The Importance of Indian Festivals - Making Life a Celebration!

Sadhguru explains the importance of festivals in Indian culture, and how celebration can be a passageway to the most profound aspects of life. Further down is a list of articles about various festivals, where Sadhguru explains the significance of each one of them.


Sadhguru: In the Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year – 365 festivals in a year – because a festival is a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. That was the significance and importance of festivals. The whole culture was in a state of celebration. If today was ploughing day, it was a kind of celebration. Tomorrow was planting day, another kind of celebration. Day after tomorrow was weeding, that was a celebration. Harvesting, of course, is still a celebration. But in the last 400 or 500 years, poverty has come to our country, and we have not been able to celebrate every day. People are satisfied if they just get some simple food to eat. So all the festivals fell away and only 30 or 40 festivals remain. We are not even able to celebrate those now because we have to go to the office or do something else daily. So people usually celebrate only around 8 or 10 festivals annually.[/SadhguruImage

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Infographic - The Indian Calendar

Make life a celebration

Nowadays, unfortunately, a festival means they give you a holiday, and you wake up only at twelve noon. Then you eat a lot and go for a movie or watch television at home. It wasn’t like that earlier. A festival meant the whole town would gather in a place and there would be a big celebration. A festival meant we got up at four in the morning, and very actively, lots of things happened all over the house.

To bring back this culture in people, Isha celebrates four important festivals: Pongal or Makarasankranti, Mahashivratri, Dussehra and Diwali. If we don’t create something like this, by the time the next generation comes, they will not know what a festival is. They will just eat, sleep and grow up without concern for another human being. All these aspects were brought into Indian culture just to keep a man active and enthusiastic in so many ways. The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration.

The Importance of festivals

If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The problem with most human beings right now is, if they think something is important, they will become dead serious about it. If they think it is not so important, they will become lax about it – they don’t show the necessary involvement. You know, in India when someone says, “He is in a very serious condition,” that means his next step is you know where. A lot of people are in a serious condition. There is only one thing that is going to happen to them which is of any significance. The rest will bypass them because with anything that they think is not serious, they are unable to show involvement and dedication towards that. That is the whole problem. The passage, the secret of life is to see everything with a non-serious eye, but be absolutely involved – like a game. That is the reason the most profound aspects of life are approached in a celebratory way, so that you don’t miss the point.

Sadhguru looks at the significance and science behind the celebration of each individual festival.

Why Mahashivratri?
Mahashivratri, is perhaps the most important of festivals in India, and offers a powerful possibility for spiritual growth.

Guru Purnima
Guru Purnima, which falls on the first full moon day after Dakshinayana or the Summer Solstice, honors the Adi Guru or first Guru, Shiva, and marks the day when he began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis, his first seven disciples.

The Significance of Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti festival, traditionally seen as a harvest festival is a day when there is a significant movement in the zodiac ­– the arrangement of the earth’s dial around the sun.

Sadhguru’s Ugadi Message
Ugadi marks the Telugu new year, and also shares its date with new year celebrations in several other parts of the country. Sadhguru looks at the nature of the Indian calendar and explains why this period of the year was chosen as the new year.

The Significance of Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha
Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha is an important occasion when one traditionally honors his or her ancestors. Sadhguru explains the science behind these rituals.

Dussehra – Why Do We Celebrate It?
Dussehra or Vijayadashami is one of the most important Indian festivals. Sadhguru explains how each of the days in this 10-day period are significant, and how they can bring success and victory into our life.

Ayudha Pooja – What Is Its Significance?
Ayudha Pooja, the tradition of worshiping our tools and implements, is a powerful opportunity to bring devotion and reverence into our lives.

Diwali - Life as a Celebration
Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time when we can dispel darkness and bring in the light of clarity.

Editor’s Note: If you enjoyed reading about the importance of festivals, take a look at our Indian Culture series.

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4 years 1 month ago

Yugadi also marks Kannada new year not only Telugu.

6 years 9 months ago

A very serious point of view about our cultural crisis

3 years 5 months ago

I want to attend the live seminar of sadhguru how it is possible in india

6 years 9 months ago

absolutely true.festivals today mean new offers at the malls,eating more,being lax and the essence is lost..i am sort of understanding this but not getting out.sadhguru,please help to experience the celebration...

6 years 9 months ago

gratitude to Sadhguru

6 years 9 months ago

Even one day in a year, no body wants to wake up early to have an oil bath early in the hurts to see how people are abusing their body and themselves Sadhguru....They use the holidays to sleep more instead of celebrating...most people enjoy sleeping all the time!!! Based on how much you have worked on me now...It is only getting tougher because people are unable to accept someone is joyful and celebrating all the time hahaaha...:) Most of them think misery is indeed a necessary ingredient in life!!!!!! Today my very existence means absolute joy for me...:) I am dancing within all the time and I refrain from dancing outwards because one thing is that I am a terrible dancer hahaaa (but i dance listening to HIS name all the time at home when no one is watching me ;-) )......and another I will be considered insane if I did that...and I have certain duties to perform before I step out to dance all the time...LOL...or well...I know the show around will persist whether I dance or dont dance, whether I am declared insane or brilliant...whether I am abondoned or it hardly matters to me...but for everyone around it has become a matter of great concern...hahahaha!!! I am becoming odd one out..:)) I am enjoying even that...hahahaa.... what ??I am celebrating life...Namo Namaha Shri Guru pAdukAbhyAm....:-) You have made me dance to every tune of life and in life....Who has ever understood this state in the past to expect someone to understand now..!!!!!!! nothing matters except your grace and blessings...I seek nothing except your grace and blessings...just help me to cling on to this state forever...nothing else is worth any effort! How to thank you for making me realize this!!! :) Pranams....loads of love and wishes...

6 years 9 months ago

With Isha 365 days of celebration is back as we realize every days sadhana makes the routine day different in many ways. A little more extra clarity to everything and a sense of gratitude for simple things be it just the sunlight or the light drizzle......

5 years 4 months ago

beautiful infographic..can we have more such infographics, perhaps these can be made available as posters

5 years 4 months ago

Sadhana pada, ganana pada, wow ending in word "pada" , such a sensible language I bow down

5 years 4 months ago

Namaskaram , please check the picture describing various phases in the year- Mauni Amavashya says- Full moon

5 years 4 months ago

Thanks Gayathri for noticing. The infographic has been corrected now.

5 years 4 months ago

Thanks Divya for noticing. The infographic has been corrected now.