Life is a festival, celebrate it every day as long as you live! It doesn’t matter, if you are rich or poor, you have plenty or you have less, celebrate with whatever you have got! I had enthusiasm, excitement and all the zeal it takes to celebrate our festivals and culture years ago before the social media intruded into our lives. Diwali for us began months earlier, whitewash, cleaning the closets and houses…..decorating the interiors and exteriors of each household with glittering electric lights and unique traditional decors enlightened not only the beauty of the premises but the souls. Festivals were meant to be with friends and family, shopping endlessly until the main Diwali day and keeping busy with the chores. The whole community celebrated the festivities together, in spite of their religion or status. My social media timeline is full of beautiful families, all dressed up in traditional attires, colorful rangolis and lights all over. People who don’t like posting socially are sending private messages with pictures in traditional clothing. It’s bling-bling all over the world, it’s the festival season!
We dressed up in fancy clothes for the prayers in the evening, followed by the sumptuous sweets and offerings made by mother, later changed to play with fireworks outside with friends while parents visited their friends and neighbors to distribute the sweets. Diwali is celebrated this way, not only in India but all around the world by the Indians. It’s the biggest festival for us, it’s also the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi. There are many stories related to this 5-day annual festival of lights. I am super happy that my son could explain a few things at school while his British teacher was putting more light on Diwali at school and he stood up to tell the story behind it. People in Dubai celebrated Diwali with fireworks in many places, it’s the year of tolerance in the UAE and the government also organized many events to celebrate this festive season.
Festivals, culture, and heritage is a part of me, it’s not just one festival that I like to celebrate but all, not only Indian festivals but from all over the world. I respect all religions and people of the world and happily take part in activities. This is my existence and it makes me who I am, I wouldn’t ever want to change it in me. It really makes me, “ME”. There was a time when I fasted twice a week without food and water the whole day and ate only one time. People remembered at school, which days I am fasting but it has changed, I cannot anymore, my husband doesn’t it and slowly being empty stomach gives me acidity and I can hardly fast anymore. The habits have changed but the energy and passion are still alive. I still follow whatever I can, I’m not even sure if the next generation would benefit from it but it makes me happy. My little one loves listening to the stories and actively takes part in the preparations while elder one lives in his own world, he once liked doing it too! Whatever they choose, I wish and hope they will be good human beings!
Festivals make me happy, we followed all the rituals and culture before we were forced to take pictures to show the world on social media, it didn’t just start now. The festivals for us are meant to bring happiness. I feel celebrations make life easier and fast. It’s like good times which passes quickly. In today’s lives when we are racing like horses from the morning till late night to match our schedules, crazy school calendars, meetings, and events, these festivals come as rewards where you get a chance to dress up, be with family, buy new clothes and jewelry and most importantly, to be HAPPY. People in India, travel to their hometowns to celebrate the big days with parents and family. If you have stayed in the family during celebrations and had people around you who did the same, you will know what I mean!
I pray to God that everyone gets a chance to celebrate with families and to spread joy and kindness all over in the world. Celebrate, be with Family and BE HAPPY!
Happy Diwali and Happy Festivities everyone! May God bless us all!