Every year, at specific times, festivals are celebrated. Other than the more popular ones like Navaratri and Diwali, there are some that need some more austerity than most people have. One of them is the Lakshmi Poojan celebrated beginning the Margashirsha in the waxing quarter of the month.
There are several festivals in which Goddess Lakshmi is the presiding deity. But, from the first Thursday of the waxing quarter of the Margashirsha month of the North Indian calendar to the South Indian Tai month’s last Thursday and Friday, Lakshmi Poojan is significantly celebrated.
Place 5 types of leaves from flowering plants on a copper, silver or mud pot. Decorate the pot with the goddess’ face or facial features available in the market. Artistic ones might want to decorate with turmeric paste.
Panchopachara or Shodashopachara is performed. Offering jaggery and rice paisam to a cow is significant in this festival. On Fridays of the Tai month, milk paisam is offered to the goddess. On one of these Fridays, a diya made of a mixture of rice atta, jaggery and cow’s ghee is offered to the Devi. This is called maa vizhakku in Tamil and tembittu deepa in Kannada. After aarti, the powder is consumed as prasad after removing what remains of the cotton. As part of the celebrations this time, we made badam paisam.