Pancha Ganapati is a modern five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21 through 25 in honor of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. The festival was created in 1985 as a Hindu alternative to December holidays like Christmas by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (born Robert Hansen), a Western convert to Hinduism. The holiday offers Hindu families, especially in the West; a meaningful way to participate in the holiday season without compromising their Hindu values. The festival is uncommon among traditional South Asian Hindus.
Any Special Traditions?
Pancha Ganapati includes outings, picnics, feasts and exchanges of cards and gifts with relatives, friends and business associates. A shrine is created in the main living room of the home and decorated in the spirit of this festive occasion. At the center is placed a large wooden or bronze statue of Lord Panchamukha (“five-faced”) Ganapati, a form of Ganesha. Any large picture or statue of Ganesha will also do. Each morning the children decorate and dress Him in the color of that day, representing one of His five rays of energy, or shaktis.
The Five Days:
December 21, yellow: The family discipline for this day is to create a vibration of love and harmony among all members. Rising early, they decorate the shrine, then perform a grand puja invoking Ganesha’s blessings. Sitting together, they make amends for past misdeeds, insults, mental pain and injuries caused and suffered. They conclude by extolling one another’s best qualities.
December 22, blue: Day two is devoted to creating or restoring a vibration of love and harmony among neighbors, relatives and close friends. This is done by presenting heartfelt gifts and offering apologies to clear up any ill-will that may exist. Relatives and friends in far-off places are written to or called, forgiveness is sought, apologies made and tensions released.
December 23, red: Today’s discipline is to establish love and harmony among business associates and the public. It is the day for presenting gifts to fellow workers and customers and to honor employers and employees with gifts and appreciation. It is a time for settling all debts and disputes.
December 24, green: The spiritual discipline of day four is to draw forth the vibration of joy and harmony that comes from music, art, drama and dance. Family, relatives and friends gather before Ganesha to share their artistic gifts, discuss Hindu Dharma and make plans to bring more cultural refinements into the home.
December 25, orange: The discipline for this day is to bring forth love and harmony that comes from charity and religiousness. As the gifts are opened, one and all experience Ganesha’s abundant, loving presence filling their home and hearts, inspiring them anew for the coming year.
Make traditional Vada as spicy donuts to enjoy as a snack or with a festive meal with this recipe here Link
Fast Fact: Did you know each day a tray of sweets, fruits, and incense is offered to Lord Ganapati, which is often prepared and presented by the children!
Celebrities who celebrate(d): George Harrison (British musician), Julia Roberts (American Actress), Ravi Shankar (Indian Musician)
When is it?
December 21-25, 2014
For more information visit here: Link
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