The Tradition of Diwali Pooja has been associated
with the festival of Diwali since time immemorial. The tradition of
Diwali Pooja is followed all over the country mainly for honoring the
Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Lord Ganesha.
During the tradition of Diwali Pooja, special offerings are paid to
Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, the Nine Planets, Lord Shiva, Kuber and
Kalsa.It is a common belief that Goddess Lakshmi pays a visit to every
well-lit house on the occasion of Diwali and hence the tradition of
Diwali Puja is followed on the Diwali eve in order to welcome Goddess
Lakshmi in the house.
During Diwali Puja, five pieces of ghee diyas are lit before the idols
of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha and offerings of sweets are also
made to the gods. Cattle are also worshipped in the villages as cattle
are regarded to be the incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi.
At the time of Diwali Pooja, offerings are made to the fire or Agni
devta by placing the deity on a platform, washing his feet, decorating
him with kesar and vermilion mark and offering him the food items,
clothing and money for seeking his blessings. Some flowers are also used
at the time of Diwali Puja and even some Jhal/Phaag, which is a mixture
of milk, ghee, honey and spices.
The Diwali Puja is also accompanied by lighting of hundreds of lights
and diyas. These diyas are lit to drive away the dark shadows of evil
spirits. This is followed by bursting of crackers and having delicious
feasts, along with exchange of gifts and presents. Another famous custom
associated with Diwali Pooja is that of gambling and that too on a large
scale. There is a legend behind this custom according to which on this
day Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva and declared
that whoever gambles on this particular day of Diwali Pooja would gain
wealth and prosperity.