New Delhi: Diwali, the festival of lights, is here. It is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm across India. Diwali also known as Deepavali is celebrated on the day of ‘amavasya’ in the month of ‘Karthik’ in Hindu calendar. The celebration starts with Dhanteras and ends with Bhai Dooj. 
Mythlogically the festival of Diwali is related to the victorious return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 of years ‘banvaas’. Since it was the night of ‘amavasya’ people lit up the kingdom with ‘diyas’.
On this festival people clean and decorate their houses with lights and create colourful ‘Rangoli’ to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Laxmi. People also light ‘diyas’, exchange sweets and gifts and distribute sweets among friends and relatives.
The ‘tithi’ on which Lakshmi Pujan is performed coincides with ‘amavasya’. This year the tithi of ‘amavasya’ begins on October 29 at 8:40PM and ends at 11:08PM on October 30. Lakshmi Pujan can be performed during ‘Pradosh Kaal’ between 5:57PM to 8:24pM on October 30.
The ‘muhurat’ timings for Diwali 2016 puja is as follows:
Lakshmi Puja Muhurat: 6:27 pm to 8:09 pm
Pradosh Kaal: 5:33 pm to 8:09 pm
Vrishabha Kaal: 6:27 pm to 8:22 pm
Lakshmi Puja conducted by offering ‘puja’ to five deities which include Lord Ganesha, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and Lord Kuber. In the evening, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kuber are worshipped. Idol of Goddess Lakshmi which is to be worshipped must be installed either on lotus or a swastika drawn with consecrated rice. Next to her idol, Lord Kuber idol is placed along with a pot. Further these idols are being offered with ‘Naivedya’ which consist of cow’s milk, sugar, cardamom and cloves. 
In this pujan staying awake in the night is a must. Goddess Laxmi is regarded to be the most beautiful and adorable female with golden complexion. Goddess Lakshmi is also the wife of Lord Vishnu and bhakts offer gifts and grants for her auspicious blessings.

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