It’s that time of the year again when we are in the midst of festivals and celebrations. We had just gotten over the excitement of Ganapati immersion and it was time to don our best Garba gear and dance away till the crack of dawn. While we fasted for Navratras, there was the holy month of Ramadan fasting for the muslims and Paryushan Parv for the Jains as ways to uplift themselves spiritually. And no it’s not over yet! Dussehra celebrated the victory of good over evil by burning Ravan effigies and we are anticipating Diwali to mark Lord Ram’s homecoming with his bride for Diwali.
Such is the sweep and richness of the Indian culture that we have occasions to be bursting with festive spirit all through the year. Every festival, no matter which community it belongs to, has its own ancient cultural and mythical significance. And when we look around, we’ll find that we have so much to learn. These festivals usher in a didactic message - All religions are one. Our festivals mostly marry worship with celebration, fasting with feasting, austerity with opulence. The fasting signifies strengthening of the moral fibre and the successful completion of the penance calls for celebration. All, like the others, have a way of worship through penance for your past sins, a way of getting closer to our Creator. The twin themes of worship and celebration runs throughout. The feast of Diwali has Lakshmi Pooja and Raksha Bandhan has a prayer for a brother's long life. Delhities fast during Navratras culminating it with
Ashtami pooja while Mumbaikars gyrate to dandya songs and worship Garba (the pot with diyas)
We might have our own ways of merry making but food, drink and dressing up are invariably a part of it. The market places are decorated, teeming with activity as people catch up with their shopping. Dandya sticks and Garba garbs, Rakhi for brothers, buntings to decorate the house, diyas to light outside and lots of sweets to gorge on.
The festivities is also a time to catch up with near and dear ones and shore up the ties with them. It is in India that we have so many occasions to be a big large family! An occasion to take time out and spend some quality time with old parents, school friends, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents and the neighbourhood who saw you when you were a little kid!!
So go all out and enjoyy!!