Lakshmi Puja marks the most important day of Diwali celebrations. It is the third day of the five day Diwali festival and is the actual Diwali Day. It is celebrated on the new moon day (amavasya) in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin.
Despite the fact that this day falls on an amavasya day, it is regarded as one of the most auspicious days in Hinduism.
The day is entirely devoted to worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Godess of Wealth and Prosperity.
According to the legends, it is said that on this day sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, this design of Libra is believed to have suggested the balancing of account books and their closing.
Diwali Legends :
There are many legends associated with this day. It is said that on this day, Lord Rama returned to his kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile and after defeating Ravana, the demon king. For celebrating the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas and hence the day is called Diwali.
It is also said that Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala on this day.
For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BCE.
Diwali Celebrations :
Lakshmi puja is a Hindu ritual performed during Diwali, the festival of lights. According to tradition, people clean and decorate their homes, draw beautiful Rangoli’s at entrance of their homes and put small oil lamps outside their homes on Diwali and hope Lakshmi will come to bless them. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking. She does not visit the places which are unclean/dirty or where the people are lazy.
In evening, people perform Lakshmi Pujan wherein they worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesh, the God of auspicious beginnings also known as the remover of obstacles.
Although everyone celebrates Diwali, the business community in particular does so with great enthusiasm and splendor.
Forgot to mention, people have lots of sweets, exchange gifts and also burst firecrackers on this day and wish Happy Diwali to every one by visiting their homes, calling them on phones, or in today’s busy world sending them Happy Diwali SMS and Greeting Cards …
In 2017, Diwali Lakshmi Puja Day will be celebrated on Thursday, 19th October 2017.
Day 1 : Dhanteras (also known as Dhanatrayodashi)
Day 2 : Choti Diwali (also known as Naraka Chaturdashi / Kali Chaudas)
Day 3 : Diwali or Lakshmi Puja
Day 4 : Padwa (also Celebrated Bali Pratipada and Govardhan Puja)
Day 5 : Bhaiduj or Bhaubeej (also known as Yama Dwitiya)