Varamahalakshmi Vritha Festival. It is a day when women offer special prayers to Goddess Varamahalakshmi seeking good health wealth and prosperity for them and their families and long life for their husbands.

The festival is largely celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and. It is celebrated on the last Friday of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashada.Mahalakshmi is the goddess of wealth, auspiciousness and prosperity

Those who observe the Vritha follow certain unique rituals. Early in the morning women after taking bath, make a rangoli on the place where the kalasha is placed. They draw a lotus with eight  petals. The sacred Kalasha (brass/copper/silver) filled with rice and topped with fresh mango leaves, a coconut and cloth are placed on the mandala and Lakshmi is invoked. Goddess is invoked by decorating the Kalasa with flowers, jewellery, new clothes,fruits, dry fruits, fresh grains,  sweets and savouries. Some place coins, or rupee notes or make a garland of notes. The Vratha is performed with the beginning of Puja to Lord Ganesha. Then the main worship of Varalakshmi begins.

The Legend
There is a legend that says that this vratam was recommended by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati to gain wealth and prosperity. There is also another legend that tells of a very pious lady Charumati who was asked by the goddess Varalakshmi, in her dream, to do the vratam in order to fulfill her wishes. She performed the vratam along with other ladies in her village with great devotion. They offered the deity lots of delicacies and once the vratam was completed, they were amazed to find their bodies decked with expensive jewels and their homes full of riches. From then on, women started performing this vratam every year seeking wealth and prosperity in their families.

Rituals
On the day of Varalakshmi vratam, women clean their homes and decorate their front yards with rangolis (colorful designs traced on the floor). Later, they take a bath and deck themselves with beautiful clothes and jewellery. They then begin the process of performing the vrata by first arranging the kalasha or sacred pot. They fill the pot with rice and water which symbolize prosperity and cover it with mango and betel leaves. They then place a coconut smeared with turmeric and vermilion on the kalasha and also decorate the coconut with a new cloth. Some people decorate the kalasha with many kinds of jewels to make it look more beautiful. They place this kalasha on a plate filled with rice.

The main puja begins by worshiping Lord Ganesha, who is believed to drive away all obstacles and evil forces. Later, goddess Mahalakshmi is invoked into the kalasha. They then worship a couple of torams (a bunch of nine threads with nine knots) and tie one to the kalasha while the other one is tied around the right hand wrist of the lady performing the pooja. Later, they chant the Lakshmi Ashtottara Shatanamam (a list of hundred names in praise of the deity). They then offer the goddess nine varieties of delicacies including both sweets and savories. In conclusion of the vratam, they sing hymns in praise of goddess Varalakshmi and also invite another married woman assuming her to be goddess Varalakshmi and offer her sweets. That evening, they invite all the neighboring ladies to their homes and offer them tamboolam, an offering consisting of betel leaves, fruits, betel nuts, vermilion, turmeric and dakshina (money). They also collectively sing songs in praise of goddess Varalakshmi.

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