Festivals and depression
Barbara Ehrenreich (“Nickel & Dimed”) writes in her new book Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy that around the same time a decline of public festivals occurs in our history, an increase in depression occurs.
How do public parties save us from depression?
“First, because such rituals serve to break down the sufferer’s sense of isolation and reconnect him or her with the human community. Second, because they encourage the experience of self-loss – that is, a release, however temporary, from the prison of the self, or at least from the anxious business of evaluating how one stands in the group or in the eyes of an ever-critical God.”