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Diwali and Christmas Festivals: History and Importance

1354 words (5 pages) Essay in Religion

18/05/20 Religion Reference this

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 Religious festivals are a way of celebrating beliefs, traditions, culture, and heritage. Such festivals make people remember crucial moments and emotions in people’s lives. Religious festivals are essential for members of particular faiths and families, as well. Through religious celebrations, ethics and principles are taught to the next generations. Nearly all religious festivals spread the message of love, understanding, and perseverance. This assignment provides a bibliography of different articles that explains about Diwali and Christmas celebrations.

 Diwali is a festival of light. Diwali is a great festival that is celebrated by the bursting of firecrackers. Firework displays in India are known to be extensive and grand. It causes affluent to Delhi’s population. According to Garg (12), firecrackers cause anthropogenic pollution in the air. Although the events of Diwali are short-lived, they are responsible for increased gases and particles in the atmosphere. That short-term exposure to firecrackers leads to adverse health effects on people.

 Diwali festival involves burning and bursting of firecrackers because the celebration must have the aspect of light. In Diwali, firecrackers mean lamps of a row of lights. In a study done by Ghei and Renuka, the scholar found out that the burning of firecrackers in Delhi caused air pollution. Delhi is recognized as one of the most polluted cities in the globe. The pollution is at a peak during the winter season, from October to January. According to Ghei and Renuka, the quality of air becomes worse after the burning of crackers during Diwali. Results from the study showed that Diwali leads to a statistically significant increase in air pollution. The effects of air pollution were different in locations of Delhi. 

 Diwali is a Hindu festival whose purpose is to show tribute to god Vishnu and this wife, the goddess of light prosperity and good fortune. It is celebrated in five days. Both Diwali and Christmas are celebrated in more than one day. Diwali is celebrated between middle October and Middle November. Diwali festival has no specific date, while Christmas has a particular time, 24th to 26th December.

 Celebrations of Diwali are marked by displays of large firework. People who celebrate Diwali light candles and use colorful artwork to decorate their houses (Johnson and Guil 4). They also use colored powder of rice to draw patterns on the floor. Families and friends share gifts and sweets to demonstrate the aspect of giving goods and food to those in need. Similarly, during Christmas, Christians provide food to the needy on 26th December, Boxing Day, after Christmas day. Johnson and Guil also recognize that Hindus make it a tradition to wear new clothes and clean their homes during the festival.

There are many activities and experiences that take place during the Christmas festival. It is because of such events that make a merry Christmas. The author recognizes that various happenings satisfy people during this festival. For instance, the authors find out that people are happier as they spend time with family members, and they attend religious events. The majority of Christians attend services during Christmas, and they report more happiness and enjoyable experiences. It is during the Christmas festival that many families have get-togethers as people travel to their homes to meet family members (Kasser and Kennon 314). Some families even sing carols as they move to the streets and churches.

  In addition, Christmas becomes a merry when Christians spend money on others and purchase gifts for them. A person will have an excellent experience and become happier when he receives a present or a card during Christmas celebrations (Kasser and Kennon 316). Christians believe that God gave Jesus Christ to humanity as a gift. Therefore, Christians should offer gifts to their friends. This is the reason they make merry during Christmas by sacrificing some amount of money to buy gifts to their friends. As well, they donate food during Boxing Day to show care and love for the needy.

 Christians make themselves happy during Christmas by enjoying good food (Kasser and Kennon 318). Many Christians go for a Christian dinner with friends and family where they enjoy their favorite foods. There is no specific food made for Christmas dinner because types of food differ from one country to another. Similarly, Hindus select their favorite food for Diwali, and there is no particular food that should be eaten during the festival. Other activities that Kasser and Kennon say the make a merry Christmas include maintaining traditions, helping others, and having Salvation Army bell-ringers.

 Both Diwali and Christmas are sacred festivals. In Mogra’s article, the sacredness of Diwali and Christmas is discussed. Hindus, especially those who make lights in their houses during Diwali, do so to welcome blessings in their homes. They believe that goddess of well-being and wealth, Maa Lakshmi would visit their houses.

  Christians believe Christmas is sacred because it is a commemoration of a day when God came to be with them in human form. Jesus, also called Emanuel, is translated as “God with us.” The birth of Jesus is sacred since Christians believe that Jesus’ mother was a virgin, and she conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit (Mogra 168). Therefore, much sacredness is associated with the Christmas festival. In countries with large numbers of Christians, nearly all employees and students are given a Christmas holiday break for about two weeks.

 Both Diwali and Christmas have decorations playing a large part. Decorations are in terms of colorful lights of lamps and candles, among others. Special foods are eaten, and gifs are exchanged during the celebrations. Interestingly, Diwali and Christmas are celebrated around the same time, winter (Mogra 169). In religion, winter is known to be a season of light, and people love their festivals around that season to celebrate the aspect of light and blessings. Winter also marks the end of a year, and members of the two religions want to finish a year and begin the other one with benefits from the supreme beings. Today, many people have forgotten the significance of Christmas, and have taken it to be a period of receiving presents. On the other hand, Hindus remain focused on Diwali, and they teach religious morals to people during that occasion.

 The Church of St. Ignatius Loyola wrote a summary of what a Christmas day entails. The church records that Christians believe that Jesus is the light of the world and they celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the light. Both Diwali and Christmas are festivals of light since they celebrate individuals who are viewed as source of light to humanity. Christmas is celebrated in three days, unlike Diwali which is celebrated in five days. The Christmas day is celebrated on the second day of the festival, 25th day of December. Traditionally, people decorate their houses with a Christmas tree and bright lights. As well, Christmas carols are sung during the celebration. According to the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola (2037), Christmas is the celebration of the birth of “the Son of God”, Jesus. 

Work Cited

  • Garg, Abhinav, et al. “Temporal mount in air pollutants allied with religious fiesta: Diwali, Festival of lights.” Emerging Issues in Ecology and Environmental Science. Springer, Cham, 2019. 11-25.
  • Ghei, Dhananjay, and Renuka Sane. “Estimates of air pollution in Delhi from the burning of firecrackers during the festival of Diwali.” PloS one 13.8 (2018): e0200371.
  • Johnson, Henry, and Guil Figgins. “Diwali Downunder: Transforming and Performing Indian Tradition in Aotearoa/New Zealand.” MEDIANZ: Media Studies Journal of Aotearoa New Zealand 9.1 (2014).
  • Kasser, Tim, and Kennon M. Sheldon. “What makes for a merry Christmas?.” Journal of Happiness Studies 3.4 (2002): 313-329.
  • Mogra, Imran. “Sacred festivals.” Jumpstart! RE., 2017. 162-186.
  • The Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. “Christmas Day.” Notes 2030 (2017): 2037.
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