Serving sugarcane juice
Neha Shah, 34, homemaker
On this day we visit our relatives or friends and offer sugarcane juice to those who have followed a spiritual discipline of fasting on alternative days for a year. The festival is symbolised by Lord Adinata, also known as Rishabhdeva, the first Jain Tirthankara, a spiritual teacher who ended his fast by accepting sugarcane juice. The practice of offering sugarcane juice is believed to have been followed ever since.
Adorning one’s home with flowers
Vidhya Venkoban, 54, homemaker
Following Maharashtrian tradition, we worship Lakshmi Narayana, a form of Vishnu — the preserver, on this day. Our houses host a festive feel and the aroma of flowers and incense linger in our homes. Hymns are sung in praise of the lord and his consort Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. We also look forward to purchasing gold, which adds a dash of happiness to our lives.
Chant divine names
Babitha Sudhesh, 47, homemaker
We chant the 1,000 names of Vishnu and 108 names of goddess Lakshmi while thanking the gods for giving us the opportunity to donate to the poor. Following rituals observed in the state of Karnataka in India, we buy turmeric, salt, and precious metal on the day and donate wholewheat and rice after offering it to the gods. This act is believed to free one from all sins.
Praying for one’s spouse
Kavita Vijay Doshi, 45, Jain Real Estate professional
Akshaya Tritiya is a vital and auspicious day for a married Hindu woman, as she prays for the well-being of her husband on the day. We also worship the deity with sugarcane juice and after prayers we distribute sprouted gram, fresh fruit and Indian sweets among friends and relatives. We also practise charity and try to help others on the day.
Purchase ornaments for deities
Bijal Baxi, 45, Shadow teacher
Akshaya means never-ending, so we consider buying vehicles, property and starting any new work on this auspicious occasion as the day is believed to bring never-ending growth, success and prosperity. Our day begins with prayers and offerings to the goddess Laxmi, and Kuber, the guardian of wealth. We then buy gold and silver ornaments for these deities.
Preparing a special meal
Swati Bhandari, 41, homemaker
Akshaya Tritiya is known as Akha Teej within the Marwari community, a successful business community that hails from the state of Rajasthan in India. Akha means whole, thus we cook food made of wholewheat grain, known as kheech, and eat it with jaggery syrup, known as gulrabh. We start new work, buy gold and initiate investments on this auspicious day. We visit the temple and offer a donation as well as this is supposed to bring prosperity to our homes.
Using water from the Ganges
Geetanjali Kumar, 40, Teacher
On this auspicious day, we bring the goddess Lakshmi home in the form of gold. Religious belief has it that the holy river Ganga descended on the earth from the heavens on this day and bathing in the Ganges during Akshaya Tritiya is hence considered auspicious. We celebrate this holy festival by using a drop of water from the river for our bath.
Perform charity work
Shaveta Sharma, 37, homemaker
I never miss an opportunity to celebrate a festival that brings happiness and prosperity to my home. Akshaya Tritiya is auspicious and I offer prayers in the morning and buy gold ornaments or a deity on the day. I also donate money at a Gurudwara — a place of worship for Sikhs — for langar (communal kitchen), as it is a priority for Sikhs to arrange food and water for the needy.