Lakshmi Vratam, Shaaka Vratam is observed on every Shukravaram (Fridays) in Ashada masam. Lakshmi Vratam is also called as Ashada Shukravara Mahalaxmi Vrata. Beginning from the Ashada Shudda Dashami the vrata is observed for one month. Who are not able to observe Shaaka Vrata for the whole month will observe the vrata even for five days or three days or one day.
In 2016, Lakshmi Vrata (Lakshmi Vrata Arambham) starts on July 14 (Ashada Shudda Dashami) and the Shukravars in Ashada masam are – July 8, July 15, July 22 and July 29. Lakshmi Vratam continues till Shravana Shudda Dashami – August 13, 2016.
Lakshmi Vratam Puja Procedure – How Shaaka Vrata is observed
Lakshmi Vratam during Ashada month is observed with utmost devotion. Goddess Mahalxmi is worshipped with Shodasa Upacharas (Shodashopachar) or sixteen steps of puja. Everyday devotees offer special naivedyam to Goddess Laxmi Devi.
Lakshmi Vratam or Shaka Vratam – Rules and codes:
Lakshmi Vratam should be observed within a sanctified place. There is no hard and fast rule or code. But devotees should not consume or should avoid eating green leafy vegetables during the Laxmi Vrata period. On first day or the final day of the Vratam, devotees donate clothes, food and betel leaves to Brahmins.