Celebrating Pancha Ganapati

A mother, Niki Whiting, in Washington is observing Pancha Ganapati with her children for the first time this year. She writes: "Pancha Ganapati is a modern holiday invented by the people at the Hindu Academy in Hawaii. The idea is to give Hindus in North America something to focus on while the over culture is celebrating Christmas. It reminds me of Hanukkah: a legitimate but minor holiday that took on increased focus as mainstream American Christianity increased its observance of Christmas. I love holidays and completely support people creating alternatives to give certain seasons meaning and/or to diffuse the over culture's influence, particularly for those people raising kids.

My family has observed both the solstice and Christmas for several years. Last year I discovered Pancha Ganapati. This will be our first year observing it. Ganesh is my family's ‘patron saint,' so I think this holiday will fit right in. It consists of honoring Ganesh through daily pujas for five days, beginning on December 21 and ending on December 25. Families are encouraged to move their murtis of Ganesh to the main living area, decorating Him with a different color for each day, observing a daily puja, and discussing each of the five Hindu values."

To read her entire blog with day-to-day instructions, go here:

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    (WARNING: Contains words and topics that might offend a sattvic/dharmic aspirant)

    Swami, well-known blogger Dan Savage places this festival on par with the other major holidays of the season. That is progress!

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