India | Andhra Pradesh

Kaumudi Mahostavam

Diwali is known as Kaumudi Mahostavam in some parts of Andhra Pradesh. In ancient times, the festivities of Kaumudi Mahostavam were supervised by the kings during night. The rituals of those days are still followed. Black gram leaves are eaten and lamps are distributed. An interesting feature of this festival is that late in the night, the women in an act to drive away 'Jyesthadevi', the Goddess of penury, bring out their brooms, mops and dustpans.

Sesame oil is used for taking bath, as it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi is present in sesame oil on a no moon day. Plant leaves of Uttarani, Anapa and Prapunnatamu are circled around the head before bath. Prayers are offered to Lord Yama, facing south to combat untimely death and for peace of the departed souls. The festival concludes in the evening with the lighting of lamps everywhere including hills and graveyards.

Updated on 21st July, 2005


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