How to do simple Ganesha and Lakshmi pujas on 5 days of Diwali

Searching for the date and time of Lakshmi puja 2019? Want to know the traditions and rituals of various days of the Diwali festival of India? This article provides complete information on the 2019 Diwali dates and the pujas to be performed on each of the five days of the festival.

One of the major festivals of India is the festival of lights, known as Diwali or Deepawali. It is called so due to the traditional diyas made of earthen clay being lighted in many homes, be it a humble villager's hut or a plush metro apartment. The other lighting aspects of this festival are the beautiful kandeels (lanterns) that are lit up by a single bulb to give them an enhanced hue and bring out the kandeel's colours & the row of electric lights that are strung across windows, with the kandeel at the centre (a kandeel is a lantern, traditionally made from paper but nowadays includes others materials such as coir, cane, cloth, etc. )
Diwali festival images
Let's not forget the overwhelming presence of colour too, especially in pretty rangoli patterns.

Diwali is a time for strengthening relationships between family members and friends, for being generous towards home & office employees and for donating gifts in cash or kind to those who are deprived of the basic things of life. It is also that time of the year when one gorges on traditional sweets & savoury snacks and generally have a jolly good time!

The festival is spread over 5 days, each year the specific dates differing and sometimes a particular day overlapping with another. Each of these 5 days has significant meanings & rituals. Pujas are conducted for the 3 deities of Goddess Saraswati (for knowledge), Goddess Lakshmi (for wealth) and Lord Ganesha (for wisdom).

2019 dates of five days of Diwali

  • First day: 25th October – Dhanteras
  • Second day: There is a gap of one day on 26th October.
  • Third day: 27th October - Narakchaturdashi and Lakshmi puja- both are on the same day
  • Fourth day: 28th October - Deepavali New Year
  • Fifth day: 29th October - Bhau bheej / Bhai Dooj

Dhanteras pujas & traditional rituals

On the first day of Diwali, beautiful buntings of golden marigold flowers interspersed with mango tree leaves are put across doorways of the house/office and rangoli designs are drawn on the floor at the entrance.
Diwali rangoli design with diyas
Rangoli design with earthern diyas at the door of the house

It is considered auspicious to buy a silver coin with the image of Goddess Lakshmi or Ganesha on this day. Other things you can spend on Dhanteras is jewellery and appliances or vessels for the home, some people specifically buying a brass vessel to usher in luck. It is also the day when a good number of diyas are lighted once the sun sets, apparently to prevent Yama, the God of Death, from crossing the threshold. A small aarti & puja is done of the idols or images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha during the auspicious evening hours, with a special offering of a home-made sweet and various grains.

Don't forget to look our for bargain deals and discounts on this day!

Narakchaturdashi pujas & traditional rituals

The second day of Diwali is to celebrate the legendary victory of Lord Krishna's wife Satyabhama over the demon Narakasur. It is believed that after the demon was killed, Lord Krishna covered His body with the demon's blood & had a traditional oil & water scented bath. Firecrackers were also lit in joy and small earthen diyas lighted everywhere, thus marking the day as a mini-version of Diwali known as 'Chota Diwali'.

The traditional bath on this day is known as Abhyang Snan (abhyang meaning oil massage and snan meaning bath). You bathe at the auspicious time. This year it is at 5.30a.m.) with scented oil and/or what is called 'Utane' (see image below of envelope in which the powder is sold by vendors), a powder which is said to be Ayurvedic in nature and has got a lovely fragrance due to the presence of various herbs and flower & tree wood extracts, such as camphor, rose petals, peels of oranges, turmeric, sandalwood, etc.

Utane powder for Diwali bath
You put this Utane powder in a little water, make a paste of it and apply it on your body, then bathe with water after about 10-15 minutes. Some people put scented oil first, then the powder and then use a perfumed soap (generally one made of rose petals or sandalwood) and then rinse off with water. New clothes are put on after the bath.

Karit fruit image
The fragrant traditional bath is followed by a significant ritual after the bath: the small bitter green fruit called Karit (see image on the right) is crushed with the big toe of the right foot, to signify stamping out negativity (symbolically, the demon Narakasur), and a few drops of the fruit pulp (symbolically, the demon's blood) is tasted. Some people also apply the seeds on the top of the hair (the seeds' oil is considered good for the head).

Note that some people do the Abhyang Snan on 3 days of Diwali: Narak Chaturdashi, Lakshmi puja and Deepavali Paadwa.

