So, what’s the point of having a festival?
This is something that occurred to me today, I think that it’s very interesting the way that in our society people still celebrate festivals such as Christmas or Easter when they’re not Christian and they don’t believe in the meaning behind them.
I also think that festivals are very important, they symbolise something more than what they’re about. In Paganism especially they’re a way to mark the changing seasons and points of the year. The three more autumnal festivals mark the three points of the harvest for example and the Equinoxes mark the moment that we tip into the lighter or darker half of the year.
As humans I believe that we need days like these, we need days that are special and important and on which we are encouraged to stop and think about our lives. We need excuses to celebrate and have a good time, and festivals on the whole provide those excuses for us.
I think that this is why a lot of atheists- and in fact people of all faiths- will celebrate festivals like Christmas, because if they didn’t then they wouldn’t have anything to celebrate at all. I’m sure you all know the ‘holiday feeling’ and how amazing the run up to festivals is.
Festivals are our way of releasing, they give us an outlet and a reason to be free, even if it’s just for a day or so.
From a religious point of view festivals are important because they give us a slot of time to purely dedicate to the Gods (or whatever you worship) I see it as a kind of detox from the craziness of modern living. It’s an excuse to take some time to breathe. meditate and reconnect.
As well as this festivals are important for family and community, they provide us with a reason to come together and celebrate loved ones and society. Think of festivals like ‘Mother’s Day’ and ‘Valentine’s Day’- whilst they may be an excuse for most card companies to make a shit-tonne of money they also give us a day to celebrate people in our lives that we love and remind ourselves why we’re thankful to have them around.