Lakshmi Holidays and Festivals
Diwali: Lakshmi comes alive during the holiday of Diwali, the festival of lights. It is said that she roams the earth during the five days of this celebration and that if she comes to your house, she will destroy poverty and bring great abundance. On Diwali Eve, also known as Dhanteras, people clean their homes, offer rituals to release evil and bad fortune (known as Alakshmi), and leave sparkling Deepa light in the windows and pathways to their home so that Lakshmi can find her way. They also buy items made of gold. During this colorful festival, prayers are offered to Lakshmi and Ganesh, and Lakshmi and Kubera, bless account books. Deepa lamps stay lit. People attend temple pujas, dress up, visit friends, and use sparklers and firecrackers. They make sweets for the goddess and visitors. The aim is to perform rituals that will make them worthy of Lakshmi's attention and guide her toward their homes. People hope she will bestow blessings and prosperity for the year ahead. Diwali falls on the new moon in October or November (but may vary from region to region).
Navaratri: Navaratri is nine days and nights to celebrate the mother goddess known as Durga. She has the full power of all the gods, as she was created by their divine power and need to help kill the demon Mahishasur. This holiday celebrates her awesome power and triumph and honors the Divine Mother in three forms. Durga is worshipped first. Lakshmi is worshipped for three days for her power of inexhaustible wealth. Saraswati is worshipped as the giver of wisdom. It is said Durga is worshipped in order to destroy all our impurities, vices, and defects. The aspects and names of the Mother can change depending on which region of India the worship is taking place.
Akshaya Tritiya: This holiday is observed by Hindus, Jains, and Vedic astrologers as the most auspicious day of the year to start important projects and usher in infinite auspiciousness. It is also a day designated for cultivating spiritual strengths. Lakshmi is worshipped along with Ganesh and Vishnu. It is considered a good day to buy property and gold or make donations. Anything that commences on this day is bound to be victorious. According to Prokerala.com, This day is said to also mark many fortunate new beginnings in history: The holy river, the Ganges, descended from the heavens; Vedavyasa and Ganesh began writing the epic Mahabharata; and Kubera worshipped Lakshmi and was assigned the job of treasurer of the gods in heaven. There are temple services, as well as home observances, which may include meditation, yoga, reading scriptures, taking a holy bath, and buying new icons of Lakshmi and Ganesh for the home.