Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Festival Season – The Obvious is what we see.

The Indian Calendar has two broad streams – Shalivahan Shaka and the Vikram Samvat. Both these calendars have the same months in the same order.

If you observe carefully, you have a long festival season that begins around mid-July and extends right up to Diwali around October – November.

This is followed by a break of a couple of months till around mid-February. The next two months mid-April, that is the period between Mahashivratri thru to the harvest festival season covering Holi in between is the busy season again. This is followed by a lull from mid-April through to mid-July.

The most intense festive period according to me and the focus of this post is the period between mid-July through mid-November. The festive atmosphere is amazing with very high energy levels prevailing all around.

During this period we have at least three festivals which witness spontaneous and large participation from the masses. We have the Janmashtami (or Gokul Ashtami) celebrations, Ganapati celebrations and lastly Navaratri festivities.

It is my attempt to see these festivities from a different perspective. The first would be to see and appreciate what is visible and, therefore, obvious. Going further, it would be very interesting to examine what is beyond the obvious. To be fair, it is imperative to look at the seemingly dark side and what I consider the brightest aspect of these festivities.

The obvious that one sees, as part of these celebrations, is

a. Plenty of glitter and elaborate arrangements
b. High levels of devotion
c. Strong interest from the people to participate in such festivities as evidenced by large crowds and long serpentine queues,
d. Participation of many people in the organizing efforts,
e. Popularity of thematic presentations like Environment, Pollution Control, Peaceful co-existence, anti-terrorism themes…..
f. Competitive spirit amongst various groups,
g. Cultural programmes, various competitions and sports events for the residents of that area.

There is no limit to what else can be added as part of these festivities. All creative juices are in full flow.

In the next post, I will examine What is beyond the obvious?


Priyank said...

Yep, it will be interesting to see whats beyond obvious :P Shravan month has many small festivals such as Nagpanchami, Hindola, Narali Purnima, Shravani Purnima, Rishi Panchami, Pola, and ofcourse Janmashtami and Raksha Bandhan being the big ones. Its our month of festivals and many communities have little things like women getting together on Tuesday, kids getting together on Bhondla and inviting people over for lunch on Friday etc.

Nice post. Although your a. can be read as 'plenty of litter' and b. 'high levels of decibels'... haha!

Vinod_Sharma said...

The 'darker side' is basically due to the invasion of the consumerist culture into society. Otherwise, there is generally positive energy all around. Has always been so.

I wonder if there is any other culture in the world which has been celebrating life, religion and social bonding in this manner. In India, despite everything, all this has been going on for thousands of years. Will it be wrong to call it the real collective never-say-die spirit?

Innocent Warrior said...

Nice Blog. I liked the content.

Mavin said...

+Priyank. Thanks!!

These small things make our culture and there is a deeper meaning behind all this.

As regards litter and decibels...wait for the next post. It will take shape in my mind soon.


You are right. The sad part is that we ourselves take pride in denigerating anything that is Indian. Time we re-discover our roots.

+IW or shall I say AR

Welcome to "My Voice" and thanks. Please do keep visiting.

Anrosh said...

of course, these festivals are what keeps our roots watered and fresh. strong roots give us wings to fly..

who ever succeeded in life without knowing who they are
that takes us to the next step..of living life..

i love all the color surrounding it, all the little blings too..

keep the posts coming.. it makes great reading..