Hinduism worships a single deity but recognizes other gods as well. They believe there are many paths to reach god.
Do Hindus celebrate the Christmas Holiday?
No, Hindus don’t celebrate Christmas. Christmas is a Christian holiday that is not celebrated in Hinduism. Hindus celebrate Diwali the Annual Festival of Lights. Diwali falls in November and can be tied into the Christmas celebration for some Hindus.
Other Hindus also celebrate Pancha Ganapati in December as a way to celebrate Christmas without compromising their Hindu values.
Below we will look at Hinduism, and how they choose to celebrate Christmas.
Hinduism | Christmas
Hinduism dates back more than 4,000 years and is the oldest religion in the world.
There are over 900 million Hindus in the world making it the third largest religion after Christianity and The Nation of Islam.
Over 95 percent of the Hindu followers live in India.
Hinduism is not a singular religion. It is made of many different traditions and philosophies. For this reason, it is often referred to as a way of life rather than a single religion.
Hinduism does worship a single deity which is known as Brahma.
They do also recognize many other gods and goddesses. Hindus believe that there are multiple paths to reach their god.
Hindus also believe in the doctrines of samsara, the continuing cycle of life, death, and reincarnation.
They believe in karma which states the actions in this current and previous existence will decide their fate in future existences.
Hindus believe all living creatures have a soul and that is part of the supreme soul. For your soul to be set free from the cycle of reincarnation you must achieve moksha.
The Celebration of Diwali
The celebration of Diwali is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Hinduism. It lasts five days and is celebrated sometime between mid-October and mid-November.
It is associated with the Hindu goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, and the god of wisdom Ganesh.
Hindus prepare for Diwali by cleaning, decorating, and renovating their homes and workplaces. During the celebration, they wear their best clothing.
They decorate their homes with diyas lamps made from clay and rangoli, bright colorful artworks made from sand, colored rocks, dry rice flowers, and other materials.
The five days of celebration in Dialwi are:
- Dhanteras: The Gift-Giving Day
- Chhoti Diwali: The shopping day for purchasing foods and sweets
- Lakshmi Pujan: The height of the festival when fireworks are shot off
- Annakut: The celebration of the bond between husband and wife
- Bhai Duj: The celebration of the brother and sister bond
The Hindu Celebration of Christmas
Hindus do not recognize Christmas as a religious holiday but many may choose to celebrate it.
Hindus that are living in America celebrated Christmas as a way to assimilate into and embrace the American culture.
Many Hindus continue to join many Christmas activities including parties and gift-giving.
In India, Christmas is a national holiday. It is celebrated by the millions of Christians that are living there.
Some Hindus will celebrate Pancha Ganapati in December. This five-day holiday celebrates Lord Ganesha, the best-known deity in the Hindu religion.
The celebration begins on December 21st and lasts until December 25th.
It was introduced by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in 1985 for Hindus to celebrate Christmas without compromising their Hindu values.
Pancha Ganpati has many traditions similar to Christmas. Families will display statues of Ganesha and decorate their homes with lights, tinsel, and ornaments.
Children will dress in different colors of clothing throughout the five days.
The colors yellow, red, blue, green, and orange represent a different spiritual discipline during each day of the celebration.
There is no official celebration of Christmas in the Hindu religion. Some Hindus living in America chose to celebrate Christmas as a way to assimilate into the American culture.
Some Hindus also celebrate Pancha Ganapati in December as a way to participate in the Christmas season without compromising their Hindu beliefs.
Christmas is a national holiday in India and is celebrated by the millions of Christians that live in that country.