If you ever wondered why you wait for the whole year for that one big festival ( whatever that you want to choose and define as one for your sake!) and then ended up being more miserable towards the end of it, well this quick piece is just for you, to help you know why after the highs get higher, the lows are simply unfathomable! So join me here as we unravel this space of humanity and try to know why and when do celebrations fail and what is that we can do about that bit, if we want them to linger on as something to look forward to in the real essence of it!
Humanity is perhaps the only other thing alongside wine that tends to get exciting with time! to know the fallacy of festivals, we need to take a step back, in fact, quite a few steps to try un and understand how the whole concept of festivals perhaps evolved- no I am not an anthropologist, just plain uncomplicated stuff based on common sense and science and sure enough you can read about this in more details by going through the favorite books of your choice of human geographers or anthropologists- whatever comes easy to you!
So the story starts right at the very beginning, when humans were able to form the very first types of ordered societies – the very first time! to monitor and create order within those- coupled with the existing and evolving belief systems/ values (which were developed over time), the dawn of festivals was ushered in! Back then festivals were more of a method to mind societies so that the element of cohesiveness and divergence was visible and was always within the allowable limits as set by those who ruled those societies! One way of doing that effectively was to align these festivals to the broader belief systems/ value systems and make them as a bench mark for social conformation! So typically, if you were part of society that broadly believes in the belief or faith type”A” then alongside with the duties and responsibilities of following that faith/belief the rewards would be these much sought after festivities which would further more work to reinforce the ongoing prevailing value/ belief systems (as they have been rewarded with the festive spirit!) All is well until this point as societies are still fragmented not much inter connected among each other and there is a more or less a steady space as far as the mix of the value systems/ faith/ belief followership within the social frames that exist. This ensures that festivities are held orderly with a purpose with an intent and with a solemn reaffirmation of realignment to the broader cause of the established belief/ value system of the said society!
Now if you were to move ahead in time, say the more evolved societies the age of the Kingdoms around the world, what you witness is a racemic mix of belief systems and value definitions leading to multiple approaches to festivities, the definition of the whole concept of a festival and this is the time in history where festivities begin to compete among each other as a mark of opulence and progress by one set of value/ belief system over the other in a given social construct! This is that point of inflection where, societies which failed to manage and keep these competing ideologies and their assertion through festivals in balance that problems have begun and festivities rapidly began to drift away from the ancient path of being aligned to the puritan belief system/ value system to something altogether new- the embracing of the narrative of the rulers/ governing establishments on how and what the festival must be and when and how it is defined as successful, a grand one so on and so forth! This is how festivals and the celebrations around them stepped into the modern age- already skewed away from what they really stood for to begin with!
Irrespective where you live and what you believe or not, if you take that fabled pause and ask yourself how much of value addition have the festive celebrations done to your own personal life through the years of your life- chances are that you would have too felt the diminishing value of their impact, sense and sensibility like the diminishing value of money! This is nothing to suggest that the value of the festivals or their celebration would have diminished with time, but rather the method, the way and the impact of the conduct has certainly undergone a sea change which has furthermore added to skew festivities and their associated celebrations more further away from even the fundamental belief systems/ values to which they would have been rooted! It’s a classic case of enjoying a party not knowing for what it is and by whom it is! This singular aspect then further easily destroys the remaining core of the celebration and then what we are eventually left with are shadows which are larger than what the festival would have earlier been and more irrelevant then ever! How does this all pay out and manifest? Well read on!
Choose a value systems/ belief system/ faith whatever you may want to refer it as , and seek one festival associated to that system and check for yourself how the values of that festival have eroded with time! You will be surprised when you take a pause to reflect to see that how even you have ended up unwittingly contributed if not accelerated to making those celebrations more and more irrelevant each time that you celebrated more and more! No, the problem is not the celebration of the festival, it is the problem with the changing narrative and the method that has been implemented to define celebration which has created more problems then anything else!
I have intentionally not mentioned any names for the faith systems or the value systems, simply because that sets in prejudice and then one things will lead to another and the whole essence of the subject will go astray! You see, there was never, nor is neither will ever be a problem with the celebration of festivals aligned to belief systems/value systems that’s fine, the challenge starts as the way and method of these celebrations begins to slip away with each passing year and more importantly at times takes or manifests exactly the opposite forms of what the original intent would have been! The result? More and more shopping competitions around every festival, more and more of “display”, “senseless consumerism” and “needless unwanted one upmanship in one way or the other” the result, more fractured societies and and more confused individuals, who know they are celebrating, they know what but sadly none one ever knows what is the right way and what is that should be celebrated!
This is why the moment the “New year” is ushered in come January 2nd and it is aback to to the same old grind of whatever you have grinding upon or been ground into! The moment that instance, the moment those high days of the festivities are over, there is this bounce back to the routine norms of sharing “displayed celebration” over social media handles (which has now assumed sort of compulsive obsessive disorder space now!), those senseless bithcihng around with friends (well that’s a whole new definition now a days!) and family and that non-stop gauging and comparisons of opulence and gaps in the furniture which just go on and on until the next big festival hits home, calling for another celebration and this mad circus goes on with no end and no real rhyme or purpose! All simply because, the original ethos and the connect around them have been forgotten and lost, some intentionally, some accidentally and overall this leads to depleting value and belief systems and that downwards spiral leads one thing to another which eventually leads to societies- where some or the other segment is always celebrating something or the other- whether that makes sense or not! You think you know some society like this? Well! Stay Blessed! and Stay Safe then! So what’s that we can do?
Simple, get back to the basics! That’s the only way to salvage any remaining sanity that a society can possibly do, especially when it comes to aligning festival celebrations to what they ought to be- celebrate a festival- a path way of thought, ideology, belief, value system and you know what the best part is, all of that can be done without needing to have a shopping festival , a discount sale, a selfie contest, posting on social media, none of that is anytime needed and that is perhaps the only way to take your time away from these non productive and senseless pursuits and align your self to the more pressing and more real matters pertaining to the festival and the values/ beliefs that it brings forth and do what you can, to spread the warmth through those timeless values and that, if you ask me is the real essence of the festive spirit and anything and everything to do with celebrating festivals!
I leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to connect with your value systems/ beliefs in a more authentic way so that once you are plugged in right, you can reflect all that matters right and importantly in the way it is meant to be! Festivals and celebrations are no doubt the hallmark of humanity in terms of the civilizational and societal progress, but all that only makes sense only and only when there is meaning to those celebrations and there is a definite method to the madness! Life by itself is no less then a celebration! Celebration of moments form one unto the next and the only meaningful way to celebrate is to utilize the fleeting golden moments as wisely as one can and create values around which outlast the time in which they were created! Think again the next time you head on to celebrate something, take that pause and see if you are living the ethos of that festival by the way you choose to celebrate it!
Ciao for now, Will be back soon with another one, until then keep the festivities on and if nothing else practise the art and science of celebrating life for what it is and what it can be!