Festival preparations: Why we do it?

Humans have celebrated festivals since time immemorial. Festivals are the most important as well as the most basic form of celebration. From the earliest humans of 10,000 BC to the mobile-phone-slave of today's era, festivals have always been an intricate part of our species. Festivals define us, our identity and our civilization. Festivals tell the world "who we are" and what "we're capable of!"

In addition to culture and celebrations, festivals have also been used to signify power and strength. In Spain, encierro OR Running of the Bulls - a practice that involves running in front of a group of bulls is observed on the seventh day of Sanfermines festival. Many African tribes tattoo themselves or go hunting during special festive days, to show their physical prowess.

Festivals are also a reason for all the ecstasy and fun. In fact, it is this happiness that makes us want to sweat a bit more in planning for the festivities so that we can enjoy them on the big day. Imagine how much planning it would go in organizing the La Tomatina Festival. Can you think of the logistical nightmare that organizers of Oktoberfest go through before the beer-chugging kicks off?

Samba dancers starts their choreography for the Rio Carnival, months in advanced; and an elaborate and detailed groudnwork goes in to prepare for the Chinese New Year. 

Not just that, even in India, the sculptors start working on Ganpati and Durga idols months in advance, before Ganeshotsav and Durga Puja. We start polishing our kite flying skills from as early as December, before the Makar Sankranti arrives on 14th January. And who can forget being dragged in the Diwali cleaning work by our mothers when all we wanted to do was play with our friends during 3 week Diwali vacation!

Irrespective to where you live, which religion you follow and what customs you observe; one common festive activity binds us all is the preparation! Everyone wants to celebrate their festival in the best possible way and hence, we work tirelessly to make sure the big day is celebrated in the most spectacular fashion.

Irrespective of how exhausting and hectic it gets, in the end, when it all comes together and you see your loved ones appreciating your efforts and enjoying the festivites that YOU planned, it all pays off!

It's notable that while we make sure everything is aesthetically pleasing during the festivals, we often overlook the sense of smell. But now, there's a fairly easy way to do it. Just one "swish" of Aer and your guests will smell the festivities even before they see it. Have you tried it yet?

How do we associate fragrances with festivals?

What is Nostalgia? The feeling you get when you see, hear, smell or feel something that makes you realize that you've already seen, heard, smelt or felt something similar.

By this definition, fragrances are integral to your memories. They hold the DNA of the very memory that's preserved in your mind. When we encounter a familiar scent, it acts as a catalyst; the brain goes in overdrive and starts opening file cabinets associated with that scent. Thus triggering a backlog of emotions in the head, which is too large to process on time. The result: half-awake, half-asleep sense of nostalgia where the person loses his sense of time. This nostalgia might last a micro second, a minute, an hour or even a month. 

Nostalgia is like a drug, it makes you do the things that you can no longer do and go to the places that no longer exist. But it's not necessarily as bad as it may sound. And just like every drug, this one also make its user (all of us) addicted.

Now, what if I told you that you experience nostalgia on a daily basis without even realizing it? There are so many smells around you, that reminds you of life's biggest and most joyous moments.

The most joyous moments in anyone's life are festivals. That's because weddings and births happen just once in a while but in our culture-rich country the festivals a lot more often. Each festival has a unique flavour - an peculiar aroma, attached to it. 

Imagine! You're walking by a shop and you smell the unique scent of a brand new piece of clothing; and it instantly reminds you of Durga Puja and when bought a new saree.

Imagine! You stop by at a dhaba along the side of the higway and truck driver next table orders thandai and you're instantly transformed back in time when your uncle prepared bhang for your and your friends during Holi.

Imagine! A baarat is dancing on the streets hampering the flow of traffic. Your car crawls next to the dancers who couldn't be less bothered by who's watching them; suddenly, the traffic comes to a screeching halt because someone decides to fire a series of 5000 minibombs in the middle of the road. The smell of the burnt gunpowder throws you back in time when you were 9 and couldn't hold your excitement knowing that the evening before your Diwali vacation, your dad were going to bring firecrackers for you.

But now, you don't have to pass through a crowded market place, eat at a dhaba or get stuck in a traffic jam to relive your memories. Whether you're at home or in the car, the gorgeous scents that keep you happy and can be with you, by your side, always. And this has been possible thanks to the brainy people behind the Godrej Aer. Check out their entire range of fragrances and see which one throws you back in time. 

So, what's your drug, again!

Indian Festivals and Scents

There's no denying that Indian festivals are a visual delight. The grandeur, elegance and pride that every festival brings with it is inimitable. From the glittering night sky of Diwali to the colourful skies of Makar Sankranti and from zealous anticipation of Santa on Christmas to the auspicious moon sighting on Eid; these unmistakable sights and sounds have been hardwired in our brains. However, there is one more important aspect of our festivals that we often disregard, that is, the sense of smell. 

Close your eyes and try to imagine what you'd smell when you celebrate various festivals.

Makar Sankranti: It's the 3rd week of January and the Winter is in its full bloom. The morning mist accentuating the sweet fragrance of tulips as you get ready to hold battles in the sky  with your sharper-than-a-ninja-sword maanja. The chemicals in the thread, and the mild sense of glue on the kites rushes you with that extra dose of adrenaline to 'seize the day.' Contrasting sweet smells of apples and sugarcane gets you through the day as you celebrate the triumph with the best of winter vegetables whose flavoursome smell has meddled the air.

Holi: It's quite easy to overlook the sense of smell when you're surrounded with the entire array of rainbow spectrum. But try to remember what you smelt in that split second when someone poured a bucket of water over your head and you closed your eyes. You smelt colour. You didn't just feel the texture of powder and water being applied on your skin, you also sensed it with your nose. That day, while immersing yourself in the festive spirit by having the famed bhaang, you first smelt it before you even saw it.

Ramzaan: Ramzaan doesn't follow the weather pattern and seasons, however, the sense of smell is the strongest during this holy month since fasting and feasting are two sides of this holy coin. Take a walk outside a mosque after the evening prayers and you'll smell the best kababs, nalli niharis & seviyans. Chances are, you'll get a whiff of a delicacy even before you'd see it. 

Diwali: The festival of lights is a treat for the eyes. But even in all this, the aroma sits behind the optics, quietly, helping it in enjoying the festive spirit even without letting it know. The unmistakable smell of the burning ghee in diyas, the saliva-inducing aroma of mithais and the familiar smell of fireworks all tells your brain that you're taken over by the Diwali spirit.

Each year we strive harder to celebrate our festivals in the best possible way. We do it by buying new clothes, renovating our houses, buying gifts, eating delicious food and doing a host of other things. What if I told you, you can enjoy the festive spirit year round? Yes. Godrej has brought you Aer to keep you rejuvenated and spirited irrespective of the time of the year. Not only that, they also add to your festivities with those mystifying scents. 

Indian festivals are not just rich in culture and traditions; they're an attack on your sensory organs, but in a good way! They're a visual treat, a musical delight and an aromatic exuberance. Let's celebrate them with Godrej Aer!!