Kojagari Lakshmi Puja
The festival season has started in India and the entire month will be celebrated with different kinds of rituals and pujas in different parts of the country. Each and every festival has its own uniqueness and a special identity. Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is also among them.
Especially the eastern part of India ( West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam) celebrates this puja on the full moon day of Ashvin ( a month of the Hindu calendar). On this full moon day, devotees worship the Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, good health and fortune.
Devotees make everything ready during the day time and in the afternoon they do alpona ( a traditional art/ painting) on the floors of their houses and the puja places. In the evening, they light up diyas ( traditional lamps) and place them in different places at their homes. The main ritual starts in the evening, under the moonlight.
After the entire day of fasting, devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi in the evening. During this puja, they read Pachali ( small stories on Goddess Lakshmi and her power) and offer Bhog to the Goddess. After the ritual, they break their fast by taking parched rice and milk.
Once the ritual is over, they distribute the bhog among the family members, neighbors and the invites.
According to the puranas, on this particular night, Goddess Lakshmi takes rounds of the earth and watches the actions of humans. Due to this belief, some devotees keep themselves awake and let the diyas burn the entire night to invite the Goddess inside their home and give them wealth.
In some parts of eastern Indian villages, one can notice those white arts on the earthen wall and floor during this festival. In the cities, people are still maintaining rituals with great joy and devotion.
Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is a beautiful traditional festival and definitely gives you an idea about eastern Indian culture.
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