Introduction To begin with, as Jepson and

Introduction

To begin with, as
Jepson and Clarke pointed out, ‘Festivals
and events are the lifeblood of society, they are inseparable and crucial to
enhance and maintain community well-being or quality of life’ (Jepson and Clarke, n.d.). Festivals are the stage that
inherits the national culture, places the emotions and reflects the national
identity (Levickait?, 2011). With the rich
cultural diversity and periodicity, nationality and mass character, festivals
are deeply integrated into the daily life and spiritual world of the people in
the historical development of human (Levickait?, 2011).
With the rapid development of festivals and events in cities throughout the
country, numerous tourists are attracted to these festivals and events, which
promoted local economic growth. Festivals and events held also caused the
concern of all sectors of society, so it is necessary to carefully design in
line with the local characteristics of local tourism festivals planning. As
festivals can bring tremendous cultural benefits and profound impact, all
countries and destinations in the world are deeply interested in and highly
valued by them. As Prentice and Andersen pointed out, the festival’s strong
appeal can be achieved in a short period of time. As a result, the festivals
have a wide range of effects and influences on the social, economic, cultural,
and environmental aspects of host cities. Holding important festivals is one of
the important ways to reverse unfavorable fame and eliminate negative images (Prentice and
Andersen, 2003). Successful festivals can make a huge economic, social
and cultural value. This article has chosen three different aspects, those are
the platform for cultural exchange, rejuvenation or preservation of values in
society, and enhance and maintain community well-being or quality of life, to
explore how festivals can gain its value through these aspects.

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How
Festival creates values

1)     
Platform
for cultural exchange

According to Pearce, cultural exchange
often occurs between two or more distinct origins (Pearce,
1995). As a platform for cultural exchange, the festival has made a
significant role in culture promotion and international relationship building.
In recent years, with the trend of globalization, the internationalization of
cultural exchanges has increased. Festivals and cultures have begun to go
abroad and integrate with the cultural customs of different cities or
countries. Festival activities comprehensively display the local history and
culture, it is a kind of tool for local residents to relax and enjoy. For
tourists, it is an irreplaceable way to experience different cultures through
festivals (Mahadevan, 2016). Tourists will be
able to promote the experience and culture to distinct regions, so festivals
and tourism become important carriers of cultural exchanges. Furthermore, with
the influence of internationalism, local people also enjoy celebrating
festivals those are from an entirely different culture. For example, nowadays
it’s a trend that Asian countries celebrate Christmas. And western countries also
held activities during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). This is because of
the impact of a dramatically increasing globalization and technology. People
are able to complete information transmission via media around the world. Local
people can learn and experience a different culture in the domestic region.
Therefore, media and technology are an important tool in promoting festivals
and exchanging culture. However, due to some specific reasons, festivals
sometimes can lead to a negative influence on cultural exchange. For instance,
when festival organizers or local governments do not organize or regulate the
festival activities well, the festival events may fail. This will cause the
other countries to have a negative impression of the culture and country where
the festival is held, which lead to a negative effect on cultural exchange.
Therefore, for the purpose of building a favorable cultural image, a
well-organized festival must be paid with high attention.

 

2)     
Rejuvenation/preservation
of values in society

To be simplified, social value is to meet
the needs of society or others, through the practical activities to create
contribution and responsibility (Deery and Jago, 2010).
The social value of festivals is an important aspect of building a relationship
with society and others. Firstly?
festival as a spiritual heritage, it is a continuation of history (Ayazlar and
Ayazlar, 2015). Since ancient times, people were celebrating the same
festivals, and the rituals and values contained in these festivals are
inherited. Every festival has its origin, some come from a hero in history, and
some represent a crucial day in the history of this country. Different people
come together because of the festival, not only for enjoying and relaxing but
also because of their own culture and national pride. So, festivals create and
improve the social cohesion of a country or a culture. Moreover, the festival
is a cultural symbol (Ayazlar and Ayazlar, 2015).
The story behind every festival can be either beautiful or sad. But behind
these stories festivals reflect the values and ethics of a country and a
society. In the process of the festivals being inherited and celebrated, it
taught generations after generation how to be thankful and polite. Therefore,
in society, festivals are also an important tool of education of values and
ethics. To be noticed that in the development of the festival, the original
intention of some festivals is gradually forgotten by people. People just remember
to enjoy and relax but forget the original intention of a festival is to
celebrate the year’s efforts and harvest and should continue to work hard in
the next year. Imagine in the future, how these festivals will become? Thus, in
the festival’s heritage, the original purpose and value of festivals must not
be forgotten.

 

3)      enhance/maintain
community well-being or quality of life

To start out, quality of life of a country
can be measured by various levels, such as GDP and the Engel’s Coefficient. As
an important part of people’s life, festivals can also reflect people’s quality
of life (Kruger and Petzer, 2008). In the past,
when the quality of life of the people was low, people could enjoy some of the
expensive delicacies and drinks only on the day of certain festivals. For
example, in ancient times, Chinese people could eat dumplings only during the
Spring Festival. But now, with the improvement of the quality of life, people
can eat these delicacies almost at any time. In addition, excepting reflect the
quality of life, the holding of festivals or events can also improve people’s
quality of life  (Kruger and Petzer,
2008). Festivals allow people to relax after busy. In different
festivals and events, people can build better social relationships, enrich the
personal spiritual world, and have the material enjoyment. Sometimes?during
the festivals and events, people reached a higher stage of Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs. Some people find a sense of belonging, and some even achieve
self-esteem and self-fulfillment. For example, some charitable donation events
can make people feel self-actualization. Therefore, these aspects of festivals
can effectively help the society to improve community well-being. Additionally,
the organizer of the festival should also pay attention to how to better
enhance people’s quality of life while organizing a festival or event, which
can bring a bigger contribution to the society.

 

Conclusion

To conclude,
firstly, with the development of globalization, international cultural
exchanges have become more frequent. As an important carrier of cultural
exchange, festivals bear the important responsibility of safeguarding cultural
images and propagating cultural features. More is that festival tourism has
also become an important passage in cultural exchange. Therefore, festival
organizers also need to pay attention to better protecting and promoting local
culture than only paying attention to festival’s contents. Secondly, festivals
have an essential role in rejuvenation and preservation of social value. As
spiritual heritage and cultural symbols, festivals bear the responsibility of
promoting social cohesion and social value education. So the original intention
of the festival cannot be forgotten. Thirdly, while reflecting the quality of
people’s lives, the festival also improves people’s living quality in terms of
spirit, materiality, and culture at the same time. To be summarized, the
festival has a huge cultural, social and life value, thus it is worth calling
it ‘lifeblood of the society’. In the future, how to organize a festival so it
can contribute the most value to the society can be considered one of the major
problems.