Diwali is also considered to be the Hindu New Year. It is the occasion when the whole Hindu community is drenched in the mood of celebrations & happiness. The reason is not one but many. It is mentioned in the Pauranik Granthas that Diwali brings along a very auspicious time period of the year.
Offering prayers to Deities relevant to the festival is common to almost all Indian festivals. On the festival of Diwali, Hindus offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi & Lord Ganesha with great devotion. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits every home on Diwali and brings along peace and prosperity to all. After the Sun sets, Lakshmi Pujan is performed in all homes. The appropriate Muhurat is calculated by Pandits following Astrological rules.
Items required for performing Diwali Puja include, uncooked rice, paan leaves, camphor, kumkum, sweets, dry fruits, gold or silver coins etc. Naivedya of traditional sweets is offered to the deities and then songs in praise of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are sung with great fervor. Panchamitra made up of five ingredients milk, curd, ghee, sugar & honey is also an essential item in Puja. Five Diyas are placed before the idols of the deities.
Lord Ganesha is worshiped before commencing for any kind of work. As Diwali is the New Year for Hindus, offering prayers to Lord Ganesha becomes obvious. For Ganesha Puja, Ganesha Arti is sung. The deity is offered Motichoor Laddoos and the same laddoos become prasad for the puja.
Lakshmi Pujan is another important activity of the festive day of Diwali. Petals of various freshly picked flowers, especially Lotus are placed in the feet of the Goddess. Placing silver or gold coin soaked in Panchamitra is one of the important Lakshmi Puja rituals. Again as in Ganesha Puja, Lakshmi Arti is performed while showering flowers on the idol of Lakshmi. Lakshmi Puja holds a lot of importance for the Business community in India.
All these puja ritual are then followed by exchange of gifts ceremony. The religious aura changes into a fun & frolic one. Everyone fire crackers and enjoy good food. An atmosphere of jubilation is all around. Loved ones spend moments of happiness together and create fond memories to cherish life long