It fills human hearts with optimism and positive outlook. Even festivals were used as an effective tool in achieving national unity during the Indian independence movement. Therefore it acts as a uniting force of a particular region to drive away evil from that region. Thus we need to preserve our culture, tradition where festivals were integral part of them.