Why do I hate festivals?

 I hate festivals

Whenever I say this, people look at me as if I'm insane!

My Dad says I was born in the wrong latitude/longitude. Most people agree with him.

I keep asking myself this question so many times and when I don't, I get reminded by all the kind aunties and uncles who visit my place, they keep repeating, "But, why don't you like festivals?", "How can anybody 'not' like festivals?" as if I'll get some miraculous enlightenment after listening to those questions and start singing bhajans.

 I get their point, I know humans, especially, Indians are genetically programmed to like festivals and there is no other way (I guess that makes me a mutant). But I want to tell these self proclaimed mini-seers why I don't like festivals.

So here is my official list. This is why I hate festivals/ any other ritual:

1) I think 90% of the purohits are legal thugs. They keep chanting some mantras in Sanskrit, a language that they themselves do NOT know. Even if they use cuss words in that language, people will not understand. They will be so into asking god for new cars/jewelry/marks/ whatever, that they just don't care. Recently I had been to some "purification" ceremony of a new office and the purohit was so callous, I caught him playing games on his cellphone while chanting! I mean isn't that the limit?!

2) I think festivals must be a time where people should celebrate life, they should be generous, they should do good things atleast during these times like feeding the poor, helping someone in need etc, but as far as I know, I haven't seen any hindu festival propagate this. Either the time is spent uselessly decorating the house with ridiculously-expensive flowers (flower rates at festivals=normal rates * 10 ) and cooking fatty stuff for already fat people, or bursting crackers and polluting the atmosphere more than it already is, or immersing idols made of all sorts of poisonous chemicals in lakes which are on the verge of drying out!

3) There is a festival called Nag panchami. I think its celebrated across South India. In Karnataka, people perform a ritual where they do pooja to the ant-hill (supposedly, the nags/the snakes live there). The pooja is so hazardous to the snakes that I'm sure they would've abandoned these anthills long long ago. Hundreds of people keep pouring milk, ghee, eggs/ what not into the hole. Even if a snake is, by chance, taking rest/something inside, it would've choked to death! Is this how we worship? I have seen some snake expert in some regional news channel advising people not to do all this, and by doing so, they are endangering wildlife. Still, every year I see people thronging the temple near my house!

4) Then, icing over the cake is how all the political parties take leverage of mass festivals like Ganesh Chaturti  etc and put up pandals all over the place, disrupting traffic and a good night's sleep (Whole night they'll be singing bollywood, kollywood, whateverwood songs! ) I mean what is the point!?!

5) Why can't we celebrate Mother earth? I'm sure people will come up with ideas to do some pooja in their ground floor/cellar and litter the whole place, but I'm talking about keeping the place clean, not use plastic, take small steps to prevent global warming/ things like that. Why does it always have to be a pooja? There are other ways to celebrate

6) Then there is the famous 'homa/havan'. I have seen people doing this at the drop of a hat. Most of the times I've been to these ceremonies, its more/less like a rave party. Its hazy and unclear. Half the time, I'm coughing and the remaining time, wiping off tears.

And to add insult to injury, they say all these things are part of their "CULTURE". Whole India hides behind this seven letter word. Whatever you say/ question, you are met with an answer, "It is a part of our culture", "It is not a part f our culture"

Anyway, I don't care if my opinion matters to anyone. I just want people to understand , think and know what they are doing. Then they can go and celebrate whatever the hell they want.


  1. Don't mean to offend or anything but I may suggest you just rethink your choice of religion? Maybe that will help tackle this issue? Just a suggestion, nothing more.

  2. Hey, Keertana, I have written a small blog here for you. Take it with a pinch of salt. I have not written to hurt you, but just to get some ideas about celebration across. God bless you.Here it is
    Happy Ganesha.

  3. @lubz- Why should I change my religion? My dad ll freak out and MY mom will faint..lol :D

    @Krsnaknows- read your post! I'm glad my blog made you want to write an exclusive post! :)

  4. I wish I could shake your hand and give you a hug...Me too!

  5. @Nalini- Nice to know that someone else thinks similarly :)

  6. Hi!
    some way the culprits we ourselves here...
    we are celebrating fests but no body knows why it is...doing pooja for nine days then immersing idol in unhealthy ways..
    hats-of to the marketing jinks of political parties.previously they are only in the business of Ganesh chaturthi but now they entered in to Dahi handi,chat pooja and other house hold festivals also.

