All You Need To Know About Bengal’s Kojagari Laxmi Puja In 2 Mins
In other words, Laxmi Puja is how we begin to get over Durga Puja.
So, here’s the deal. Durga Puja (in Bengal) is like one massive party which leads to massive withdrawals. And the trick to surviving through that withdrawal period, as per divine laws, is to have more pujas albeit not as big in scale. Therefore, a week after Durga Puja, Bengal and many parts of Odisha and Assam celebrate Laxmi Puja.
Bengal understands that we have bombarded your newsfeed enough with how awesome our pujas are. So we are going to keep this one short lest you think we can’t get over ourselves.
Truth is, we can’t. But here it goes:
This specific Laxmi Puja is called the ‘Kojagari Laxmi’ as the puja is observed on the day of 'Kojagari’ Purnima or Sharad Purnima -- markedly different from Laxmi Puja observed in North India during Diwali, which falls on ‘Amavasya’ (new moon).
Kojagari’ means the ‘night of awakening’. Legend has it, on this night, Goddess Laxmi goes around asking, “Who is awake?”. As a result, many households stay awake on the night before the puja to say -- I assume -- “We are!”.
Don’t judge. The Goddess of wealth has that effect on people.
If not, most Bengali households do wake up before the sun rises to place the idol of Laxmi on her ‘aasan’. Some bangaal (those hailing from East Bengal) households also have an earthen pot with images of Durga and her children instead of the actual idol.
This specific night is also said to be when the moon showers ‘elixir’ or amrit on the earth. So some households also keep part of their bhog (or pujo food, as we call it) out under the moon at night.
Ask any Bengali worth their salt and they will corroborate this amrit bit, because the food is delicious!
Typically, the house is cleaned and alpona, a sort of white rangoli (as North Indians call it) of the Goddess’ feet are made around the house.
After this, the puja is done, the bhog is served, and then, we wait for the next puja on the ‘Getting Over Puja Withdrawal List’ -- Kali Puja.
More on that later.
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