India is the land of festivals, cultural fairs and holistic seasonal congregations. Festivals in India have a deep rooted connection with country’s economy. As a festival hits the calendar, there’s always a thrill around, certainly hard to overlook. The country celebrates a wide range of delightful events passionately and spiritually in commemoration of the Rishis, Gurus, Gods and Goddesses and the victory of good over evil since down the ages in excess of four festivals per month without government intervention and participation except security personnel in unusual situations. As per the data released by Rajya Sabha – 2013 (Government of India), there are 51 official festivals of which 17 are nationally and 34 are regionally or locally celebrated. These festivals help to reinforce cultural roots and values, enable communities to preserve their traditions and bring economic values. All these auspicious festival roots are connected with the economic agents such as agricultural bliss, business prosperity, entrepreneurship development and social benefits.
All these festivals allow the local communities to connect with their talent, art, craft, food, dance and other forms of cultural landscape and promote significant livelihoods through entrepreneurial activities. They fetch an economic boom through the culture of exchanging gifts, sweets and fruits which are completely associated with the economic agents such as producer, entrepreneur and consumer. In every festive season, demand for specific goods and services driven by cultural events and supply follow the demand by and large. Thousands of shopkeepers who live in a temporary shop on the streets find new opportunities during festive period.
Many market players believe that launching a new product or service during festival time attracts its target customers as compared to non-festival season. Therefore, producers and entrepreneurs wait for the auspicious occasion to launch their product or service for its demand and to establish the pan-India brand. Hence, new products like automobile, home utensils, furniture and electronics etc, enter into the market during that time.
Festivals encourage the trend of sustainable spending specifically from the higher end of the social strata than the lower ends, and the lower ends tend to benefit from the consumption of the higher end by gaining additional income through entrepreneurial and tertiary activities.
Celebration of the festivals is the way of life of Indians. Whole society integrates during the festivals to celebrate it privately and publicly in various temples, residential complexes, and at the streets by singing devotional songs and organizing peaceful processions of the Gods and Goddesses and exchanging sweets and gifts, etc, to the relatives, friends and neighbors. Therefore, it explores the situation to understand our co-existence of customs and culture with the economic agents.
Twelfth Five-Year Plan of India more specifically emphasized on inclusive economic growth by accommodating the marginalized sections into the mainstream economic system.
Today, these festivals have been creating wide range of opportunities for various small-scale entrepreneurial activities such as event management, public sound systems, musical instrument players, tent houses, idol makers, photo/ videographer, garland makers, transporters in addition to providing employment to purohit (Brahmins) and agricultural labourers. Thousands of agricultural labourers and non-farm labourers get into the income generating activity through selling the puja material.
Festivals are seen as a major source of entrepreneurship, income and tourism at local and national levels. There is plethora of opportunities for each state in India to attract international tourists and develop a policy framework for huge entrepreneurial activities. Any economic slowdown will not affect Indians’ sustainable expenditure on festivals owing to their deep-rooted family savings for precautionary expenditure of their children, family members and customs. Therefore, culturally bonded economic rich country like India, need not necessarily follow the western model of solutions in addressing the unemployment issue. There is plethora of ways to solve each economic problem by adopting and promoting festivals with economic and tourism perspective.