India is a land where the life of its people is beautified with festivals. Festival is acelebration of the changing seasons, harvest, reconciliation and the birth anniversaries of saints, gurus and prophets and honours the gods and goddesses.
History of festivals
Epigraphical evidences prove that festivals have been celebrated in India since Vedictimes. The Aryans conquered India around 1500 B.C. and cultural integration with thelocal population took place.
1. Religious Festivals
A large number of festivals being celebrated in India have a religious outlook. Thesefestivals are being celebrated in commemoration of some saints, gurus and prophets, thegods and goddesses or events celebrating their victories.
2. Temple Festivals
No festival in India is complete without a feast, and the Hindu temple provides feastsduring the temple festivals. The attendees spend all day at the temple, enjoyingthemselves
3. Fairs or Melas
Melas or Fairs are extremely popular not just in India but all over the world. Mela servesa very important role as most of the festivals are celebrated in individual homes. Melasthat are normally celebrated for a week to over a month help to bring the communitytogether and share greetings.
4. National Festivals
Independence Day, August 15, commemorates the day in 1947 when India achievedfreedom from British rule. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the world`s biggest democracy as a national festival.
5. Regional Festivals
India presents a cultural potpourri of number of religions with their festivals andcelebrations but the four major religions followed in India are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism in the descending order. There are a number of regionalfestivals that are celebrated in particular areas only
6. New Year Festivals
Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is the first day of the month of Vaisakha, the beginning of theHindu year in some parts of the country. For the Sikhs in Punjab and other parts of thecountry, this day has a particular significance, as it was on this day in 1699 that GuruGobind Singh founded the Khalsa.
Here are few festivals with their impact on environment
Rebirth of Lord Ganesh.
Lokmanya Tilak – The Founder Of Ganesh Festival
Serves as a meeting ground for people.
Contamination Of Water bodies.
Noise pollution – An unfortunate outcome of this joyous festival. Soil pollution due to dumping of ‘Nirmalya’.
To celebrate return of Ram & Sita.
Signifies the end of darkness .
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF DIWALI
Air Pollution through Firecrackers
High Energy Consumption.
The symbol of victory overevilness.
To celebrate the arrival of Spring.
Reflection of the various colorsof spring season.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS ABOUT HOLI
The use of toxic chemical colours.
The use of wood for burning Holi fires.
The wasteful use of water during Holi.
Celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over the mythical Kaliya. Worship of
To express Gratitude towards snakes.
Hunting of snakes.
Torture to snakes.
Unnecessary feeding of milk.
Impact of Festivals on Environment
Festivals are becoming significant contributors to air pollution in India. We have so manyfestivals and increasing commercialization – a growing economy is turning everycelebration into grand occasions to splurge. Are we aware of what this is doing to our environment? Here’s a look at how all those festivities affect the air quality.Air pollution levels in big cities are appalling at the best of times and are a growingcause for concern. The Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) – dust, fumes,smoke, and gases – is way above permissible limits in many of our big cities. This levelsees a quantum jump during festivals, the main culprits being crackers, inflammablesubstances, and artificial colors.
Pollution due to festivals
Air Pollution due to smoke of crackers.
Water Pollution due to immerging statues of God and Goddess made of artificialor synthetic harmful chemicals into rivers,ponds and dams. Noise Pollution due to loudness of music system.
The practice of immersion of Ganesh idols after the Ganesh festival invarious cities is causing severe water pollution which leads to the death of tonnes of fishand many aquatic creatures. Gone are the days when the idols are made with clay,nowadays idols are made with Plaster Of Paris and chemical dyes. The repeated cautions and warnings of ecologists and environmental scientists towardsthe possible hazards inflicted by the Plaster Of Paris are falling into the deaf ears of theidol makers and buyers. According to scientists, Plaster Of Paris does not get dissolved or disintegrated fast. Moreover, the chemical dyes and colours being used to colour the idolscontain poisonous elements. Particularly, Red, Blue, Orange and Green colours containMercury, Zinc oxide, Chromium and Lead, the potential causes of developing cancer.According to one estimate, 7500 idols of Ganesh are weighing about 20,000 kg or inother words, 20 tons.
The sea-shore of Mumbai absorbs the immersion of about 1.5 lakhidols every year. The very calculation of the accumulation of clay, Plaster Of Paris,dangerous Chemicals from the paints and colours will shatter the thinking faculty of any brain. The immersion of Durga Statutes during the Durga pooja is also a cause of concern for environmentalists. In Orissa alone 5,000 Durga pooja idols are made, most of them using harmful paints. Heavy metals like lead and chrome are not easily assimilated in an aquatic environmentand can lead to the massive hurt of flora and fauna of the river, pond, lake and coastalareas. As the same river, pond and lake water is used for bathing and drinking purposehigh levels of lead can damage the heart, kidneys, liver, circulatory system and centralnervous system, the environmentalist warned.
Impact of air pollution on health
Air pollution can lead to lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratorydiseases, and allergies in adults. It can also cause acute respiratory infections in children.Suspended particulate matter can cause asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseaseSulfur dioxide can damage lungs and lead to lung disorders like wheezing and shortnessof breath.Oxides of Nitrogen can cause skin problems, eye irritation, and cause respiratory problems in children.Chemicals used in crackers like lead, magnesium, cadmium, nitrate, sodium, and otherscan have various harmful effects.
