Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas : A Festival of Light

Every Wednesday the Mother held classes for a group of children. Since it was Christmas time Mother was telling us about the origins of this Festival of Light and why we celebrated it here, in the Ashram.
Long, long ago, She said, some wise men noticed that the days were getting shorter and the nights longer at that time of the year. They felt that the increasing darkness might soon engulf the world and life would suffer. So they sat together in meditation and prayed and prayed. They then noticed that the days were slowly becoming longer and the stark nights shorter. Since then the Return of Light was celebrated in Ancient Egypt.
"That is why the 25th of December was a festival of Light long before Jesus Christ. This festival was in vogue long before Christianity and originated in Egypt and probably the birth of Christ was fixed on the same day as that of the return of Light."
- The Mother

(Udar, one of Mother’s children, Page 76)

                                                  Dear Friends,
Wish you all a Merry Christmas!
On 25 December 1929 the Mother had distributed little bunches of the leaves She called ‘New Birth’ to the members of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. This was the earliest reference of Christmas being celebrated in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. In 1944, on the occasion of Christmas, the Mother had asked Mona Pinto (In-charge of ‘Golconde’) to organize a little celebration for the children who had joined the Ashram with their parents due to the outbreak of the Second World War. This celebration was organized at the residence of Mona Pinto which was situated in front of the present Ashram Library. A couple of years later it was decided to organize Christmas celebrations in the Playground. For about ten years, Christmas was celebrated at the Ashram Playground and the Mother sat near the Christmas tree and distributed gifts to Her children. From 1958 Christmas was celebrated in the Ashram Theatre where the Mother distributed the Christmas gifts till 1961. Though She stopped visiting the Theatre to distribute gifts, She continued to give special messages during Christmas till 1972.
On the occasion of Christmas, almost all the available photographs of the Mother taken during Christmas in various years have been published in the website of Overman Foundation. These photographs were taken by Venkatesh, Chiman-bhai, Amiyo Ranjan Ganguli and Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.
To view the photographs, kindly click on the following link:

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Overman Foundation

1 comment:

pianomonika said...

The ancient Egyptians held Festivals of lights in which the entire town or city would light oil lamps, that would burn throughout the night.
The historian Herodotus (5th century BCE ) wrote about such a Festival of lights of Sais, the city of Neith.
Excerpt: Herodotus Histories -Book II Chapter 62
He said:''At the times when they gather together at the city of Sais for their
sacrifices on a certain night they all kindle lamps many in number in the open air
round about houses.''
The festival was given the name Lychnocaia ( Lamp Lighting)
Sais : Ancient Egyptian town in the Western Nile Delta on the Canopic branch of the Nile.