Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bringing the festival traditions back

August onwards is an auspicious month when many of our festivals are celebrated. Varamahalaksmi, Raksha Bandhan, Gouri and Ganesh Chaturthi, Id, Diwali, all these and many more are celebrated in these coming months.

It is the month of Shravan - the flowers are in full bloom, prayers are being chanted, the sound of the conch and the temple bells resonates and the fragrance of dhoop and agarbatthis wafting in the air. Within the house all the family members have their own tasks. The men folk go out into the market to buy all the necessary items for the pooja and the women folk are busy round the clock  to prepare the specialities. It's a busy season what with each festival having its own specific menu that needs to be readied. The children in turn all bedecked in their finery running around with great enthusiasm helping around in decking up the house with fresh mango leaves and flowers, helping in designing rangoli, and ofcourse helping generously in the kitchen by tasting all the sweets and savouries prepared. Wow - that was how festivals were celebrated - with great zest where each and every family member contributed to make each festival a success and a means of thanks giving to God.

Over the years with the changing life style, nuclear families being in vogue and migration to places away from home, somehow has made one lose touch with many of our traditions and customs that we used to follow from times immemorial. Festivals are now no longer the same elaborate affair as it once was. Lack of time, a different life style and maybe a lack of interest too has led to festivals not being celebrated with the same old fervor. As parents we somehow seem to be following less and less of our traditions than what our parents did. Is this making our children not only unaware but also dismissive of our age old festival traditions and practices? Obviously, by not carrying forward our customs and traditions to the next generation, we are running the risk of completely losing them forever.

Our ancestors entrusted their subsequent generations to pass on the traditions to their future generation. Isn't it time we revived and celebrated festivals with the same fervor and zest?

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