Also Known As :
Falls In :
Month of Margashira (December - January)
Lakshmi Puja (September-October)
Observed with much pomp and ceremony in Dhenkanal town, it commences from the fullmoon day of Aswin and continues for a period f one week.
After purificatory bath in the morning the housewives worship the Goddess, not through an image but significantly through paddy-measures. Different varieties of rice-cakes and 'Kshiri' (rice-soup prepared with milk and sugar) are prepared in every household and are offered to the deity and then taken by all.
In the evening the 'Laxmi Purana' is read or recited in which an interesting story is told. Once 'Shreeya', an untouchable woman worshipped Goddess
Lakshmi by observing this festival. Being moved by her devotion
Lakshmi left Her permanent abode, the temple which is situated inside the campus of the temple of Lord
Jagannatha and visited Shreeya's house. When Lord Balabhadra, the elder brother of Lord
Jagannatha came to know about this, She was declared defiled and was not allowed to come back into the temple. Lakshmi was deeply hurt and went to her father Sahara.When Lakshmi went out of the temple all wealth in the temple started vanishing. Later the Gods Balabhadra and
Jagannatha couldn't find food to sustain themselves. They came out of the temple in the attire of Brahmin beggars in search of food. Ultimately they landed at the door of the Goddess Lakshmi.
Balabhadra apologised for the mistake and all of them returned to the temple.
The 'Purana' ultimately teaches all to pay extreme regard to Goddess Lakshmi and the person who disregards Her is sure to fall on evil days. This means that wealth should be well protected and properly used and
misutilisation of wealth is sure to make a person suffer.