Promoting Sustainable Development in Festivals through Ritual Revisions

Kapoor, Vikram. 2024. Promoting Sustainable Development in Festivals through Ritual Revisions. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ISSN 0966-9582 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

This study takes a process-oriented approach to answer the research question: how may long-standing religious festivals promote sustainable development by modifying various ritual elements? The contribution of one-time events to overarching long-term sustainability goals may be hindered predominantly by their transitory nature. Based on a case study, this research examines a 400-year-old annual Hindu festival, Durga Puja, as a potential contributor to sustainable development. The data comprises online news articles on the Durga Puja published between 2002 and 2022 in the Indian daily, The Times of India. Based on a thematic data analysis, the research findings highlight three processual themes related to altering various ritual elements: artefacts, scripts, performance roles and audience. These themes include subverting the patriarchal, adopting a proactive approach to invitation and facilitation, and incorporating visual storytelling. The study’s findings have theoretical implications regarding the broader discussions on sustainability, such as sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the potential of festivals to contribute to them through ritual modifications. As such, festival organisers, policymakers and practitioners may find the study helpful in promoting sustainable development through ritual changes in festivals.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Festivals; sustainable development; sustainability; social inclusion; rituals; Durga Puja; India

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


1 February 2024Accepted
13 February 2024Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Feb 2024 11:59

Last Modified:

26 Apr 2024 13:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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