India is a land of festivals. So many states, so many languages, and each state has its festivals. Some festivals are state specific and some festivals are pan Indian. Coming from a Bengali ethnicity but living outside Bengal for most of my life. I was raised party in Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. I did my schooling in West Bengal. Did my college and university in Delhi went abroad for my higher studies. Spent most of my work life in Delhi. As a result, I had the exposure of celebrations that are Bengali specific as well as festivities specific to the state.
Indian festivals can be grouped into two broad categories. It can be a religious festival where worship is central to the festival around which celebrations happen. For example, Durga Puja, Navratri, Deepavali fall under the first category. There are other festivals that are mainly social in character with minimla religiousity. Holi, Harvest Festivals, Sankranti, Pongal etc fall in the second category.
In my childhood days, chief attraction during five day durga puja celebrations used to be religious ceremonies. Number of pujas used to be few those days. With time, number of pujas increased. In Bengal, young men of the locality would collect donations, some times by force. For many days before and after the actual event, music and songs would be played in public address system round the clock. Critics say, organisers would pocket part of the collected money for their personal welfare.
As time passed, I moved to Delhi. In Delhi, cultural events like live music concert, live theatres, all night Bengali movies etc. would be organized. Me and many people like me were more interested in cultural part. I would watch programs all night long and sleep all through the day during puja.
With passage of time, I visit to puja pandals is limited to time of the day when a meal is served and in the evening if a friend or a member of family is participating in a cultural event. Non availability of a parking space has further increased my reluctance.
I am sure many other festivals have changed with time. With advent and evolution of technology, tone and tenor of celebrations and festivities associated with them have changed. During holi nature of colors being applied has changed. During deepavali, nature of crackers being burst has changed both in terms of quality and quantity. So much so, deepavali cracker burning has become a matter of concern for many citizens with respiratory illness.
Note : This post is written in response to Indispire prompt. More posts responding to the prompt may be found here.