Mahalakshmi Vrata and puja, dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, is observed for 16-days starting from the eighth day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Bhadrapad Month (August – September) as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in
North India. Mahalakshmi Vrata 2015 begins on September 21 and ends on October 4. (In some regions especially in Madhya Pradesh it begins on September 20). Mahalaxmi Puja and Vrata dates are based on the North Indian calendar and is only observed mainly in North India.
The 16-day Mahalakshmi Vrata ends on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha of Aswhin month (on the Ashtami day of waning phase of moon).
The Vrata is observed mainly by women but in some communities men also observe the rules associated with the Vrata.
Non-vegetarian food is avoided during the Vrata period. The popular belief is that Goddess Lakshmi blesses devotees with wealth and prosperity during the period.
Tying the sacred thread having sixteen knots after traditional puja is an important ritual during the period.
A specifically prepared Kalash symbolizing Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the last day of Mahalakshmi Vrata.