Varalakshmi Viratham/Fast falls on the first Friday before the full moon in the Tamil Month of Aadi (mid-July to mid-August). This year, the Viratham falls on Friday, July 31st. On this auspicious day, Varalakshmi, another form of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, is worshipped by married women and also men, in hopes of being granted the eight supreme types of wealth. Those who perform the viratham (fast) or pooja with utmost devotion are said to be blessed with prosperity, food, patience, vehicles, children, victory, wisdom, and money.
The pooja/rituals vary from region to region and there is no right and wrong way to observe this day. To take part in this fast, I first clean my home, shower and prepare an offering of payasam (traditional tapioca pudding), fruit, and flowers. Married women in some parts of South India perform an actual pooja using a silver/bronze pot and various items to represent Goddess Lakshmi. Some offer pongal instead of payasam. Yet others show their devotion with a simple prayer. Whichever way you decide to observe the fast, one thing remains the same – those performing the fast usually refrain from eating until the offering/pooja is complete in order to show their devotion and receive blessings from Goddess Varalakshmi.
Happy Varalakshmi Viratham to all those that will be celebrating this Friday!
FUN FACT: I got married on Varalakshmi Viratham, ten years ago.