Festivals invoke divine optimism, a sense of goodness and the spirit to meet loved ones with a smile. There is a spring in our steps and an aura of gaiety around the joyous season. The smile comes a bit too often as we look at the list of holidays, think of our parents and loved ones.
The way we make plans , shop and recall the memorable times and just gather energy to work two fold, shop three fold and look forward to warm embraces, laughter, fun filled times and the high pitched cheery tones of greetings. Everybody looks like a near one when we exchange greetings like a dear one. Festivals are happy times.
Let’s just look at them from various perspectives.
Festival Season: The Social & Self Connect
We get into the festive fervour with Rakshabhandan, followed by Janmashtami and then we have a string of festive occasions to enjoy with Navratri, Dusshera and Diwali.
A natural momentum sets the ball rolling when we are elated in mood and spirits. It is time to plan visits or invite loved ones, shop and de-stress as a family. Don’t you think the mess at the work place doesn’t affect us all that much when we know we have to dress up and visit our brother for Rakhi the next day? How does it feel when in the middle of the board meeting, you get a message or a whatsapp image of a dress your brother plans to buy for you. A week in advance, we are able to create time to shop for Rakhis and sweets.
Online greetings and skype calls help the little sis come alive in a far off foreign land whilst her niece ties bhaiyaa a rakhi. What follows is a brand new photo collection on facebook and comments that pour in from loved ones.
After celebrating Rakhi, we are all set to welcome little Krishna who is symbolic of righteousness. It’s time for the festival of Janmashtami. As children we would fast, sing and dance to celebrate the birth of the Lord. Time constraints are a usual hindrance but a short visit to lord Krishna’s temple with our children is more than enthralling as they admire the frescoed walls and a flood of questions pour in all at once. Recently I found a video with an adorable child speaking about Krishna. The little kid spoke of the lord as a playful animal lover who went about making his friends happy as he played sweet notes through his flute. He also added what fun it would be to have a naughty, virtuous and helpful buddy like the lord himself. How we all wish to have such friends who’d help our kids keep up with the divinity they are born with?
The festive season is such a continuous celebration that we just manage to get a breather and the next festival steps in. Janmashtami gives way to Navratri, Dusherra and Diwali. Symbolising the victory of positivity or virtuousness over negativity, Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, Nav – Nine and Ratri – Nights. During these nine nights and ten days, the three forms of the goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Sarawati are invoked.
Navaratri and Ramlila go hand in hand. Ramlila is a theatrical depiction of the life of Lord Rama. Every mythological character represents a virtue that he or she portrays throughout. If Rama is virtuous, then Laxman loyal, Hanuman showcases devotion and Sita love and dutifulness. Ravana represents ego and therefore Dashmi or the tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra wherein the effigy of Ravana alias Ego is burnt down so that love and devotion prevail. The victory of Lord Rama, his reunion with wife Sita and their return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile is celebrated as Diwali.
Festive Celebration: A Connect With Our Rich Culture
Festivals give us a reason to enjoy, invest time and make room for culture and festivities to find space in our lives. Festivals give us a chance to reconnect with our roots, recall our eventful childhood and make an attempt to introduce our children to the little joys, events and stories that are a part of each festive occasion. Mums can instill values through stories or preparations related to different festivals. Not only do children enjoy the most when mums involve them in creating a festive aura but also learn the essence of our deep rooted culture and virtues. Yes! Pots and diyas can be painted and rangolis can be made for all occasions. Children can be engaged to prepare cards for loved ones so that they learn the essence of the small pleasures of life.
It is great fun to involve children in making Rakhi cards or even rakhis. Nothing can be better than asking them to decorate a pooja thali that helps them learn the importance of doing jobs with patience. To instill into them the virtues of love, peace and well being for all they can be asked to pray for each other.
Navaratri can be explained very scientifically as yajnas or homas are talked about during this time. As parents we can explain that fire, ghee and chantings ward off the negativity and fill the atmosphere with optimism. Ramlila should be experienced by children and an enactment must be encouraged to bring out the virtues of the characters. The character of Ravana shouldn’t be tagged as one that is only vicious but the fact that a wise man with the wisdom of ten heads put together was ruined because of his ego and grave mistakes.
Diwali is the festival of light and the diyas we light signify wisdom and a contemporary interpretation to it is the wisdom to realise that we are part of a one world family. Traditionally Diwali gives the evergreen message to let go of all past bickering and misunderstandings and once again come together in a spirit of celebration. But this message can be interpreted in multitude ways to harness the power of love we all have as humans. Science supports festivity as dance and music generate the happiness hormone in one and all. Let’s keep up the spirit for a healthy body and mind and celebrate the gifts of our roots with a smile.
Festivals: Season To Boost Business
Festivals and business go hand in hand. If people are buying then entrepreneurs are selling. Today the market offers a wide variety of shopping areas such as the traditional retail markets, multifaceted malls and online shopping stores that offer overwhelming sales with the onset of the festive season. An entrepreneur must know what the customers want and how to woo them. They need to be ready with a wide range of products. In fact the festive auras created by entrepreneurs grow on our psyche to such an extent that we begin to think, feel and await the magical moments to rejoice in the festivity. Entrepreneurs create such a magic with advertising and marketing strategies that they, almost instantaneously touch a chord with our hearts. Just every popular product has a new tagline, slogan or a jingle for the festival season. The creative genius of an entrepreneur and his creative team has this invisible but irresistible power over the buyers. Festive discounts at shops and online stores make us swarm like bees near the hive. MBC brings out a special range of festive offers on a wide range of products like ethnic dresses for children of all age groups, gifts like jewellery pieces and other accessories from all over India and great tips through blogs on festive occasions and other aspects of celebration like recipes, safety, gift ideas or organising get-togethers.
Generally, special weekend discounts are announced on Friday or Saturday through newspaper advertisements, social media and even billboards and hoardings as working people have the time to look at the range and place orders only on weekends. Malls, wholesalers and retailers create kiosks that sell festival centric products. Flyers accompany our newspapers to help us plan a shopping spree to a particular shopping plaza or showroom offering special discounts.
Festivals bring in a fresh breather in our lives. We take time off to connect with culture, go back to our roots and meet people. They bring in moments of love and warmth as we relive childhood days, share joys, laugh, dance and pray with reverence to honour simple joys that spread their warmth and rejuvenate us by enjoying togetherness and creating fresh memories that would take us through the rest of the year.
After all the festive discussion, it’s time to welcome the new mompreneurs:
If you too have an entrepreneurial dream then join the team of entrepreneur moms/women. Become amompreneur!