Once Goddess Durga and her family is immersed in the holy water on Vijaya Dashami, the eastern part of India gears up for Lakshmi Puja. Known as Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, it falls on October 13 this year, which incidentally is a Sunday.
In West Bengal, Odisha and Assam, Lakshmi Puja falls on a full moon day in the lunar month of Ashwin following Vijaya Dashami or the immersion of the ten-armed Goddess Durga.
Lakshmi Puja on Purnima tithi in the month of Ashwin is known as Kojagari Puja and more commonly known as Bengal's Lakshmi Puja. It is also called Sharad Purnima in other parts of India.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on Amavasya tithi during Diwali in other parts of India.
Kojagari Purnima concerns the observance of the Kojagari 'vrata'. People perform this Vrata in front of the idol under the moonlight after fasting for the entire day.
The word Kojagari is derived from the phrase ko jagorti or Who is awake? According to legends, Goddess Lakshmi descends on the Earth on the full moon day of the Ashwin month and is believed to walk around asking 'who is awake?' Those who answer her get her divine blessings.
Devotees break the fast at night after reading the Vrat Katha with kheer and khichdi after offering them to the gods. Houses are also decorated with traditional ‘alpona’ (Rangoli) and footprints of Lakshmi are drawn to invite Goddess into their homes.
An interesting fact about Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is that in many old households of eastern India, the Goddess is worshipped in the form of a "shora" or a red coloured clay disk in which images of the goddess are painted by the artists. However, with more and more people opting for idols to house at their homes, the art of 'shora' painting is heading towards a slow extinction.
According to beliefs, it is also said in the Puranas that Goddess Lakshmi takes rounds of the earth to watch the actions of human beings during this night.
Kojagari Lakshmi Puja will be celebrated on October 13 on Sunday this year. According to Drik Panchang, Purnima Tithi will begin from 12:36 am on October 13, 2019, and will end at 02:38 am on October 14, 2019.