    There is a purpose in the havan but which is not for Apartment style life it is only for the homes where we get good ventilation.

    now a days we are importing foreign cultured remix pooja styles which are messing all ...and creating confusion.

    any ways all the best

  7. 1. Purohit may be awesome at Multitasking... No? Btw sanskrit is not a difficult language. Just that we aren't familiar with it.

    2. It depends on how we celebrate. If someone isn't doing it right, go ahead and celebrate it in the ecofriendly way!

    3. Talk about the population explosion... this is never a case in rural india. there will be smaller crowd for a given ant-hill.

    4. commercialization... don't be a part of it! simple!

    5. Exactly, that is why we have festivals. Each festival is to celebrate and thank the environment around us in a different manner. plastics and all those pollutants came with industrialization... it again depends on how we celebrate. Remember the days when people used to eat on Banana leaves than on those plastic plates?

    6. Well, you have a lot of reading activity pending on your plate. Pls do read on some of the scientific papers on how these homa/havana's bring in rain and other positive energy to humans.

    You better don't be a part of that culture, but try to understand the hidden meaning behind each of those acts through celebrating it the right way. Don't just get carried away without scientific reasoning.

  8. Festivals are just an excuse to get together with family, friends and have fun.

    Even if Durga Pujas are chaotic, crowded and crazy, I still look forward to it.

  9. Hey I'd written a blog on similar ideation like 3 years ago..glad to know i'm not the only soul who hates festivals.heres the link http://unwontedrant.blogspot.com/search/label/unmelodic%20fete

    hope you enjoy reading it and relate to this too..

  10. Keerthana, festivals are not meant to stress out people, but we all have the knack of interpreting things the way we want to. I used to be like you when I was younger and complained no end about them. But as I grew older I realised that the best celebration of any festival is to remember God and worship Him in the best way you can. For instance, if you are unable to make the modaks for the naivedhayam, don't worry. Ganesha is not going to punish you. But do bow to Him and pray sincerely. you will get peace of mind. Listen to your heart and worship God the way you want. The most wonderful thing about Hinduism is its all inclusiveness and freedom to worship God the way you see fit. No other religion offers that choice! :)

  11. ANa_treek and krsnas:

    I read your blogs turn by turn in the order it should be. My view point is somewhat similar to krsnas.

    See, I do not say what these pundits are doing is correct and I also do not recommend totally doing away with the festivals and the festivities (Ana_treek: doing away is almost similar to hating festivals). There can be a mid-path. You CAN LOVE the festivals and if you think all the pundits are same, please do not call them for chanting matras. You yourself can chant some simple bhajans. Isn't that enough for purification??

    What I believe is that there are always 2 ways to choose from to solve any problem, one is to ignore it and the problem will cause you the least. The other way is to change the way it should be, you might be affected initially, but you WILL GET what you wanted to.

    Just an opinion.

  12. and ppl say they don't believe in reincarnation...... hey new ages Mr. Scrooge... :D

    Just kidding.......anyways.....

    although, i agree with all the points you made......pandits should come with guns and not with bags...at least then we would know that we are being robbed.......

    and people say, it only though to a muslim.....even we hindu's do a lot of stupid things in the name of god or religion........

    even i'm a atheist ..... but still i have to stand in pooja's with family.....well that's wat we do....respect others feeling.......

    but won't do this to my kids(i suppose).......

    anyways.... i still don't know why you don't like fests......? you do the good things of fests ....not the bad things involved......think you'll feel good after that........

    if i copy paste this comment on my blog....i can make a post

  13. @Kannajie- As I said to Krsna also before, it is not the festival itself I'm against, its the interpretation of festivals!

