The Varalakshmi Vratham is an important ritual celebrated by married Hindu women. Every year Varalakshmi Vratham is observed in the month of Avani in Tamil (mid-August). It is celebrated on Friday preceeding the full moon day (Pournami), this year it occurred on 16th August 2016.
Varalakshmi is another form of Goddess Lakshmi who bestows on her devotees much health, wealth, joy and happiness. Worshipping Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmi (8 Lakshmi): the Goddesses of Wealth(Shri), Earth(Bhu), Learning(Saraswati), Love(Priti), Fame(Kirti), Peace(Shanti), Pleasure(Tushti) and Strength(Pushti).
On the day of the pooja, married women in the household wake up early and decorate their front yards with Kolam. After an oil bath, they wear new clothes and prepare neivedhyam. On this day, married woman fast until the pooja is completed and should only eat pacharisi.
As with previous years, our household woke early to prepare the sweet dishes and food for neivedhyam (chickpea sundal, rava kesari, payasam, vada, sambar and rice). We prepared the kalasam for Amman and dressed her on the Thursday. On Friday, the Amman was brought into the house from the Kolam and placed on the pooja mandabam and the pooja completed at an auspicious time (we used online clips for the slokas and pooja directions). Later that evening thamboolam was given to all ladies who attended.
The Amman can be kept for 3 days. On the last day, after taking a bath, the kalasam is dismantled and the water in the kalasam is sprinkled in the house.