Laxmi puja or the festival of lights or the worshipping of the goddess of wealth on the third day of the five days long festival in Nepal. The morning of this day is Gai tihar or worshipping of the cow and in the evening, worshippers invite goddess of wealth with different rituals. Laxmi puja is considered as the darkest day of the whole year.
On this day, once it’s dusk, many young girls dress up and go to the houses of people who are celebrating and perform dances, sing a special song and sing the songs blessing the house. In return, the homeowners offer money and food prepared at home to these girls. It is believed that, if the girls bless the house then, the house will receive wealth and prosperity thought-out the year.
In the evening, goddess Laxmi is worshipped, lighting numerous lights, candles or sesame oil lamps and some also use fireworks. The worshipping rituals are usually done by the oldest in the family. Everything that helps earn wealth and the safe/locker at home is worshipped.
When is Laxmi Puja celebrated?
The third day of tihar is laxmi puja or the worshipping of the goddess of wealth. It is celebrated on the Aunsi. It usually falls in the month of Kartik according to the Gregorian calendar or October end or early November.
Why is Laxmi celebrated?
Goddess Laxmi is worshipped on the third day evening of the Yama Panchak. This is considered as the darkest night of the year. People worship Goddess Laxmi so that they would be blessed with wealth and prosperity in their homes and workplace.
Business owners visit their workplace and perform rituals and ask for the blessings of wealth and prosperity. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped with a lot of enthusiasm.
How is Laxmi Puja celebrated?
On this day, in the afternoon, worshippers clean their house, paint infront of the front door with red mud (rato Mato), and cow dung (gobar). Then, a line from the main door of the home to the prayer house is made with the same red mud. This is considered as a path for goddess Laxmi to enter the house. Small footsteps are made from the main gate to the prayer room. The small footsteps are considered as the footsteps of goddess Laxmi. Then, the worshipping rituals are performed in the prayer room and the goddess is offered many sweets, garland made with merigold flower, red colored tika, and a piece of cloth.
What are the five days of Tihar?
- Kaag Tihar (Worshipping of Crow)
- Kukur Tihar (Worshpping of a dog)
- Gai Tihar (Worshipping of a Cow), Laxmi Tihar or Deepwali (Worshipping of Goddess Laxmi)
- Govardhan Puja (Worshipping of miniature hill using cow dung and mud), Mah Puja (purify and empower the soul as part of New Year celebrations)
- Bhai Tika (Worshipping of a brother)
The story behind Tihar
Tihar is celebrated in Nepal after a couple of weeks of Dashain. It is also famous and celebrated throughout Nepal with excitement and enthusiasm. It is a five days celebration and each day has its special significance. A famous story about a brother, Yama and sister, Yamuna is one of the reasons behind the celebration. This celebration is the fifth day of Tihar, because Yamuna wanted to spend time with her brother.
She sent a crow, a dog and then a cow to invite him to visit her. Then she again went herself, to invite him over. Yamuna made a circle with mustard oil, Cynodon Dactylon plant and mentioned that until the oil and the plant dried up, Yama was not to leave his sister. Then, she worshipped her brother with flowers, 5 different colored tika, garland made with marigold and also fasted all day for his long life.
If you want to learn more about other festivities here are some popular ones:
- Deepwali: Festival of Lights
- Gai Jatra: The Procession of the Cow
- Significance of Janai Purnima or Rakshya Bandhan
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