Lakshmi Puja is celebrated following different traditions in different states in India. While many devotees worship Maa Lakshmi during the festivities of Diwali, Bengalis worship Maa on the auspicious day of Lakshmi Puja; a few days after Durga Puja. Most households enjoy the festival on this day and celebrate the event with pomp and glory and of course lots of food. The rituals and traditions of Bengali Lokkhi Pujo are a bit different and here’s all you need to know about it.
Thakurmosai (Priest) Worships Maa Lokkhi On Kojagari Lakshmi Puja
It is quite a fun sight to see the lanes and streets of West Bengal on this day. Priests are always in a hurry during the evening as they need to visit many houses for Lakshmi Puja. Either someone is riding on a bike or a scooter or some priests are literally running around with their bicycles. Devotees make all the arrangements and wait for the priests to arrive at their houses and start worshipping Maa Lakshmi with flowers, bhog prasad, and more.
Not just in every other Bengali home, but Lakshmi Puja is also celebrated in huge pandals in many places. Beautiful pandals are built and streets are decked up with lights to celebrate the auspicious occasion. Darappur is a small town in West Bengal and thousands of people visit this place from far away every year to witness grand pandals and fairs of Lakshmi Puja.
Grand Arrangements Are Made For Celebrations
Devotees worship Maa Lakshmi and pray for money, prosperity, health, and success. Apart from a priest worshipping, there are a few rituals and traditions to follow during the festival. Different families follow different customs of placing the idol in a beautiful setup. While some worship idols made with clay, some devotees also worship brass idols. On the other hand, there is a ritual in many families to worship Maa Lakshmi Sora (paintings made on a rounded clay surface).
Most women of the families fast throughout the day and make a huge spread of dishes to offer to Maa Lakshmi as bhog prasad. The bhog prasad consists of different types of fruits and sweets, narkel er naru (coconut laddu), til er naru (sesame laddu), khoi er moa (sweet made with puffed rice), luchi-suji, khichuri-labra, and so much more. Most of the women prepare everything at home. However, there are many sellers who sell naru, moa, and more at shops and people often purchase these too.
Another significant ritual of Lakshmi Puja is to make Alpona. It is a type of painting that is drawn on the floors. It is a mandate to decorate Maa Lakshmi’s sitting area with beautiful Alpona designs. Also, devotees draw small feet near every door of the houses. It is believed that these feet represent Maa Lakshmi’s feet and she visits everyone’s house to bless them.
Children celebrate the day by bursting lots of crackers, wearing new clothes, eating yummy bhog prasad, and laughing in joy.
Do you celebrate Kojagari Lakshmi Puja at your home?
Cover Image Courtesy: Shreya Ghosh
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