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Festival dilemma....

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Hi all,

I didn't know where to post this question..should probably come under Traditions/Philosophy.. but I thought I should post it as it is eating my brain right now..
In January of this year, my father-in-law's brother's son-in-law passed away after a brief illness. His (my periya mamanar) grandson had died last september and so we were having the one year embargo on all festivals till the varushahdigam of my nephew. But we are not sure if the same continues now as well, given that my periya mamanar's son-in-law has also passed away? My in-laws live in Chennai and we live in UK. We are not sure if we can celebrate any festivals till January of next year? (My periya mamanar's son is going to do the grihapravesam of his flat in october and his daughter is getting married in november. My thatha says sumangali prarthanai cannot be done, but we can celebrate diwali on a low key). People around us are confusing me and it would be good if any of the elders in this forum can help me out??

Mythiliji, my take on this. I too live abroad. A lot of 1st and 2nd cousins have been passing away on both my parents side almost for the last 5 years. Because of this my parents almost stopped celebrating any festivals but I don't. How on earth am I going to show my kids the traditions and customs of our festivals if I stop celebrating altogether because someone or the other is passing away due to old age. In my case it has helped that all these people died naturally of old age so I don't really see any point in grieving for a year. Scripturally may not be right so someone knowledgeable can throw light on this.

Hello iyerponnu,

reading the first line in your post , I recalled the film "Apoorvaragangal".I have to draw a family tree to understand the inter relationship.

Please believe for yourself that these are all depending on pure feelings and faith.The system of not celebrating festivals for one year etc are made to show the sympathy and support of the relatives to the family of the bereaved.

But, for a family who have large number of relations spread across , they have more occasions to follow these than for any.
Will it not cheat the young ones in the family?will it not steal their joys also?

I had been a victim of this in my childhood. We have lost many Diwali s and other festivals due to this.

So in these situations,rate yourselves the closeness with the bereaved family,how they themselves are acting? These are the days ,(not to blame anyone real situation needs that) just after cremation people resume normal activities and even watch daily serial. Are we really in support to the bereaved family?That is the main point.Then, for the traditional poojas,ceremonies, if you are in doubt, your (family,relatives,inlaw)vadhyar will guide you.
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I had been a victim of this in my childhood. We have lost many Diwali s and other festivals due to this.

very true surya.

same here when i was young. it is only a very few years that we enjoy the pattaasu and all the excitement of deepavali.

half my teen years, one relation or the other of my dad's kicked the bucket. 90% of them we did not even know them.

except that odd post card used to come from my dad's elder brother that another daayaadhi has gone home for his reward.

except, i, who had to conform to many rules to earn the deepavali quota of pattaasu, felt cheated of my due reward, and am irked even to this day.

a few houses away, my father's cousin had no such problem.

their kids went on blasting pattaasus, death or no death in the family. ofcourse, the kids did not get new clothes, but then who cared about that. it was all about pattaasus :(
Normally Sumangali Prarthanai is avoided during the first year. Other functions could be done on a low key. Particularly children could take oil bath, wear new clothes and also burn crackers.

I am reminded of Baghavan Ramana Maharishi. He didn't take sanyas in a formal way. His mother joined him at Thiruvannamalai after few years. When his mother died, after performing last rites, Ramana Maharishi said there is no theetu.

Please decide on your own.
Relax little for the little one

Theettu generally not observed for JEEVAN MUKTHAS as they
attain HIM. That way Sri Ramana's mother attained Mukthi .

Other people observing is purely on the basis that we sincerely should
be grieving . Other things for the sake of small children we can be little
liberal especially those who live abroad . Even there is a saying if a
Brahmin corsses the sea he no longer a brahmin ?? What to say ?

If you really not feeling the sad demise what is the use of observing
them .

Relax little for the little ones .

Other functions like Sumangali .... etc you can follow the traditions
that is not going to hurt you much .
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