Diwali Lakshmi puja & traditional rituals

The day of Lakshmi puja is considered to be the most significant of all the days of Diwali, due to the welcome of the Goddess of Wealth into homes and business establishments. It is believed that on this day one must not keep the home dark and even a single light kept on during the auspicious time of Her arrival will light up Her path into your home. This year, the auspicious time of 2017 Lakshmi puja is 6.11p.m. and can be performed up to 8.40p.m. [this is as per the info given on the Kalnirnay calendar]

Firecrackers are burst on the dot of the beginning of the welcoming ritual and a diya or multiple diyas is lighted and kept outside about 5-10 minutes before the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi. On this day, Lord Ganesha and the Goddess Saraswati are worshipped alongside Goddess Lakshmi, with Ganesha being invoked for prosperity and Saraswati for enhancing our knowledge.
Saraswati Lakshmi Ganesha image

Marigold flowers are tied with string around the main water tap and any water storage drums, as also the vessel used to have a bath. After having a bath, a fresh bunting of marigold flowers is strung across the door.

Goddess Lakshmi puja procedure

Before the auspicious time of the puja, the place of worship is cleaned and the idols of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi are washed and placed in the puja area.

A few flowers can be drawn with white rangoli powder or chalk in front of the idols. A preparation of 'Panchamrita' containing milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey should be prepared earlier in the day to give as an offering during the puja. Just before the puja, put a copper pot with rice grains, one coin, a few marigold flowers and a betel nut next to the idols, decorating it with mango leaves and placing a full coconut on top. In a thali, put a diya, sweets, rice grains, flowers & turmeric and vermillion powders. 5 clay diyas are also lighted to be placed around the idols along with lighted fragrant incense sticks. It is also important to place a diya just before the auspicious time of Goddess Laksmi's entry. The 2019 Lakshmi puja Muhurat (auspicious) time is 6.06p.m. and will be up to 8.37p,m.

At the auspicious puja time, the diya in the thali should be lighted and the prayers to invoke Lord Ganesha's blessings should be recited, followed by putting a tilak of the vermillion-turmeric powders, throwing flowers & rice grains; then comes the recitation of the Goddess Lakshmi / Mahalakshmi aarti and similarly putting a tilak on the idol & throwing flowers and rice grains. Sweets are placed before the idols along with silver or gold coins (optional) and money in the denominations of Rs.11 or Rs.21. Once the puja is done, the sweets are offered to those present, as also the Panchamrita.

In the case of businesses, the owners / partners perform on this same day what is called Chopdi Puja, which is basically placing the accounts books of the financial year in front of the God in a temple / at home, putting flowers on it and saying the prayers invoking blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. These books are generally red or crimson and purchased brand new at an auspicious time, notations are made in it at the place of work and then the books are wrapped with a new cloth and taken to the temple or placed in front of the idols at home.

Deepavali Paadva pujas and rituals

This day marks the New Year and one of the primary pujas is the Govardhan puja. This is the worship of Mount Govardhan, under which, as the legend goes, the people of Gokul took shelter from heavy storms when Lord Krishna lifted the mountain on His little finger. The storms had been caused by the anger of Lord Indra because Lord Krishna had told the locals that it was the mountain that was their true saviour & would bring rain, not the heavenly Gods. Today, the mountain is worshipped in the form of small heaps of cow dung topped with flowers and prayers are made to Lord Krishna to invoke His blessings.

Bhau Bheej Tika ceremony and rituals

The final day of Diwali is Bhau Bheej (known by this name in the State of Maharashtra) also known as Bhai Dooj. The word 'Dhooj' signifies the 2nd day after the new moon as per the Hindu calendar and hence those who do not have a male sibling worship the Moon God as a brother. Other names of this festive day are Bhai Phota in the State of West Bengal, Bhai Bij in the State of Gujarat and Bhai-Tika in Nepal.

The ritual which takes place on this day is the traditional 'Tika' or 'Tilak' ceremony, based on the legend of Yami placing a tika on her brother Yamaraj's forehead when he paid her a visit after many years. The tika is generally a mixture of red vermillion powder and turmeric powder. Turmeric is well known for preventing infection & is said to have a lot of curative properties. Thus, the tika signifies a symbol of security & welfare of the brother to prevent harm & evil from coming to him. A lighted diya with the tika powder, rice grains and a sweet is put in a thali. The tika is put, rice grains are thrown on the head of the brother (at his feet if older brother) and an aarti is done after which the sweet is put in his mouth. In turn, the brother puts money in the thali for the sister or gives a gift to the sister, with the sister taking his blessings if he is older than her and him taking her blessings if he is the younger sibling. Then they together have a meal of his favourite foods.

As you can see, one does not need to do any complex pujas and ceremonial rituals. Keep it simple with faith in your heart and a prayer on your lips. Happy Diwali!
[All images taken by author]

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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Author: K Mohan15 Oct 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

Appreciation to the author for taking paisn and giving us the right inputs as to how to carry on five days pooja for the ensuing Deepavali. But what I understand that in India, the rituals being carried out during Deepavali is not the same. In South we wont celebrate the festival for five days. More over every home is having the Pooja vidhanam books and in that slokas of all the deities are mentioned and we would follow the same. May be the author given the pooja happenings in North India and that could be a help article. Nevertheless for the purpose of knowing Deepavali in detail this article do helped me.

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