Hindu Alternatives to December Dilemma

December 28, 2003

Source: Hinduism Today


On December 28, 2003 Hinduism Today printed an editorial by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami that stated, "it's interesting that in 1966 the Afro-American community created Kwanzaa, a social, Black-identity, earth-based festival celebrated each year from December 26 to January 1. Our own Pancha Ganapati is a festival to the five-faced elephant God. It is five days of gift-giving and festivities within the home, especially for the children. There is no need for a tree (eco-advocates appreciate this), nor wreaths, nor a Santa. Lord Ganesha does it all in five days of merriment and mirth... Those who have taken up this home festival from December 21 through the 25 have enjoyed it year after year. It can include outings, picnics, feasts, exchange of cards and gifts with relatives, friends and business associates. Each day a tray of sweets, fruits and incense is offered to Pancha Ganapati, often prepared and presented by the children. Chants, songs and bhajanas are sung in His praise. After puja, sweets are shared as prasada. Each day gifts are given to the children, who place them before Pancha Ganapati to open only on the fifth day. Greeting cards are exchanged, always offering Hindu wisdom or verse from scripture."