Tonight, offer prayers to the panchayatan, the five dieties who will bring prosperity into the new year. Ganesha for auspicious results and Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and happiness were the dieties discussed on Monday's post. The other three dieties are Sarasvati, the goddess of learning and the fine arts (one of my top favorites), Durga or Kali for protection, and Sri Kubera the treasurer of the gods. Who knew that the gods needed an accountant? In any case, after honoring the gods and eating a feast for the evening, gambling and card playing ensue because Lakshmi smiles on those who gamble today.
Thursday is known as Govardhan. Husbands give gifts to wives and wives pray for their husbands' health and prosperity. The celebration continues with parades, street fairs and parties.
Friday is called Bhaiduj. Brothers and sisters meet and exchange gifts. Friends and families gather for feasts. Talent contests and art displays often occur.
Since the New Year isn't celebrated in Western culture for a few months yet, take this golden opportunity to make and practice your new year's resolutions and see if they will be good ones to make permanent when the calendar flips from 2011 to 2012. I offer pictures of Sarasvati, Kali and Sri Kubera for your viewing. Celebrate wisely.