Loudspeakers, fire crackers and loud musical instruments, appear to be one of the biggest culprits of noise pollution during festivals in our country. With the advent of urbanisation, people in the metros had to grapple with the problem of noise pollution in everyday living, and any kind of public celebration only aggravates this lurking issue. A study by World Health Organisation (WHO) asserts that noise pollution is not only a nuisance to the environment but it also poses considerable threat to public health. In residential neighbourhoods, the Supreme Court limits the noise levels to 55 decibels in the day and 45 decibels at night.
The local authorities are here to maintain decorum during festivals but we as citizens should also be responsible enough to keep noise within permissible limits. Time and again people have violated these levels during Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Navratri, Dussehra, Diwali and the list goes on. Despite being worldly-wise, we ignore the health impacts of incessant exposure to such high-decibel sounds. Besides affecting toddlers and children, they bring health issues in adults like hypertension, sleep disturbance, tinnitus and acute hearing loss.
Ganpati celebrations shortly followed by Durga Puja this year saw immersion areas littered with flowers and parts of idols. The mess created by bursting of crackers cannot be ignored as well. The materials such as plaster of Paris used in making idols add to the water pollution. Paints used for decorating the idols, loaded with high levels of mercury and lead, increases the toxin levels of water bodies after immersion days. These toxins eventually enter the food chain after affecting the marine ecosystem and its biodiversity. The highly contaminated Ganga is now saturated with litres of paint, bulks of plaster of Paris, toxic synthetic materials and non-biodegradable wastes like plastic flowers, plunged into the holy river.
Every year, in the aftermath of Ganpati celebrations, newspapers publish images of Girgaum Chowpatty and other immersion areas littered with huge parts of idols. The main culprit is, of course, the plaster of Paris (PoP) that is used to make majority of the idols. PoP takes several months to completely dissolve. Also, the paints used for colouring and decorating the idols contain high levels of mercury and lead, which adds to the pollution. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has found significantly higher levels of toxins in water bodies after immersion days. These pose a great danger to the marine ecosystem and its biodiversity. These toxins also eventually enter the food chain.
Apart from releasing toxic gases, bursting of crackers also leads to pollution of air. Diwali, every year leads to an alarming rise in the level of Respirable Suspended Particulate Material (RSPM) in the air, due to bursting of fire crackers. RSPM are minute particles and can contribute to various health issues including asthma and bronchitis. On the Ganpati immersion days in 2012, the MPCB found an alarming rise in the level of respirable suspended particulate material (RSPM) across Mumbai and in other cities in the state. RSPM are suspended particles in the air due to bursting of fire crackers and large number of heavy vehicles plying on the roads taking idols for immersion. Since RSPM are small enough to be breathed in, they can contribute to various health issues such as asthma, bronchitis and reduced lung function. These are chronic ailments and persist long after the direct source of pollution is removed.
Festivals also generate a humongous amount of dry waste. With firecrackers being the main ingredient to Diwali celebrations, the problem of dry waste increases by leaps and bounds due to lack of dumping space and other neglected constraints. Diwali being round the corner, local government bodies should take a meticulous approach towards guidance notes for municipal solid waste disposal. Garbage that can easily be recycled or reused also ends up in mounting landfills. And heaps of garbage including fruits, flowers, incenses and camphor coming out of puja pandals cannot be ignored either. Relentless social activism is essential to educate people to switch to eco-friendly methods of celebration. In several parts of the country, craftsmen have started using eco-friendly materials and organic paints to make idols. For instance, the idol makers in Kumartuli, the nerve centre of idol makers in Kolkata, took steps this year to check toxic waste levels by using paints devoid of lead, mercury and chromium to embellish the idols.
Clay idols instead of the PoP ones are also getting their share of popularity. Spreading the message of civic sense this Diwali might help to curb or at least limit the pollution levels. We must get our social act together before blaming it on local administrators and civic amenities. Today one can easily find sustainable ways of adding to the glory of the festivals and we as ‘law abiding citizens’ should also take initiatives to cooperate with the government. If you have better ways of protecting the environment and saving our Mother Earth, you are most welcome to go ahead and spread the message. There are several ways to do so and Google will definitely come to your rescue.
My Opinion about festivals of India
Our country India is a very big country and every day of a year is a festival and it can becelebrated here with great joy and happiness. “India a country Where Everyday Is A Celebration.”
Every festival takes an important part in the life of different peoples from differentcommunities of India. There are many festivals can be celebrated on different religiousoccasions. Indian Festivals are celebrated across the world because the Indian people areeverywhere in the world. some of them are doing jobs abroad or some of them are good big businessmen But no one can left Indian culture and festival celebrating. festivals colours our life in anew way. Every festival In India have different colors, prayers, sweets and old uniquerituals Many types of festivals are celebrated here in India like national, regional, local, religiousor seasonal festivals. In every months many festival comes and fill colors in our lives
We should contribute equally towards society for controlling pollution. Lets make festivals more joyful & meaningful in eco- friendly manner. Use of natural clay idols .
Immersion of idols in a bucket or artificial tank of water. Deposit all the floral offerings into Nirmalaya pots.
Celebrate the Ganesh Procession in traditional way.
Lighting lamps the green way.
“Say No to Fire crackers and Yes to life!“
Light Diyas instead of electrical light.
Usage of eco-friendly colors.
Celebrating bonfire in unity.
A Dry Holi.
Use of frames & idols
Careful handling of snakes.
Avoidance of use of milk.
-Environment http://www.skymetweather.com/content/2013/10/lifestyle-and-culture/dangerous-relationship-of-environment-and-festivals/ http://www.slideshare.net/ketakishinde/indian-festivals-and-environment
Courtney from Study Moose
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