Devoted to a tradition

Devoted to a tradition

The festival of ‘Varamahalakshmi’ is celebrated with great fanfare, delicious sweets and plenty of shopping

The Hindu calendar says that Shravana is the most auspicious month of the year. Goddess Lakshmi and lord Shiva are worshipped all through this month. Varamahalakshmi is a major festival celebrated in some parts of South India and is usually held on the second Friday of Shravana.

Married women pay a lot of importance to Varamahalakshmi Vrata as they believe that they would be blessed by Goddess Lakshmi with good health, wealth and prosperity. It is also believed that the tradition of Varamahalakshmi puja began after a woman named Charumati dreamt of Goddess Lakshmi.

It is said that the goddess instructed her to perform  vrata and puja for her family’s well-being. When her wishes came true, she informed other women and soon it became a tradition.

Married women in the City are all set to celebrate the festival. The preparations include cleaning the house, purchasing gold and silver, new clothes, a variety of fruits and decorating homes with flowers and mango leaves.

Every family, that celebrates Varamahalakshmi, invites women to their homes for arishina-kumkuma in the evenings.

 The puja usually begins by placing the kalasha and chanting Lakshmi slokas.
“This puja is considered extremely important. We adorn Goddess Mahalakshmi with a new sari, gold jewellery and place cash and five varieties of fruits near the kalasha,” says Mala, a home-maker, who has been following this tradition for many years.

  “If one is not able to conduct the puja on the second Friday, one can choose to do so on any other Friday during the month of Shravana,” she says. The vrata is a vital part of every household.

“I have been following this vrata for many years now. I usually buy a silk sari for Goddess Lakshmi, prepare some festive food and invite relatives and friends for the puja every year,” explains Sujatha.

“I use the money that is kept for the puja, next to the kalasha, to purchase gold or silver the following year for the same festival,” she adds.

Although some say the younger generation is not interested in these traditions, many young married women do it.  “I generally use the photograph of Goddess Lakshmi and decorate it with colourful flowers before lighting the lamp. I focus mainly on chanting Lakshmi slokas during the puja,” says Anita, a home-maker who believes in following these customs and rituals. “I also believe in preparing and serving my guests with a variety of dishes,” he adds.

It’s not just the cleaning and decorating that most people pay attention to during the puja. It’s also about preparing a traditional home-cooked meal.
A platter of delicious food is a must during any festival and the same is followed during Varamahalakshmi.

Although holige and kajjaya are the highlight of a conventional meal, there are other delectable dishes made during the festival.

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