Today is the first Saturday of Purattasi month (tamil month). Today we lit a lamp (Maavilakku)for Lord Venkateshwara. Generally this is done on any one of the Saturdays, on the first, third or fifth Saturday of Purattasi. Navaratri Saturdays and Malayapaksham Saturdays should be excluded.
The lamp is made up of rice flour, jaggery,Ghee.While lighting the lamp we used to chant Govinda, Govinda and observe fasting till it goes off. When it is about to go off, we will again chant Govinda Govinda !!! Then we offer neivedhyam of Fruits. Then my mom would distribute the yummy maavilaku mavu prasadam.
Now, the reasons behind this :
The entire Dakshinayana (Mid July to Mid January) period is said to be the night time for the Devas. During these time, it is entirely devoted to prayer, offering and pooja etc. When the Dakshinayana begins during Mid July, the Tamil month Aadi begins. All the following six months of Dakhsinaya is full of festivities and celebrations to the Lord. Beginning from the first Friday of Aadi, then Varalakshmi Vratham,Gokulashtami, Vinayakar Chathurthi, Deepavali, Navaratri.
During every Saturday of the Purattasi month, it is said that Lord Sri Balaji is expecting his devotees to come closer to his consort hills. And for those who could not afford to travel at length, he beams himself through the light of this specific Mavilakku. Thus, a devotee is getting His Lord's Darshan without climbing the seven hills of Thirumala Tirupati. Also, the carbon emanated through the mixture of rice flour and cow's ghee is said to remove all the ill radiations and negative vibrations from one's home and that too when one recites aloud the name of the Lord when the lighted cotton soak goes off. To make it worthy, devotees used to recite the Lord Gods name several times.
Prayers to Almighty for showering His blessings on everyone.