One of the most traditional ways of worshiping goddess (Amman) is to offer Maavilakku that is prepared using Raw rice and Jaggery. Our family tradition is to offer Maavilakku only in our native place to our “Kuladeivam” (Mariamman). In my Mom’s family they used to offer this at home itself on the Fridays of Tamil month “Thai” and “Aadi”. Usually ladies undergo fasting on the day and do this ritual. My Mil insists upon having tiffin in the morning without onion and garlic. Our family elders insists not do this with empty stomach. This has been the practice in my family for a long time. Ladies take head bath, wear our traditional dress Saree (Madisaar ). The dress is preferably new or washed and dried separately (Madi).
The day offering Maavilakku is also important. Ashtami and Navami are usually not preferable to offer Maavilakku. Yogam should be Sidhayogam or Amirthayogam.
One cup of rice and a handful is usually the preferred measurement. If the family is considerably big with lot of members, 1 padi and one handful Raw Rice is used. The Raw rice should be washed and soaked in water for 1 hour. Then using a clean towel, strain the water completely. Use the mixie and grind the rice without using water. Those days, our ancestors used a wooden pestle or pounder (Ulakkai). The rice after grinding should undergo the process of sieving using a circular sieve. The left over grains on the sieve can be grind again and again twice or thrice.
Use same amount of Jaggery or Naattu Sakkarai and mix it with the Rice flour. The flour will be not be completely dry at this stage. This stage of rice is preferred for Maavilakku. Add a pinch of cardamom powder. We used to mix the rice and nattu sakkarai on a Banana leaf and make it in the shape of a mount. Then press a lemon on the top to create a dent. Pour pure ghee preferably prepared at home and fill the dent. Cotton wick (Thiri) is used to lit lamp on the Maavilakku.
Two Lemons, 1 coconut, One pair of Betal leaf and Betal nut (Vethalai & Paakku), and two Bananas are required for the offering. Also flower garland is placed around the Maavilakku. Kumkum and Sandal is used to decorate the lamp on all four sides. The lamp should be lit facing east side. Allow it to glow for 15 mins to 20 mins and ensure there is adequate ghee. Do not let the lamp to turn off due to insufficient ghee or due to the force of air. After 15 to 20 mins show karpoora (Camphor) Deepa Aradhanai to Maavilakku and perform Neivedhyam (offer to god). Then the wick should be picked and placed on the lamp that we usually lit at our home for god.
Once this ritual is completed, mix the ghee with the flour. You can also use grated coconut (offered as Neivedhyam) to the flour and distribute to neighbours and relatives.
When there is a pending ritual for ancestors or elders in our family who expired within a year, this ritual should not be performed.