According to the Hindu calendar, there are two methods to mark lunar months – Purnimanta and Amanta. The one which is followed from Purnima to Purnima is Purnimanta calendar and the other which is followed from Amavasya to Amavasya is Amanta calendar. The former is followed in Northern states, while the later in the Southern ones. Margashirsha is the ninth month in the Hindu month and is also considered an auspicious one. It begins in November or December as per the Gregorian calendar.
In Puranas, the month is mentioned as ‘Maasonam Margashirshoham’ meaning the auspicious month of Margashiram. The month is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. In the auspicious month, performing Lakshmi puja and observing fast on Thursdays are considered highly rewarding for devotees. The vrat is observed from sunrise to sunset. On the day of Mahalakshmi vrat, devotees clean their homes and decorate the front yard with rangoli and by lighting diyas.
Margashirsha Lakshmi Puja Vrat dates (Thursdays) 2018:
In 2018, Margashirsha month begins on December 8.
1st Thursday: December 13
2nd Thursday: December 20
3rd Thursday: December 27
4th Thursday: January 3, 2019
- Take a kalash and fill it with rice and water which symbolises prosperity.
- Adorn the kalash with betel or mango leaves.
- Place a coconut smeared with haldi-kumkum (turmeric and vermillon) on the kalash.
- Place the kalash on a plate filled with rice.
- Place a flower or a garland on the coconut.
- Devotees also decorate the kalash with jewels and clothes.
- Recite Mahalakshmi Vart Kathahant, chant Shri Mahalakshmi aarti and Mahalakshmi Naman Ashtak in praise of the Goddess. You can also chant Vishnu Sahasranama and visit Vishnu temple.
- Offer sweets and fruits as bhog to the Goddess.
- Decorate the puja area with flowers and diya.
- Invite married women and offer sweets, dakshina (money), Goddess Lakshmi sacred book, vermillon, turmeric, fruits, flowers, betel nuts.