Aadi Special

Varalakshmi Vratam

The Tamil month of Aadi witnesses a plethora of festivals, the most important being Varalakshmi Vratam.
Goddess Lakshmi being the bestower of wealth and prosperity, propitiating her will bring health, wealth and prosperity.

This vratam is celebrated in some parts of Kerala and Maharashtra and throughout Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is usually observed on the third Friday in the month of Aadi.

Women become busy from the previous day itself. Decorating the house with kolam is an integral part of any spiritual event. There myriad variety of kolam and red mud paste is bordered to enhance its appearance. Mango leaves, a symbol of prosperity, are festooned at the threshold.

A silver face of Lakshmi is kept in the pooja on a silver pot with water.Coconut and mango leaves are placed on the mouth of the pot. All this is kept on a plantain leaf with rice spread on it.Two plantain saplings, which denote fertility, are tied to a wooden mantap where the goddess is housed.This resembles a temple.

Women attired in their traditional sarees – madisar - perform pooja to the goddess. In some houses, the priest is invited to do the pooja. After chanting hymns from sacred verses, women tie a yellow thread around their wrist.
After the rituals neiveidyam is offered to the goddess. The delectable array of offerings includes idly, vadai, sweet pongal, payasam, sundal, appam, etc. In the evenings, women gather at their relatives’ and friends’ houses to render songs in praise of the goddess. Thambulam is offered to them.

Devotional songs which reverberate in the atmosphere mingle well with fragrance of scented flowers and inscense sticks.

Pooja room is illuminated with oil and ghee lamps which radiate spirituality. The temples are geared up for the occasion. The celestial assembly await to bless the devout. It is a time for spiritual get-together which is a regal sight.

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