Nothing brings people together like festivals do.

As a kid, I used to look forward to Diwali, every year, more than my birthday. While it is true that I, like most of us, used to get a number of presents on my birthday, nothing made me happier than spending time with all my loved ones. And that was only possible during Diwali season.

Be it Diwali, Christmas, Eid, Pongal, or whatever. I’m sure all of us have that one festival we eagerly wait for. And there are also a few who don’t … for any festival.

Yes, each festival has a mythological story behind it, so it is possible that none of them is actually true. However, with this blog, I’m only going to talk about the positives … because that’s what each festival is primarily about, aren’t they?

True, there’s no considerable facts as to why should we celebrate any festival. But isn’t it easy to sometimes just go with the flow when you know that it is headed in the right direction in terms of creating more happiness and togetherness? If we have a quick look at all the festivals, we’ll realise that the bottom-line is just that. It is all about bringing people together. It is all about awakening the Buddha within.

So, whatever our religious beliefs are, here’s why we should all look forward to festivals:

Route to roots –

We are dependent on social heritage, which is a mixture of customs, traditions, moral values, folklores, beliefs, and ideals. Festivals bring them all under one roof. Not only do they make us who we are, but they also bind us together and give us the opportunity to revisit our roots. They are our route to our roots.

Happiness –

Festivals have an emotional angle as well. In the chaotic planet which we inhabit, happiness is often overshadowed by negativity and insecurity. And so, the need for something that could bring happiness has been felt time and again. Thus, festivals give us the opportunity to forget all our worries, even if it is for a little while, and celebrate the brighter side of life.

Stress reliever –

Festivals act as stress relievers and help us balance our emotions. Positivity and negativity are inversely proportional to one another. More positivity naturally lowers negativity. Festivals provide an opportunity to reduce friction and bring estranged friends and relatives together in a bond of love.

Economy –

Festivals are important economically, too. Every major festival catapults the country’s (or at least the region’s) economy, as people buy new things and make a new start. Take sweet shops for example. They make their maximum profits on the occasion of a festival. Festivals play a vital role in the growth of our economy.

Cultural Exchange –

Festivals are not just limited to religions. There are quite a few cultural festivals in India which invite people from different parts of the world and showcase their culture. Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, Desert Festival in Rajasthan, are some of the most popular cultural festivals which offer a mixing bowl for different cultures to come together and be a part of something grand.

While we don’t need to wait for a festival to spread joyous moments and start something auspicious, that’s what we tend to do. There is no proof that festivals make our lives better, but, hey, festivals give us a reason (an excuse?) to start something we want to. Even if in the form of placebos, they offer us a ray of hope. And like it has been said, “Hope is a good thing.”

If we look at it closely, festivals have very little relevance to religion. Instead, they have more relevance to humanity. I strongly believe that this is what keeps humanity alive and keeps us all sane in this insane and uncertain world. So, I invite you all to be a part of the other group (if there is any) and together celebrate the happiness and positivity which strengthens our sense of humanity.

On that note, wish you a happy Ganesha Chaturthi!

Originally published May 2, 2019

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