The third day of the five-day-long Diwali festival is celebrated as Laxmi Puja. It is the day when the goddess of wealth, Laxmi, is worshipped to usher in good luck and prosperity. This year, Diwali, or Laxmi Puja, will be on November 14, 2020 with coronavirus precautions, including a ban on firecrackers, and muted celebrations.
Laxmi Puja is celebrated as the main festival of Diwali. It is always observed two days after Dhanteras, which marks the start of the festival of lights every year. In 2020, Dhanteras falls on November 13 and coincides with Chhoti Diwali, or Narak Charurdashi, which is usually a day later.
In 2020, like every year, Laxmi Puja will be on the day of amavasya, or the lunar phase of the new moon when it remains hidden from sight. The rituals and celebrations associated with Laxmi Puja are different in most parts of India with the commonality of worshiping the goddess of wealth.
Diwali or Laxmi Puja is not only a festival celebrated to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya, and the victory of good over evil, it is also considered to be the new year's day in some parts of India, including Gujarat.
Marked by lighting of diyas and bursting of crackers by Hindus across the world, Diwali Laxmi Puja 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be markedly different.
Ahead of Diwali 2020, the national green court banned the use of firecrackers across India, in varying degrees, as the increase in air pollution could cause health complications for COVID-19 patients and others, alike.
With coronavirus restrictions in place and the possibility of another surge in winters, people are couriering boxes of sweets and turning to Zoom calls for "family reunion" on Diwali in 2020, when making rangolis is becoming the go-to activity in view of cracker ban.
On Diwali Laxmi Puja 2020, let there be light, rangolis and safety.
Mythologically, Goddess Laxmi is believed to have emerged from the ocean during the great churning called the Samudramanthan along with Kuber, the god of wealth, on the day of Dhanteras - when Diwali starts.