Generally, during the year, several festivals are celebrated in India. However, the months of October and November witness a series of celebrations. The dates of these festivals vary every year based on the Indian Calendar. The beginning of festivities leads to the growth of the Indian market due to the high demand for goods and also the launch of new products across the country. In this article, I attempt to summarize the nature of these festivals and their impact on the country.
The festivities begin with Navratris which literally means ‘nine nights’. It is a celebration of nine goddesses, from the Hindu religion. The nine goddesses are representations of power, wealth, and education. People fast during this period and break their fast by praying to young girls who are considered goddesses. This is because, in Hinduism, it is considered that God is in everyone, and praying to the young girls means praying to the goddesses they fast for. These days are considered quite auspicious and holy, encouraging people to buy new houses, items for their homes, cars, etc. There is always a hike in the stock market, gold prices, and other markets in India at this time. The celebrations vary throughout the country. Gujarat and neighboring states have ‘Garba Nights’ every night to celebrate the festival- this celebration was similar to the one hosted by TSG and Global Moves at Thunderbird last month.
Navratri is followed by Dussehra, a festival of victory of ‘good’ over ‘evil’. Ramayana, one of the greatest epics of ancient Indian literature, demonstrates the whole tale of Haughty Ravana, the evil, being killed by Lord Ram, an adherent of truth and dharma. This is celebrated with different rituals throughout the country, marked by large processions demonstrating the killing of Ravana by burning, actually bursting it with firecrackers. Throughout the day, there are a lot of fairs and events hosted in different parts of the cities. All around this festival season, a number of fairs and markets are organized and visited by people. Businesses launch their new products during this season as people tend to buy new stuff for their homes, especially to decorate them before Diwali which is 20 days away from Dussehra. People also tend to buy newer items to gift to their family, friends, relatives, and business partners.
In the subsequent days, people start preparing for Diwali along with celebrating some other festivals. For Diwali preparation, people clean their homes and buy new decorative items to adorn them with and welcome the guests who will visit them. A bigger reason to clean the house is to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into their homes. People begin buying presents such as crockery, clothes, sweets, jewelry, gold coins, and more for their relatives, friends, colleagues, and business partners. Markets are decorated, fully lit, and open till midnight to facilitate the purchase of new products, goods, and sweets during the whole season. Two days prior to Diwali is another festival called Dhanteras. At this festival, people purchase metallic items based on what they can afford to buy and what they need as well- some buy gold, others silver, cars, or household utensils. This is the day when gold and silver prices are quite high.
Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Ram to his town, Ayodhya after winning over the evil on Dussehra. On the day of Diwali, every family celebrating the festival decorates their house with lights, diyas, and candles. Every family, religion, and region celebrates Diwali differently. Sikhs and Hindus go to their place of worship, Gurudwaras, and temples respectively to pray for the upcoming year to be prosperous, and thank God for the success of the past year. Every household has its own unique way of celebrating Diwali; however, the essence of the festival is to build relationships, which is a common theme amongst all regions of the country.