India is a land of fair, feats and festivals and every religious community has its own lit. But the Hindus observe, by far, the largest number of them.
Most of the Indian festivals have their origin in some outstanding even in the mythological or religious legend of the people concerned. Diwali, which is celebrated all over the country by all walks of people, marks the return of Lord Rama from exile. Holi festival is famous as the defeat of evil at the hands of truth. The mythological story associated with thus event is that of Prahlad, who as a prince successfully killed King Hiranya Kashyap and his sister who were the embodiments of falsehood. Some festivals are also associated with folklore, especially in villages. Baisakhi in Punjab is one such festival which is associated with harvesting of crops.
Most festivals are associated with joy ad mirth. The participants take full advantage of such occasions to make them lively and gay. During holi we come across with processions of people who faces are covered with pleasing colours. Many days before Diwali, we start hearing the thundering noise caused by crackers all over the country. On the Diwali days elders join the younger’s in the bursting of crackers. The occasional plunge into the lighter side of life is necessary as a means of escape from the dull monotony of our daily routine.
These festivals serve another good purpose. On these occasions we invite our friends, neighbours and relatives for dinner or tea. Our home then becomes everybody’s home. Our wealth is put to everybody’s use and we become one with many. For the time being, all barriers of social status, power and wealth are forgotten and the doctrine of brotherhood of man becomes a reality in our minds.
In India festivals make strange practices and customs among some section of people. It is a common belief that unless some amount of the gambling undertaken on Diwali day, it would be auspicious for the family. Although gambling is otherwise denounced, a vast majority of the people take to gambling without any hesitation. They rather consider it a matter of boon and duty, which must be fulfilled.
It is to be noted that Indian festivals have a unique place in the lives and customs of the people. India is a poor country and people cannot afford entertainments which are expensive. The festivals, therefore, serve the masses that can ill-afford to go to cinema houses and clubs for entertainment.