It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi who is the giver of wealth and wellness; travels around the earth on this night. She showers her blessings on whoever she finds awake and in devotion. Because of this, on this night we find people gathered together in their communities honoring and celebrating the goddess by singing devotional songs under the moonlight.
The more esoteric meaning of this day is that- it is a night of harvest celebrations. The farmer who has toiled all thru monsoons is finally ready to receive the fruits of his action. But all is not done yet- along with being glad for having completed his work of sowing the seeds and providing proper nutrition and care of his crops; it is important for him to be alert and ensure that he takes all the right steps to reap his harvest appropriately (and in time since winter is right around the corner) to receive complete bountiful. That is why the one who is awake and alert receives the blessings of Goddess of Prosperity- Lakshmi.
In today’s day and age, we may not all work as farmers, but the harvest festival is still important for all of us. It is time for us to receive benefits for the tasks that we have done for these past several months and at the same time, we need to prepare ourselves for the coming months- in mind, body and action. It is a great day to plan Ritucharya (Ayurvedic action-plan for changing seasons) for winter. Interestingly this day typically coincides with the beginning of last quarter of the year- a time to ensure we take proper steps to beneficially and profitably wrap up this year while laying down a strong foundation for the coming year.