The Festival Shastra – How to Celebrate the Festivities
A festival is a festive event usually celebrated by a group and usually centered around some characteristic feature of the local culture and community of the event’s participants. It can also be marked as a national or local holiday, festival, or cultural or sporting event. The most common festivals are Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah.
Every country has at least one major religious festival which is celebrated with great zeal and emphasis on a particular religion. While other festivals are regularly celebrated as well. In the US, there are several major festivals, including:
* Catholic festivals – There are many festivals celebrated by the Catholics such as Good Friday, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Circumcision, Palm Sunday, and so on. * Protestant festivals – There are several Protestant festivals such as Twelfth Night, Annunciation, Christmas, and so on. * Church festivals – There are several church festivals including Good Friday, Easter, Christmas, and so on. * Hindu festivals – There are several Hindu festivals including Diwali, Holi, Navratri, and Guru Nanak Jayanti.
* Christian festivals – There are Christian festivals like Christmas, Easter, Fat Tuesday, and so on. * Other religions – There are many other religions which celebrate certain festivals with great fervor. For instance, in Singapore, there is the colorful New Year’s festival which is celebrated with great grandeur and enthusiasm. In China, there is the Great Chinese New Year, while in the Korean Peninsula and other parts of Asia, Buddha’s birthday is a national festival.
Each of these religious festivals, however, have a central concept which is shared by the rest of the festival. The three most common elements of the festival are celebration, gift-giving, and merriment. For instance, in the Christian festival of Christmas, a gift-giver is blessed with many gifts. For a Hindu who is celebrating his birthday, he is said to have achieved wisdom. Both of these occasions are characterized by giving and celebration.
In our contemporary culture, many people often miss out on celebrating their religious festivals. With the advent of modern technology and mass communication, people are often too busy to attend religious services. This has resulted in an erosion of the cultural meaning of festivals. As a result, instead of being an important and sacred time for celebrations, many festivals are treated merely as an excuse for people to get together and have some fun. A glance at the quotation from Shastra emphasizes that it is important to celebrate in good taste.