Everyone knows about Diwali or Deepavali—a festival that is celebrated by Hindus in India. It is one of India’s biggest festivals. Diwali means –rows of lighted earthen lamps. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartika, which falls sometime during October or November. On this day, people celebrated Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, by lighting lamps filled with ghee. That night, inspite of it being the dark New moon night, was completely illuminated because of the thousands of lamps that were lit, to welcome the Lord.
This removal of darkness with light is symbolic of eliminating the darkness of ignorance and spreading the light of knowledge all around. While Diwali, on one hand, is a festival that enlightens us, at the same time, it is a festival that brings us joy and wealth, which is why people pray to Goddess Laxmi too, on this day. This is why; Diwali is also called the Festival of Lights.
Diwali 2017 Important Dates, Puja Vidhi and Shubh Muhurat
Lakshmi Puja Muhurta – 19:11 to 20:16
Pradosh Kaal- 17:43 to 20:16
Vrishabha Kaal – 19:11 to 21:06
Amavasya Tithi Begins- 00:13 (19th October)
Amavasya Tithi Ends- 00:41 (20th October)
2. Lakshmi Puja Vrat and Rituals
On the auspicious day of Diwali, people in most households get up early in the morning to worship family gods. People also perform Shradh for their ancestors. Devotees of Goddess Lakshmi observe a day-long fast on the day of Lakshmi Puja and break the fast only after the Lakshmi Pujan in the evening.
On the day of the Puja, people wake up early in the morning to pay their respects to their ancestors. Since this is a new moon day or the day of ‘Amavasya’, people also offer ‘Sharadh’ to their deceased loved ones. Most people fast for the entire day till they perform the Puja. This is one of the oldest traditions and while some people still follow, others just perform the Puja.
Lakshmi Puja should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset and approximately lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes.
Decorate your house using marigold flowers, mango leaves and banana leaves on the day of Lakshmi Puja. Also, keep Mangalik Kalash with a coconut on top of it at both sides of the main door of your home. For the Puja, the idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are supposed to be kept on a raised platform. But before placing the idols, the platform has to be covered with a red cloth. Adorn the idols with silk cloth and jewelry. Then keep a white cloth on the on another raised platform on the left-hand side and prepare nine slots of Akshata or unbroken rice before installing Navgraha gods.Now, prepare sixteen slots of wheat on the red cloth before staring with the rest of the Lakshmi Puja Vidhi.