India…the Land of Festivals! A rich confluence of diverse cultures, ethnicities, religious beliefs, history, and traditions, this country celebrates an array of festivals all through the year. There is a festival being celebrated somewhere in the country almost every day. Each festival has its own significance and sentiments. From Makar Sankranti to Baisakhi, Gudhi Padwa to Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid to Christmas, Janmashtami to Onam…we celebrate each festival with a lot of enthusiasm and fervor every year. There are several festivals lined up one after the other now. Ganapati, Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas…we have all these and more coming up soon.

However, the current pandemic has proved to be a huge impediment towards the celebrations this year. Festivals in our country are all about social gatherings and community celebrations. The pandemic has necessitated social distancing, which translates to no community celebration. Do we cancel the celebrations altogether then? Not at all! All we need is to think differently. Thanks to the latest technologies available to us, we can even convert our individual celebrations to community ones.

The newspaper reports say that some people have started to sculpt their own clay models of the gods and goddesses to celebrate the festivals. That’s a great idea indeed! Many organizations have declared the cancellation of celebrations this year. Offering prayer individually at home is the order of the day. It is better that you send greetings online instead of visiting your near and dear ones in person. The same can be done for gifts too. With several online portals available, you can send gifts of your choice to your loved ones. You may even share your personal celebration online through video calls. It would be no less than meeting your friends and family in person.

Social distancing is a necessity today. We need Lord’s blessings to keep ourselves fit and fine. And that can be easily done at the confines of home. Let us embrace the new normal and celebrate each festival accordingly. Let the celebrations be joyful, not sources of suffering. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!