The festival of Pancha Ganapati was created in 1985 by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (born Robert Hansen), an American-born convert to Hinduism. The celebration was conceived as a Hindu alternative to December holidays (Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah etc.).
Pancha Ganapati is a family holiday. During each of five days of the festival, all family members focus on sadhana, a special spiritual practice. Pancha Ganapati symbolizes mending of all past mistakes and new beginnings. It is customary to create a shrine with a large statue or picture of Lord Ganesha in the main room and decorate it with leaves, flowers, and hanging ornaments.
Each day of the festival is associated with a different color and meaning behind it:
- December 21: golden yellow, love and harmony among family members.
- December 22: royal blue, love and harmony among neighbors.
- December 23: ruby red, love and harmony among business associates.
- December 24: emerald green, joy and harmony that come from the arts (music, dance, drama, art).
- December 25: brilliant orange, love and harmony within all three worlds (trailokya).
- Cultural Observances
- Pancha Ganapati in India, holidays in India, Ganesha, Hindu festival, cultural observance