Lakshmi Vratam (Shaka vratham, Ashada shukravara lakshmi vrata) is observed on Fridays or Shukravar in Ashada masam. In 2013, Lakshmi Vrata (Lakshmi Vrata Arambham) starts on July 18 (Ashada Shudda Dashami) and the Shukravars in Ashada masam are – July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2. Lakshmi Vratam continues till Shravana Shudda Dashami – August 16, 2013.
In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and some other states in India, Lakshmi Vrat is also observed in Shravana masam. This is known as Varalakshmi Vratham or Varmahalakshmi vratam.
In North Indian states, Mahalakshmi Vrat is observed in Bhadrapad month. In Maharashtra, Gujarat, and some other places Mahalakshmi puja is also observed on Kojagari Purnima (Ashwin Purnima). Diwali Lakshmi Puja is the major vrat dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi among all the above Lakshmi pujas.
Ashada Mahalakshmi vratam 2012 dates are: June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20 & July 27. Usually, it begins on Ashada Shukla Dashami and ends on Shravana Shukla dashami. In 2012, Ashada Lakshmi Vratham starts on June 29 and ends on July 28.