Upang Lalitha Vrat is ascribed to the worship of Sri Lalitha Devi, one of the manifestations of Sri Parvathi Devi. It occurs on the Shukla Paksha Panchami of Ashwin month. The Vrat is also called as Sri Lalitha Panchami.
For the Year 2023, the festival occurs on Thursday, 19th October 2023. The exact duration of the Panchami Tithi is to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
Upang Lalitha Vrat is observed by invoking Goddess Lalitha as one of the Dasha Maha Vidya Devi Deities. The manifestations under Dasha Maha Vidya are Tara, Kali, Tripura Sundari (Sodashi), Bhuvaneshwari, Tripura Bhairavi, Chinnamastha, Dhumavathi, Bhagala Mukhi, Mathangi and Kamala.
She is invoked as Sri Shodasi and as Sri Tripura Sundari for this festival. The Vrat gains more significance as it occurs on the fifth day of Navarathri festival. For the purpose of invocation, Sri Lalitha Devi is depicted with two hands sitting on a lotus.
In some places, Bhagwan Shiv and Sri Skanda Matha are worshipped for this Vrat.
Devotees wake up before sunrise and take holy bath. At the Puja place at the homes, Sri Lalitha Devi is kept either in idol / picture form. The place is decked up with flowers. Lamps and incense sticks are lit.
After doing Ganapathi Puja, Sri Lalitha Devi is invoked by reciting slokams / prayer hymns. The practice of keeping Kalash may also be followed.
As this is the Vrat, devotees may forego food from sunrise to sunset either fully or partially. Further, as this Vrat coincides with Navarathri, it is considered auspicious to invite atleast five Kanya Girls (aged between 2 to 9 years) for participation in the Puja. The girls are revered as Sri Bala Tripura Sundari. They are offered new dresses and sweets. It is believed that the girls’ happiness would bring in prosperity and well being for the family.
It is considered auspicious to chant Vedic Mantras and Lalitha Sahasranama Slokam on the occasion.