    @Mohan- 1) If its not a difficult language, do we understand everything? NO, lets ask the meaning of phrases before we do something, whats wrong with that? I want to ask people to understand what they are doing

    2)yup, exactly what I'm saying. My post is a way to reach out to people, it is just a way to get them thinking. I just want them to be more responsible, thats what I mean when I say people should understand, think and know what they are doing before they do it

    3)However small the crowd, we have no right to litter the anthill.

    4) and 5) I'm against how we, people as a majority, celebrate festivals!

    6) It maybe backed scientifically, even otherwise whatever we do with a pure heart and complete faith may do wonders, I do not argue with that, It was my opinion.

    We have a CM who does so many rituals and donates generously (Obviously, not his money) to temples at the drop of a hat, Is it any way helping people in anyway? There should be a proper reason behind things

    Finally all I want to say is that, whether I want or not, I'm a part of this culture. I'm not getting carried away without scientific reason, except for the havan point, please gimme the scientific reasons for what people do on most of the festivals including bursting crackers on diwali, and endangering snakes' habitat on nag panchami. Please understand that when I say "festival", I don't involve the history behind it, It is just the way the celebrated! Just think of it from a different perspective, maybe you'll understand what I'm actually talking about

    @Purba- Thats true! :)

    @Vaishali- Read it! check out my comment

    @Zephyr and Dhakkanz- I totally agree with you, that is what I'm saying we can choose to celebrate in the right way

    @Hitesh- I hate the festivals because of the rituals and nothing else!

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  15. I had similar view on festivals and religions few years back only, as anything would fail to convince me when it lacked the scientific basis.All religions of our country and festivals are based upon fact,you go through them you will certainly find the truth and reason for their celebration.

  16. If It was not for festivals and feasts India would be a barren wasteland .. I love festivals and I like your post because you have the right to be different from the rest this is known as freedom of sef expression Cheers Take Care

    And when will Bogspot stop this antiquated pain in the neck called Word Vilification..

  17. Hmm.. Dont you think you are blamin wrong target? If people behave like asshole* (the mandatory * LOL) , and they really do; can you blame festivls fr that ? Isnt that thir inherent character? If you wanna celebrate life thru those, you go ahead and do it w/o caring an ounce for rituals & ppl. I do it and I see no point in lettin ppl disturb me :)

  18. All your observations are true, but I still love festivals despite being an agnostic!!
    Its just that I love the atmosphere around the festival time.

    There are still purohits left who do all the poojas in the right manner & pour their heart out towards God! I've seen many! But we only see the bad eggs!!

    Don't bother about the Nag Panchami rituals. All the snakes would have long abandoned their nests!!

    Most of the politicians are ignorant fools who only serve themselves!

    Homa=Rave Party! hehehe :) Don't let Shiv Sena hear about that :P

    Lovely post :)

  19. @aparna- I'm sure there is a reason behind every festival that is celebrated and I respect it, just that I don't understand the way in which some festivals are celebrated.

    @Mayank- When I say festivals, I mean the way people celebrate them. I agree with you :)

    @Photographerno1- Thank you for being so open minded :)

    @Girish- Nothing gets on my nerves after seeing these things day in and day out for 23 yrs, what can we do? :D

  20. Yes you should have been born in some other latitude/longitude or some house that doesnt celebrate so many festivals...

  21. Via several other blogs, I landed on yours! You write very well. So glad to see someone whose thoughts match mine!

    Keep Writing!

  22. @Srao- Thnk you! Welcome to my blog:)

  23. nice. .enjoyed reading this

  24. Keerthana I totally identify with your sentiments-I have honestly tried to enjoy all these rituals but I think today all festivals of every religion are abt mindless consumerism,noise and polluting Mother Earth.

  25. Happy to find someone who thinks rationally. I hate festivals too. I gave up on religious practices when i was a small kid and i am happy to have done that.I haven't incurred any kind of wrath as most people believe they will, when they are not believers of God! I don't attend the pooja's too. Let people think the hell they want to about me, i am not ready to change my views . At the same time i don't interfere in other people's business.
    There is more of chaos rather than peace druing festivals! Even though it is in our capacity to forgive and forget, we don't. And then we expect some invisible being to help us... Well, this can go on and on... I will stop here.


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