Has the true meaning of Indian festivals been lost? In the current era, a festival is mostly awaited because it gives you a holiday.
A holiday not to celebrate the festival but to wake up late, have a lazy day or going to watch movies and have fun out there. This is how a festival is celebrated nowadays. But it wasn’t like this in the earlier time.
At that time people used to gather together with their families, perform the rituals of the festival, and have their meal together and a good time with their family.
As the way of celebrating festivals is changing day by day so is the meaning of it. The true reason for which these festivals were made is vanishing with time. The magic of these festivals is getting lost over time. The changing faces of most of the festivals can be seen clearly as:
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The festival of lights is celebrated in honor of the seventh incarnation of god Vishnu, Lord Ramachandra. Lord Rama was the king of people. He took care of every living being in his kingdom, be it any human or an animal.
On this day, Rama returned to his kingdom, to his people after 14 years of exile. During his exile, he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. So when he returned back to his kingdom, people lit their houses to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
The goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, also figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright.
But with the flow of time, the real essence of this festival is being unnoticed. People wait for Diwali only because it gives you a 2-3 days holiday. Plus the lighting is replaced with crackers which create fewer lights and more noise and pollution. We are harming the earth as well as the animals around us.
The celebration time on the eve of the birth of Jesus Christ is what Christmas is known for. Christmas falls on December 25, and the festivities begin right in the midnight on December 24. Decorating church, visiting it and offering prayers to the almighty is the schedule of almost everyone on the Christmas night. People in their houses decorate Christmas trees, meet with their families, exchange gifts, have a meal together and also sing a carol together.
But now, the spirit of this festival is lost somewhere. People are focusing more on showing up like decorations, arrangements or clothes. Having a family time, bringing gifts for them or simply having a meal with their family is not their matter anymore.
Bakra Eid (Eid-Al-Adhaa)
Also known as Eid-al-Adha, means the festival of sacrifice is celebrated worldwide each year. This festival honors the willingness of Abraham, a God’s man for sacrificing his son. Abraham once saw a dream in which he was asked to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son to prove his commitment towards God.
His son was granted to him by God after so many years. When the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided to fulfill God’s command and offer his son for sacrifice. Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for God’s sake, he could not bring up this matter in front of his son.
He then somehow brought up this matter to his son. His son without hesitating for a moment became ready for the sacrifice. On the day when the sacrifice was to be done Abraham attempted to cut his son’s throat, he was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and instead, he found a dead ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God’s command.
This ultimate act of sacrificing is getting on the wrong track these days. Mostly goats are bought a day before the festival and are sacrificed. This is completely fooling yourself because the festival is celebrated for sacrificing a dearest possession on someone, and a thing bought yesterday cannot become your dearest possession over the possession you have from years.
God always prevents the sacrifice, additionally signifying that one should never sacrifice a human life, especially not in the name of God.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly known as Lokmanya Tilak brought up this idea of celebrating Ganesh festival and made it a grand public event. Ganesh Chaturthi became a National Event to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins and find an appropriate context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them in his nationalistic strivings against the British in Maharashtra. It was never possible to fight the ruler as long as there were conflicts among the Indians itself. It served as a meeting place for common people of all castes and communities, at a time when all social and political gatherings were forbidden by the British Empire for fear of conspiracies to be hatched against them.
But nowadays the festival is nothing more than sound, noise, a drunken fiesta. Even though this festival is celebrated world-wide now, but do not involve any public meetings now. People gather for some time, offer prayers to Lord Ganesha and get back to their work. It also adds playing loud music and hence creating noise pollution.
We must try to bring back the culture in us, get back to the real meaning of the festivals for what they were made. We should try to bring the real flavors to the enjoyment of these festivals and get our culture and traditions back into our hearts.