August 19, 2011

Varalakshmi Nonbu

Varalakshmi Vratha is an important pooja performed by women in South India. In our family, we have the mugam (ambal) given to married woman from their parent's house along with a kalasam and other pooja items. The day before the pooja, the goddess is adorned. The kalasam is placed on a banana leaf with rice on it. The kalasam is then filled with rice, betel leaf, betel nut, a lemon, and some coins. A coconut is placed on the mouth of the kalasam along with mango leaves and the mugam is affixed on it. The kalasam and the deity is dressed up with clothes, jewellery and flowers. Along with other ornaments, a vastram (cotton garland with vermillion in between) is worn by the goddess. Just like all women like to get dressed up well, we take care and decorate the deity with utmost perfection as possible.
On the day of the pooja, the goddess is kept near the entrance of the house and invited inside the house with an arthi. The kalasam with the deity is placed on a wooden plank with a kolam. Vazha Kannu (Banana Tree's branch) is tied on both sides and a thoranam with mango leaves is tied to it. Then the pooja is performed with varieties of flowers. Along with the regular fruits and betel leaf, betel nuts;three types of kozhakattai, payasam, vadai, idly, rice and dal are offered as neivedhyam for the deity. The idly for the vratha is prepared with raw rice; instead of the usual idly rice. At the end of the puja, a sacred yellow thread is tied to the wrists of women. Many sumangali's(married women) are invited and given gifts.
This year we had the pooja last friday - 12th Aug 2011. I had already been shopping the whole of last week for the pooja. This year i wanted to buy doll hands and legs to do the alankar. We got  new silk sari for draping around. So that I get some height and am able to adorn the deity, my MIL suggested me to keep a kodam(Pot) and on top of it place the kalasam. So lots of balancing work had to be done. Atlast after all the dressing was done, we had it atleast 75% as per our imagination. Its always a tense day, coz both cooking and pooja is done by the ladies. We were lucky this time - we could finish it by 10 and relax. Or so to say, coz me and my MIL were preparing kozhukattai's all day long. Phew!!!

Happy poojas!!


Reshma Nilofer said...

Hi, I want to buy this ammam/varalakshmi mugam for kalasam ...where can i get it? My mom had given it to my sis.. I want a nice one. my mom s one was very pretty and santham with neck bead jewellery an all.