New Clothes

Whenever I read up on celebrating Hindu holidays they almost always include the instruction that women buy new clothes to wear for the festivities.Are people really doing that? Do you buy new clothes for the holidays? I feel a little bad that I won't be wearing something new for Diwali. But I almost never buy new clothes. Less than once a year really. And I already have more than enough saris.Do people regularly donate or get rid of old saris to get new ones each year?With how … [Read more...]


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Keeping Up With Holidays

In America, where we are one of the smallest faith minorities, it can be very challenging to keep on top of when festivals and holidays are.When you live in a place where your faith is a majorly practiced one, then society helps to remind you of stuff coming up. I know when Easter is coming because the stores suddenly have plastic baskets and egg coloring kits. I know when Passover is coming because there are displays of matzo products. TV commercials have holiday focuses around Christmas or … [Read more...]


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Navratri Golu Theme Ideas

Navratri starts on the 25th of this month, so now is a great time to start working on my favorite part: The Golu Doll Display!The fun part and also the challenging part of creating your golu display is thinking up your theme. What dolls, figures, and scenes do you want to create?This is a great activity to do with children (as long as they aren't handling figurines too delicate for their age!) and you can tell stories about the dolls as you arrange them or let your children add their … [Read more...]


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Ganesh Chaturthi 2014 [Hindu Holiday]

This year Ganesha's birthday, Ganesh Chaturthi is on Friday August 29th (this coming Friday) and lasts until the final day, Ananta Chaturdasi, on September 8.This is a holiday of renewal. The belief goes that Ganesha comes to stay with us for a little while and at the end he goes back home, taking our problems with him. People get new Ganesha statues (or make them, see below!) and then at the end of the holiday they are immersed in a river to represent the God returning to his … [Read more...]


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The Holiest Month: Shravan Maas

Even though there are Hindu holidays scattered throughout the year, we're coming up on the most and biggest festivals there are.The Hindu holiday season starts in mid summer and goes through Diwali in November. Within that period is the month of Shravan (in Tamil called Aadi), which is considered by some to be the holiest time of the year because of its density of important festivals.It is also said that the churning of the oceans took place during this month. Each day in the month is … [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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Vasant Panchami: Happy Birthday, Saraswati! [Hindu Holiday]

Vasant Panchami, sometimes also called Basant Panchami, is a festival that welcomes the spring and it is also Saraswati's birthday, so it is a time to celebrate learning and study plus an auspicious time to begin any academic pursuit. This year it falls on February 4th. The name means the fifth day of Spring.Long ago this festival was more focused on Kamadeva, the Hindu cupid. It still has a sense of love and is kind of like a Valentine's day. Ways to Celebrate *Place books near your … [Read more...]


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Hindus and Christmas

There are many, many Hindus who don't feel defensive about the holidays of other religions and happily join in celebrations for any festival. It is often said that Indians love to celebrate and will participate in any holiday that's available!It strikes me that you must be really secure and confident in your religion to be able to embrace and enjoy the holidays of other religions. I strive to be that way.For me it's hit or miss. Each year around Christmas is different for me. Some … [Read more...]


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Happy Diwali! Shubh Deepavali! [Hindu Holiday]

Diwali is one of the biggest holidays of the Hindu calender. It's the last big festival before the quiet month of December. Particularly in the west, Diwali is an opportunity for outreach and many Hindu groups in America hold melas (celebrations) designed to bring in non-Hindus to learn more about Hinduism.For many it is the mark of the Hindu new year (some regions have their own individual new years). It is often called the Festival of Lights and one of its most recognizable features is … [Read more...]


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