For Hindus, the middle of December to the middle of January every year is a time when celestial positions change. It is a time for ostentations to be shunned including big-ticket purchases and sales. It is the time to be one with the Almighty. In the south of India, this period called the “Dhanurmasa” is meant to appease the God of Life, Lord Vishu. The month ends with the Lord’s marriage to Goddess Laxmi and coincides with Makar Sankranti i.e., the day the sun returns to the northern hemisphere.
The highlight of the marriage of the gods is that on the day of the marriage i.e, 11 January 2018, a grand procession with Lord Vishu’s idol takes place from the temple replete with people dancing, playing dandia and general merriment- almost like a real marriage. Goddess Laxmi is not part of this procession as she is in the temple getting ready for the marriage! With the procession winding back to the temple, it is time for the actual marriage celebrations. The goddess is said to have rejected the marriage offer 5 times owning to which “mala parivartan” takes place. Before that, devotees from the Lord’s side go the Goddess’s side with “Shrungar” i.e., items which signify an offer for marriage. With the marriage concluding, it is time for the “Prasad” which is a mix of both sweets and namkeen. The sweet offering is a “Kheer” which is thicker than our normal kheer with plenty of garnishing of dry fruits!
The next day, Makarsankranti, is equally auspicious! For Hindus, every year begins with a marriage of the Gods!
The Shree Mahalaxhmi Temple, Sarasbaug, Pune celebrates this month with a full day of devotion.
The day-wise list of activities is mentioned below:
- From 16 Dec 2017 to 14 Jan 2018:
- 30 to 9.00 AM, bhajans (hymns) would be conducted which would conclude with the distribution of Prasad
- From 16 Dec to 31 Dec 2017:
- 00 to 7.00 AM “Prabhat Feri” (an early morning religious walk) would take place daily
- On the 10th Jaunuary 2018:
- 00 PM and 9.00 PM “Mehandi” (a cultural event preceding the day of marriage) would take place for the marriage to take place on the next day.
- On the 11th Jaunuary 2018
- 00 AM and 11.00 AM, the auspicious marriage of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishu takes place!