In a country where there are celebrations all year round.  In a country where people have so many occasions to look forward to, in a country which speaks so many languages, a true multi-lingual, multi-religious country, packed with people of all ages, celebrating a celebration has become a year round activity. But, before I give my opinion on what I have decided to write, step back and think for a while, 10 years or say 15 years back, did we celebrate each and every festival with so much pomp and vigour and on a large scale? Did we look out for opportunities to go for shopping in the name of every festival that was celebrated in our neighborhood? Did we celebrate, leave alone celebrate, did we know what and when so and so festival was supposed to be on which day, unless we got a holiday in our schools and colleges. But how come now celebrating festivals is on the rise?

Well, we should thank all those Indian soaps that have made or rather glamorized how people should celebrate a particular festival. Thanks to the Indian soap queen who has produced innumerable soaps and serials has made all festivals, whether big or small, a must-do activity. Even a festival like Rakhi, which is supposed to be a low-key household private affair, has now assumed the status of a celebration which is celebrated as if somebody is getting married. People dress up and invite friends over to celebrate it as a big event. Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is supposed to make the bond of brother and sister strong, but now for quite some time it has become a trend, a way to exchange gifts. The bigger and better the gifts, that many number of brothers and sisters you can make in addition to your blood brother and sister. 

Similarly, ‘Karwa Chauth’, a traditional festival, observed by women for the well-being and long life of their husband; this festival is followed by going on a day long fast, until they view a moon to break their fast. But even this festival is glamorized owing to television serials, which make it such a long festival that stretch for a week on the television to gather and up their TRPs (Television Rating Point). These soaps have made it mandatory to buy innumerable gift items and splurge while shopping to commemorate this traditional festival. In addition to the festivals that I have named here, almost all the festivals are now celebrated with great gusto.

These are just few instances of festivals that are observed with not just a hint of tradition but coupled with lots and lots of useless shopping. Online shopping websites and offline shopping malls, stores, bank on these kinds of festivals to lure people and make them shop until they have huge credit card bills to pay. 

Few years back these festivals were celebrated, but we would hardly come to know about it, until we probe deeper into why some ladies have come all decked up to the workplace. I am not saying that these festivals should not be celebrated, or we should put an end to shopping. But owing to so many Indian soaps which have made way into our lives, have glamorized celebrating a festival a fashionable thing to do. People have started emulating the soap culture in their real lives. Celebration of various festivals is not done out of any religious fervor, not out of any respect we wish to pay to our age old tradition, not because we believe in them, but because it is the latest trend, the hip thing to do. 

Yet another reason for celebrating so many festivals is because today we live in a nuclear family. Both parents are working, so in order to make up for the time or lack of it, people have started to take every festival seriously and tend to perform them with more showiness and pageantry.

In addition to the festivals that we celebrate at home, there are those that are celebrated on a community basis, which is not limited to just paying an amount for observing rituals or seen just a means to look forward to some social gathering. It leads to more shopping for decorating ourselves to wear a picture perfect look for all those photographs that will be clicked. These photographs are not used for memories but to upload on various social networking sites. Gone are the days when festivals were celebrated because of religious sentiments or a means to get-together with family and friends. It has now become a fashion statement, limited to becoming a status update on social networking sites, as a means to shower our children with gifts because of the time we didn’t spend with them. Festivals have now become an escape route from the mundane activities that we do on a daily basis. Festivals and dressing up for the same is done in order to spice up our segregated lives.


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