Varalakshmi Nombu - Varamahalakshmi Nonbu



Varalakshmi Nombu, or Vara Mahalakshmi Puja, is a popular Hindu ritual observed by married women in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and by some communities in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. In 2014, the date of Varalakshmi Nonbu is August 8. Married women worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day. In Tamil Nadu the festival takes place in the Aadi month of Tamil calendar and in Karnataka in the Shravan month of Kannada Calendar.

It is believed that worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day gives the benefits of worshipping Ashta Lakshmi – the eight goddesses of Earth, Learning, Wealth, Love, Fame, Strength, Peace and Pleasure.
Legend has it that Lord Shiva explained about the importance of Varalakshmi Nombu to Goddess Parvati, when the Goddess wanted to know about the most beneficial nombu or Vratam that married women should observe.

On the day, homes are cleaned and will be decorated with mango leaves and rangoli. Footprints of the goddess will be painted from the threshold to the place of worship, symbolically welcoming the goddess of wealth Mahalakshmi.

Shlokas dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi are recited, the idol of the goddess is decorated, a Kalash half-filled with rice and neck of the pot is decorated with fresh mango and betel leaves, a coconut smeared with haldi and kumkum and cloth are placed in the puja area and Goddess Lakshmi is invoked therein. Women fast till the puja is over. Special dishes like vada, mango rice, dal vadas and sweets like payasam are prepared on the day.

Women gather in houses in the neighborhood and take part in community 'arathi' in the evening. They exchange gifts like bangles, kumkum, betel leaves, fruits and flowers.

Vara Mahalakshmi is also auspicious day for beginning business and for house-warming functions. It is also one of the most popular festivals of Vaisya community.

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