Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is done on Sharad Purnima in several parts of India particularly in West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and parts of eastern Bihar. This Lakshmi Puja is very special in Bengali households on Kojagari Purnima or Sharad Purnima. Kojagari Lakshmi Puja in done on the full moon night five days after Durga Puja. Maa Lokkhi as Lakshmi or the goddess of wealth is called in Bengali is described as chapala or fickle minded and so devotees worship Lakshmi to win her affection and blessings. With time, Kojagari Lakshmi Puja has become a big occasion for meeting and greeting each other.
Sharad Purnima 2020: Significance of Kojagari Lakshmi Puja
Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is always done in the evening or night. According to legend, the Goddess Lakshmi visits the houses of people to bless them when they worship her at night. Kojagari is derived from the Bengali words Ke Jago Re meaning 'who is awake' and it is believed that the goddess visits houses were people worship her on that night. Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is linked to the harvest season and farmers offer prayers for a good crop. In many households, an earthen or metal pot filled with rice grains is worshipped as Lakhsmi instead of an idol.
Alpana or patterns drawn on the floor before the goddess with a paste made with rice flour and water is an absolutely must. Traditionally there are particular designs dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. An inverted 'S' symbolizing the feet of the goddess is drawn in front of all the doors and the main entrance of houses for Lakshmi to step in.
Sharad Purnima 2020: Kojagari Lakshmi Puja and the special bhog (offerings)
The traditional bhog or food offered to Goddess Lakshmi is very distinct. Khichuri, a mixed vegetable item called labra or chorchori along with five kinds of fried vegetables or bhaja are offered to the goddess. People also offer dishes made of peas and cauliflower. Small ladoos made with coconut and til or sesame seeds are a must. Women cook all the items and beautifully offer to Lakshmi on banana leaves, earthen pots or metal plates and bowls.