Pujya Guruji, Swami Tejomayananda ji very lucidly explains the significance of Hindu festivals as follows:
Recognizing the need for change and entertainment, the Hindu religion provides special occasions, festivals of a religious nature, called utsavs. No religion will last very long if it does not understand the common needs and desires of people, insisting only on strict discipline at all times, Other than fasting there must also be feasting, singing, dancing, and joyous celebrations.
Our religious festivals have a very different effect. They not only give us occasions for merrymaking, but they also give us a noble, divine vision and inspire us to raise our minds to the heights of that great goal. Rather than merely exhausting us physically and mentally, they purify the mind and prepare us to face life with more enthusiasm, to live life more happily and fully. If we observe these festivals closely, we will see that they not only point out the ultimate goal of life, but also give us guidelines to reach that goal. In short, our religious festivals serve the purpose of all other entertainment and at the same time give us much more.
Taking this spirit behind our Hindu festivals forward, the Chinmaya Mission Milwaukee family celebrates festivals with great joy and enthusiasm. All members of the family come together and enjoy the celebrations with various Pujas, Chantings, musical and cultural programs. A special care is taken to ensure that we not only enjoy the celebration but are inspired by getting connected with the vision behind these wonderful festivals. All are invited to join!