Varalakshmi Vratam is an auspicious festival celebrated in South India to honour the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi. It falls on the second Friday in the Hindu month of Shravana (July-August). This festival is celebrated by women who observe a day-long fast to seek the blessings of the goddess for the well-being of their families.
This year, Varalakshmi was celebrated on 25 August 2023.
Significance of Varalakshmi Vratam
Varalakshmi Vratam holds great significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day brings good fortune and prosperity to the family. The festival is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, who is the consort of Lord Vishnu and the embodiment of wealth, prosperity, and fortune.
According to legend, a poor woman named Charumati had a dream in which Goddess Lakshmi appeared and instructed her to observe a fast on the day of Varalakshmi Vratam to fulfil her desires. Charumati followed the goddess’s instructions and observed the fast, which resulted in the fulfilment of her wishes. Since then, the festival has been celebrated with great fervour in honour of Goddess Lakshmi.
|Friday, 25 August 2023
|Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra
Rituals and Traditions
The preparations for Varalakshmi Vratam begin a few days before the actual day of the festival. Women clean their houses and decorate them with colourful rangolis and flowers. They also prepare a special meal that includes a variety of dishes.
On the day of the festival, women wake up early in the morning and take a bath. They wear new clothes and adorn themselves with jewellery. They then prepare the altar where they place a kalash (a pot made of metal or earthenware) filled with rice, betel leaves, and coins. They also place an idol or a picture of Goddess Lakshmi on the kalash.
Women then offer prayers to the goddess and perform aarti (a ritual of waving a lamp in front of the deity). They then tie a sacred thread called the raksha sutra around their wrist, which is believed to protect them from evil forces.
The fast is broken only in the evening after the completion of the puja. Women first offer the prasad (food offerings made to the goddess) to the deity and then distribute it among family and friends. They also seek the blessings of the elderly women in the family and touch their feet as a mark of respect.
Varalakshmi Vratam is a festival that celebrates the spirit of womanhood and the importance of family values. It is an occasion for women to come together and strengthen their bonds. The festival also teaches us the importance of self-discipline and devotion towards the divine.
In conclusion, the celebration of Varalakshmi Vratam is an integral part of South Indian culture and tradition. It is a time for women to seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and pray for the well-being of their families. The festival brings together family and friends and reinforces the importance of togetherness and community.