While some people enjoy celebratory activities like dahi handi and musical nights, others flock to temples and seek blessings.
Have festivals become a mere way to spend a holiday or do traditions still hold some value? We ask Delhiites this as they celebrate Janmashtami today.
Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, a festival to celebrate Nanha Kishanji’s birthday is not just a religious festival, but also an occasion with a deep cultural aspect. While some people enjoy celebratory activities like dahi handi and musical nights, others flock to temples and seek blessings.
Rishabh Sharma, a Delhi based MBA student, states how this occasion is no different than any other for most. “It's an 80-20 ratio, where for 80 per cent it’s merely a holiday as nowadays the essence of puja and bhakti seems to be vanishing into the horizon. Instead, youngsters treat this holiday as a mere opportunity to show off how happening their lives are,” he says.
Writer Karan Bhardwaj believes that the youth today perceives festivals as just an opportunity to get together and celebrate life. “We all are so stuck in our mundane lives that we all look forward to enjoying mini-breaks that rid us of our anxieties and pressures. Janmashtami is celebrated mostly in the evening and is a fun fest with temples and markets decked up,” he says.
For city resident Rakhi Jain this day is very special, however. She says, “For me, Janamashtami is a wholesome celebration. Every year on this day, my family and I visit the Birla Mandir. Lord Krishna has always been my inspiration. His lessons in the Geeta have taught me a lot about life.”
Speaking of how children celebrate the day, entrepreneur Kabir Grover says, “Schools and colleges are pushing kids at a very young age to celebrate every festival in India. This way, they can know the real meaning of the festival and involve themselves in the celebration, either in the form of dance or a play. I feel it really improves a child’s knowledge about their roots.”
This year, Gokulashtami comes with a slight surprise with some parts of the country celebrating the festival on the 23rd, and others celebrating it on the 24th. But, the confusion has given rise to people celebrating them on both days.
However, Anjum Chopra, Indian women cricket team captain and analyst, believes the point of celebration to be a unifying bond between people. She says, “It’s a celebration! These occasions are important to be celebrated to share the connection with the youth of today. Community celebrations are a great way for doing so too. It shows the importance of the day and why it’s celebrated. The youth must remain aware of all cultures and their respective celebrations.”