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Observing the Holidays as a Hindu - Christian Interfaith Couple

Developing Holiday Traditions in a Hindu - Christian Interfaith Marriage

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The "December Dilemma" doesn't have to be a time of conflict in a Hindu - Christian interfaith marriage. Here are some suggestions for interfaith couples dealing with the issue of holiday celebrations.

  • The Christmas Tree Issue: Many Christians don't understand why their Hindu spouses are against having a Christmas tree. Hindu spouses may be troubled when their Christian mate steadfastly refuses to give up the Christmas tree.

  • Pancha Ganapati Festival: For many Hindus, the Pancha Ganapati festival from December 21st through December 25th should be enough celebration for both spouses. The festival involves five days of gift-giving, exchanging of cards, feasts, and sweet treats. The festival has a lot of common ground in universal significance with the Christmas holiday.

  • Greeting Cards: The greeting cards exchanged at the Pancha Ganapati festival always offer Hindu wisdom or verses from scripture. This is a tradition that some couples alternate from year to year.

  • Winter Tree Concept: Make a "winter tree" with both Hindu and Christian symbols along with snowflakes and icicles for decorations.

  • Common Ground: Both Christians and Hindus spend time reflecting on new beginnings and forgiveness during the month of December. Some interfaith couples create a ritual that honors both the lights on the Christmas tree and the colorful dressing/decorating of a five-faced statue of Lord Pancha Ganapati.

  • Gift-Giving: Some families alternate gift-giving between Christmas and Pancha Ganapati each year.

  • Different Ways to Spend Time: Spend time on the major holidays in different ways like going to the movies, going on a hike, serving at a soup kitchen, etc.

  • Importance of Other Holidays: Give as much attention to how you will celebrate Easter and other Christian holidays and other Hindu holidays such as Shiva Vrat, Devi Ashtami, Vishnu Puja, Diwali, and Sraddhas.

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