Lakshmi Puja is a Hindu festival that falls on the new moon day of the Hindu month of Ashwin. It is the main event of the larger Hindu festival of Deepavali.
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During Lakshmi Puja, the goddess Lakshmi is thought to wander about at night. And to attract this “goddess of health and wealth” inside, diyas (small clay oil lamps) are lit and placed near windows and on balconies. Also, houses are cleaned during the day because Lakshmi is believed to love cleanliness so that she will visit the cleanest houses first.
Sweets are also put out for Lakshmi, and people put on their finest (or even brand new) clothes. The very broom that is used to clean the house in preparation for Lakshmi’s visit is sometimes worshiped and given offerings. All of this is done because Lakshmi being pleased when she visits the house is thought to determine the health and prosperity of the family for the year to come.
Lakshmi Puja is also a time for honouring mothers, who are thought to “partially embody” Lakshmi.
Some people will put lit diya lamps on rivers and let them drift in the night. Others will go out and set off fireworks both for the display and to chase off evil spirits. And everyone takes part in the family feast near the end of the night.