Get Ready for Navratri!

Another one of my favorite holidays, it's almost Navratri time. The festival starts October 13th and goes for nine days until October 21st. One of the traditions that I love most is the Southern tradition of collecting and displaying of golu (of kolu) dolls. It's like a Hindu version of doing a Christmas village, which is such a fun way to dress up your house for the special occasion.Traditionally what you do is get a series of steps in an odd number (3, 5, 7, 9, or 11) and put your murti … [Read more...]


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Diwali Time!

For many Hindus, this is the biggest celebration of the year! It is known to some as the "festival of lights" and to others as the "Hindu new year" (actually, when the new year is depends a lot on your sect and the region of India you're from, etc.)In America Diwali is probably the biggest celebration among the Hindu diaspora and it gets the honor of being the "Christmas equivalent." In America Christmas is huge (whether folks are religious or not) and each minority religion gets a holiday … [Read more...]


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Krishna Janmashtami / Gokulasthami 2014

Krishna's birthday this year falls on the day before my wedding anniversary! (August 17th) Seems pretty auspicious to me.We won't be able to do the event that we usually go to, though. Most years we go to the ISKCON temple for their huge celebration. But this year we're going to be at a family reunion in Canada. I'll have to bring a Krishna icon with me and see what I can do to honor Him while I'm there.This is the first Krishna Janmashtami since I started an Etsy store last year. I have … [Read more...]


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Nag Panchami [Hindu Holiday]

Snakes are part of the fabric of Hinduism, since Hinduism began its existence in a place where one of the biggest threats to human life was snakes. You may have heard of Naga, which are a powerful mythological race of snakes. On Nag Panchami, snakes of all varieties are honored and given offerings to buy protection from the snake's mystical and physical powers.This year it falls on August 1st, a Friday. (In Gujarat the festival takes place 15 days later). Snakes in Mythology Snakes and … [Read more...]


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Ratha Yatra

You guys, I had an awesome Sunday.Yesterday was Ganga Dussehra, but in my south Indian circle we had another celebration on Sunday. We had a special Ratha Yatra of Shiridi Sai Baba.I only found out about it the night before, so I'm glad I didn't have any Sunday morning plans because I always love getting to participate in ceremonies with my friends at the Sathya Sai Baba bhajan group.We got an early start at 8:00 am at the house of one of the families in the group. They have a lovely … [Read more...]


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Ram Navami [Hindu Holiday]

Earlier this week (April 8th) was Ram Navami, a celebration of Lord Rama. In the North people celebrate it as Rama's birthday and in the South as his wedding anniversary. Who is Rama? Rama is one of the avatars of Vishnu, just as Krishna was. His story is told in the epic The Ramayana.  To summerize the story quickly: Rama was the eldest of three sons born to the king of Ayodhya. The kings three wives all had sons, but Rama was the perfect choice for heir. He was the eldest and he was also … [Read more...]


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Holi Hai! [Hindu Holiday]

One of the very funnest of the Hindu holidays is coming up next week. This year is seems to coincide with St. Patrick's Day here in the States. The web tells me that Holi starts March 17th. For all the info, check out last year's post about Holi, its origins, how to celebrate, and interesting tips: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu/2013/03/holi/ Masala Mommas told me about a new app this year that helps kids learn about Holi. It sounds like you get to play holi virtually! More info here: … [Read more...]


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My Maha Shivatratri: First Fast and Vigil

I did observe Maha Shivratri last year, but I did it alone and there's no way I can stay up all night when I'm by myself! This year I was able to have a more complete experience by participating in the event with my brothers and sisters at the Sathya Sai Baba bhajan singing group.That was Friday evening, but first was Friday during the day. Perhaps I should have taken the day as a holiday from work, but I was sick recently and missed a couple of days so I wanted to be at the office. At … [Read more...]


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Maha Shivratri: Shiva’s Big Night [Hindu Holiday]

This year Maha Shivratri is on the last day of February, Friday February 28th. (Take a look at the words themselves and the meaning will become easily clear. "Maha" means "great" and you may have heard it before in places like Gandhi's title Mahatma, meaning "Great Soul [Atman]. "Shiva" is clear. Attached to "Shiva" is "Ratri" which is the Hindi word for "night.")This is a day to seek Shiva's blessings and you know this year I will be joining the many other women who ask Shiva to bless them … [Read more...]


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