Laxmi Worship

Today is an important day for worshipping Laxmi. She is especially worshipped on Fridays during the month of August/September, Shravan.  This is an important Friday because it is the Friday before a full moon.

Why:  Laxmi is the goddess of prosperity and “all good things” as my mother-in-law says.  People pray to her for health, wealth, happiness, children, and other things.  Laxmi is associated with Vishnu, Rama, and Krishna.

Who: Women, especially married women.

How:  For this I’m relying on what my mother-in-law told me and what information I’ve found online.  Traditions vary by region, caste, and family.  Like the nag festival, sweets, sarees, and bathing are important.  (So far it seems like every festival is accompanied by these things).  Bathing is done before praying.  A new saree is placed on the altar.   The altar is decorated with fresh flowers.

Some websites say that fasting is important and that there are other dietary restrictions: no onions, no garlic (sounds like Jains rather than for Hindus), vegetarian diet (this seems to be followed everyday), and no bitter foods. 

This is also an important time for visiting relatives.  Married women return to their mother’s place. 

Click here to go to Padma’s Kitchen blog.  She has a great description of what she does and great photos of her altar. 

My mother-in-law also makes designs on the sidewalk for festivals.  Click here for more information about this beautiful tradition and for pictures of examples.

How do you worship Laxmi?  What is your favorite part of the festival?

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