December 31 is a very day and night. It brings in the end of the Gregorian calendar year but more importantly, it is the end of the Celestial Year and the beginning of a new one. At mid night (not midnight), which is midway between sunset and sunrise, Sirius reaches its highest point on the sky’s dome. This event comes once every year. The Sukhavati New Year begins with Sirius’ culmination at the mid night hour (usually around 10 o'clock, depending on your location).
Sukhavati New Years Eve celebration is an ancient tradition going back about 4,000 years. At mid night on December 31st, Celestial New Years eve, Home is at its highest point in the sky. We watch, wish upon the star, get homesick and resolve to try harder next year. We will get there if and when we learn to live full and authentic lives—we strive for that. It is a glorious and nostalgic evening.
On January 4th, earth had moved closest to its sun and that marks the true beginning of the new celestial year as Sukhavati starts to move down again, handing over its reign in our sky to our sun, only to watch from afar, only to return next New Years Eve to attend with us the Sukhavati Festival.
The festival starts around noon and continues to the final hour when our star is at its highest point in the sky (usually around 10 o'clock). We give gifts of poetry and beautiful songs. We long for the peace and beauty of the spiritual world and we soften our hearts.
The theme is: Warm, poetic, reminiscent of beauty and nostalgic.
Food: Warm and spiced wines and rums. Rum cakes and pastries, and wine-marinated dishes.
Home shrine and Temple shrine: Splendorous white light. Sukhavati Dharani.
Main focus: Sukhavati