October 21, 2006

Diwali - A Festival of lights!

As another year comes to an end, it’s time for the festivals. All across the globe, there are festivities and celebrations. It is more than a coincidence that many of the most celebrated festivals fall towards the end of the year.

One such festival is Diwali, which this year falls on October 21. Diwali, the name, is the shortened version of Deepawali (Hindi for a chain or a garland of lamps). It is one of the oldest Hindu festivals, celebrating the return of Lord Rama to the city of Ayodhya, after defeating Ravana, the mighty King Of Lanka. To welcome the victorious King and his Queen, who had been kidnapped by Ravana, the people of the town lighted lamps everywhere and every nook and corner of the city was illuminated. For once, the night was not dark but as bright as any day. Every year this night is celebrated as a symbol of light overcoming darkness.

Festivals, in the past, were an occasion for people to get together, forget their worries and have a good time. But as time has passed and people have got busier in their lives, festivals, any festival, have become more of a marketer’s dream. Instead of understanding the spirit of a festival, the emphasis is on showing off. Every one wants to have the brightest light, the loudest crackers, the best sweets and the most expensive gifts. Gone are the times when families got together to make a real meal, even a simple one, but eat it together. Instead, every thing can be ordered and got ready to eat.

The essence of any festival is the goodwill and the feeling of harmony that it aims to spread. If there is a particular activity attached with a festival, it is a reminder of why the festival exists and to give people something to do that they can enjoy and cherish till the next year. Bursting firecrackers, dressing fancy, decorating a tree are just some of these activities. Somewhere down the line someone recognized all these activities as excellent opportunities to earn money and turned the focus of the entire festival from the message to the activity associated with it. The thing that was to be an accessory became the actual festival.

This is something that most people realize, but feel helpless when it comes to doing anything to change it. But it can be done, one person at a time. And everyone has to find his own way to do it.

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy Diwali and Season’s Greetings .


Leon said...

Happy Diwali to you!

Jayashree Bhat said...

Happy Diwali. I think 'Deepawali' is a sanskrit word...

The Bizarre Jokester said...

Happy Diwali!

stev said...

well at least its a real festival/celebration & not one that was cooked up from scratch by hungry marketers ;)

echoing a Happy Diwali & seasons greetings to one & all.

Bluepanther said...

Thank you!!!

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