Festivals have been part of human civilization for centuries. People express their feelings of joy, unity and brotherhood through festivals. While some festivals are associated with religious values, some are also linked with seasons and special occasions. Festivals act as a bond between people because they unify people and create a sense of common values between people. While in day to day life people remain associated mainly with their immediate relatives like father, mother, brother, son, daughter etc., festivals are events that bring together a gathering of a much larger group of people.
In Eastern societies, many special occasions of life are also celebrated as festivals. People cannot work in isolation, they need constant help from others and festivals are the medium to create a sense of oneness and inter-dependency among people. Even though in many so-called developed societies, the concept of individuality is gaining momentum, but the reality is that human beings exist as inter-dependent species. The growing trend of increasing focus on individuality is hampering the social norms and ultimately the grandness of festivals is losing its charm.
The rituals and traditions related to festivals have been passing on from one generation to another. However, the growing trend of nuclear families poses a threat to the norms and values associated with festivals. Further, the increasing madness of the 21st century and open-mindedness is leading to doubts and questions over festivals and traditions. When money becomes the prime motto and mover of a society, then it is obvious that traditions and cultural values start declining. Even in Eastern societies, many metro cities are witnessing moral and traditional decay. If there is an increased focus on individuality in a society, then mental problems and drug-addiction are bound to increase and this is one of the prime reasons for the growing mental diseases and disorders in the societies which are considered developed in economic terms.
Festivals in tribal societies are mainly centered around nature. Many tribal societies worship trees, hills, rivers and other natural objects as deities. This is also the reason that most of the tribal occupied regions are ecologically robust and rich. Even though tribal societies are considered backward in mainstream society, they possess a high degree of inter-relationship and unity and one of the reasons for these attributes is their festivals. A simple, minimal and happy life is the main characteristic of many such tribal societies. Their festivals are a live example of bonding and exuberance of traditions.
Human beings are the most powerful species on the planet and hence it is essential that they follow ethical and moral principles in life else it will lead to chaos and crimes in society. Since festivals are also linked with religion, therefore they also help in imparting moral and ethical values in society due to which people respect each other’s beliefs and traditions. For a civilized society, it is essential that festivals must be promoted extensively so that people become closer to each other and start valuing each other’s rights and customs.
It is also seen that in some pluralistic societies, festivals become a bone of contention between religious groups/faiths. This happens mainly due to a lack of respect for each other’s beliefs and values. Festivals must never be celebrated to show superiority over other religions/beliefs else it will lead to tension in society. Human history is filled with a countless number of events when religion and festivals were used as a medium to propagate some of the most brutal crimes. In order to prevent any tension between societies and people in the name of religion/faith/festivals, it is necessary to impart proper education and moral values.
People must respect beliefs, rituals and festivals of other faiths. We must understand the essence of festivals in order to maintain their sanctity and value. Festivals also help in the economic development of society because they are also one of the biggest sales season for almost all sectors of the market. Many brands, shops and outlets offer discounts and coupons during festival seasons in order to boost their sales. Festivals are one of the most profitable seasons for most businesses and services. People also enjoy holidays during festival season and this acts as a great medium to remain in touch with the near and dear ones. It is essential that we must celebrate and cherish festivals for the greater good of mankind.